Research “Year in Review” Opens Annual Conference
The opening keynote address at the Society’s annual conference sets the tone for the meeting. It is fitting that this year’s program in Atlanta, GA, starts with a session that features Society leaders sharing research from the past year that is likely to have the greatest impact on the future. During “The Year in Review,” your colleagues who live daily with the research and understand how it translates into practice will offer their exclusive insights. “This is a very exciting session. We’ll talk about some of the most important studies from the past year and make it practical,” says Milta Little, DO, CMD, one of the program’s presenters.
In addition to Dr. Little, the program will feature Julie Gammack, MD, CMD; Angela Sanford, MD, CMD; and Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, as well as JAMDA Co-Editors Philip Sloane, MD, MPH, and Sheryl Zimmerman, PhD.
Several of the featured studies are from other countries. “Many are highly applicable to what we do every day. We can look at these and say, ‘We’re not so different,” says Dr. Little. Dr. Sloane says it isn’t surprising that so many good studies are coming from abroad. “When you look at countries with higher proportions of older people, the U.S. isn’t at the top of the list. Other countries have had to face many issues more squarely than us, and they have dealt with them longer,” he notes. “The scientific world is international. If we don’t take advantage of the international community, we are ignoring a great deal of important information and experience.” Dr. Gammack agrees, observing, “Some other countries have national health care databases that are more robust, and their geriatric science is more focused than ours tends to be.”
Expect to hear about studies on a wide variety of topics and trending issues. For instance, as the aging population continues to explode and Alzheimer’s disease makes headline almost daily, there are more dementia-related articles in the literature than ever before, and this trend is expected to continue. “This is very exciting,” Dr. Resnick says. “We aren’t likely to find a cure. But in the next 5 to 10 years, we hopefully will learn a great deal more about Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”
Quality improvement is one area where long-term care is ahead of the curve, says Dr. Gammack. “We’ve [been] doing quality improvement in some capacity for decades. That is what our weekly meetings are all about.” She adds that from a publishing standpoint, “We are ahead in terms of volume and the types of articles we’re seeing in this area.”
There is more research in long-term care, but challenges remain. For instance, Dr. Resnick suggests that more facilities need to be open and willing to participate in the research process. She says, “Sometimes we need to take this on in the name of greater science. It’s worth the effort in the bigger picture.”
In the past, a review of the year’s literature has been a popular session at the annual conference. Making it the keynote presentation will open it to a broader audience, and it is expected to draw a standing-room-only crowd. “This is a great way to get the best of the best without reading dozens of journals and wading through hundreds of articles,” says Dr. Resnick. Dr. Gammack adds, “We hope to deliver a few nuggets from each study that our audience can potentially apply immediately.”
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