Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Janelle Taylor Receives Supplement Award to Continue Research on Dementia

Posted: 10/8/2018 (CSDE Research)

Congratulations to Janelle Taylor, CSDE faculty affiliate in Anthropology, who received an Administrative Supplement to her NIA-funded project, “Health Outcomes for Patients with Dementia without Family Caregivers”.

This study uses data from the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study, an ongoing prospective longitudinal study of dementia at Kaiser Permanente (formerly Group Health).  The supplement was the result of finding a rich new source of information about family and caregiving support for older adults with dementia: The narrative medical documents created for the diagnostic review meeting contain much information about the patient’s social context even though the original purpose of the documents is to provide diagnostic medical information.

These reports are not currently conceived of as data per se by ACT and much of it exists only as paper documents.  Using a high speed, high resolution scanner, and optical character recognition (OCR) software, Janelle’s team will turn this rich source of contextual information about patients’ lives into textual data.  This new data will be analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methodology.  CSDE staff members Cori Mar and Matt Weatherford were instrumental in both writing the supplement ($220,968 total award) and are named on the grant.  Matt will supervise the technical issues involved in getting from paper to text data and Cori will do the quantitative analysis.  Other CSDE affiliates on this project include Marlaine Gray and Clara Berridge.

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