UTH

Patient Priorities Care Lab

Empower older adults to identify and do what matters most for their health

Welcoming collaborators, students, trainees to the PPC Lab

Research

Objectives

The Patient Priorities Care lab is focused on transforming decision making and delivery of care for older adults, their families, and clinicians. PPC stands on a foundation of healthcare aligned with patients’ health priorities. Health priorities are older adults’ values-based health outcome goals and care preferences. PPC places health priorities at the center of all communication and decision making among older adults, their families, and clinicians. The PPC lab tackles these research questions: (1) What are efficient and effective ways of identifying an older person’s health priorities? (2) How can we use technology in the processes of identifying health priorities and making decisions that align care with health priorities? (3) What are culturally appropriate adaptations that bring diverse older adult populations and their families into health priorities aligned decision making? (4) What are the measures that best represent personally-meaningful or clinically-important outcomes of the patient priorities care approach? (5) What are the best approaches to train clinicians, providers, families, and older adults in the processes of health priorities aligned communication and decision making? (6) How do we embed patient priorities care approaches into training programs of health professionals? (7) What are the alternative payment models, reimbursement practices, and business incentives that disseminate & sustain health priorities aligned communication and decision making?

Projects

Randomized Clinical Trial of PPC in Primary Care

Randomized Clinical Trial of PPC in Primary Care

We are conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of priorities-aligned decision making within two Veterans Administration (VA) primary care networks, the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Center in Southeast Texas and VA Connecticut. This study hypothesizes that relative to usual care, health priorities aligned decision making will result in greater reductions in self-reported treatment burden, increased priorities-aligned use of home and community services, improved shared decision-making and reduced unnecessary medications and treatments. This study is funded by a VA MERIT award from the Veterans Administration Health Systems Research Service Line. Dr. Naik serves as a study MPI, Dr. Banks serves as a qualitative methodologist and Dr. Soni is a graduate research assistant.

PPC to deprescribe unnecessary medications for persons living with dementia

PPC to deprescribe unnecessary medications for persons living with dementia

This pilot clinical trial adapts Patient Priorities Care to the context of deprescribing for persons living with dementia (PlwD). This study uses quantitative and qualitative methodologies to understand how priorities identification can facilitate communication and decisions around deprescribing of unwanted medications without increasing the incidence of adverse drug withdrawal events. This study is funded through the National Institute on Aging’s National Deprescribing Network. Dr. Naik and Dr. Holmes serve as multiple PIs. Drs. Samper-Ternent, Banks, and Giza at UTHealth Houston are Co-Is. Dr. Arney serves as a qualitative methodologist and Dr. Hysong serves as an industrial psychology consultant on the study. Dr. Soni is our graduate research assistant.

Patient Priorities Care for Hispanics with Dementia

Patient Priorities Care for Hispanics with Dementia

This project seeks to culturally adapt the Patient Priorities Care approach for Hispanics living with dementia. The pilot study uses quantitative and qualitative approaches. PPC Lab research members obtain feedback on existing Patient Priorities Care materials from Hispanic older adults and their families. Feedback from our participants is informing the development of Patient Priorities Care flyers, manuals and digital resources culturally adapted for older Hispanic adults living in the United States. This project is led by Dr. Samper-Ternent.

Innovative Technology and Tools to Disseminate PPC

Innovative Technology and Tools to Disseminate PPC

(1) The lab is updating the myhealthpriorities.org website and will embed products from the website into UT Physicians Epic. We will also culturally adapt the website for older Hispanic adults and families. Funding comes from the Nancy and Clive Runnells Foundation and the Pierce Runnells Foundation and the project is led by Dr. Naik. (2) The lab is adapting the health priorities aligned decision making approach for older adults considering surgery and other discrete medical interventions. The project activities include adaptations of our communication and decision making models, development of AI enabled chatbots, and pilot testing with older adults and their clinicians. Funding for this work comes from the UTHealth Institute on Aging and is led by Dr. Naik. Dr. Banks serves as a co-investigator. Dustan Brennan and his team in Information Technology Innovations and User Experience at the McGovern Medical School are integral partners in all of these projects.

Patient Priorities Care for Persons Living with Dementia

Patient Priorities Care for Persons Living with Dementia

This is pilot study adapting the PPC approach to older persons living with dementia and their caregivers. The project is funded by the NIA IMPACT Collaboratory for pragmatic trials in dementia to Jennifer Carney, MD at Indiana University. Dr. Samper-Ternent is Site PI and Co-I, and Dr. Naik serves as a consultant. The project is a pilot clinical trial with enrollment at UT Physicians clinics serving older Hispanic populations.

People

Aanand D. Naik

Aanand D. Naik, MD

Professor and Chair, Management, Policy and Community Health, Associate Dean for Learning and Health Systems, Director, Consortium on Aging, Nancy P. and Vincent F. Guinee, MD Distinguished Chair, and Uzi and Micki Halevy and Carmel Dyer, MD Interpro
Houston

Dr. Naik's research program focuses on defining patient-centeredness and characterizing it as a dimension of health care quality and integral to learning health systems. This research uses basic social, behavioral, and systems (sociomedical) sciences to describe how patients and clinicians communicate, arrive at decisions, and act on those decisions within clinical encounters and the broader learning health system. This descriptive research is then translated into proscriptive interventions to improve health outcomes for older adults with multiple morbid conditions.

Publication List

Rafael Samper-Ternent

Rafael Samper-Ternent, PhD, MD

Associate Professor and Associate Director for the Consortium on Aging
Houston

Dr. Samper-Ternent’s research focuses on understanding factors that lead to health disparities among older Hispanics and their family caregivers, especially those with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). Dr. Samper-Ternent’s goal as a Clinician Scientist is to produce evidence that informs intervention development and implementation to improve the well-being of Hispanic older adults and their family caregivers. For the last decade, Dr. Samper-Ternent has collaborated with clinicians and scientists at different academic institutions across the globe.

Publication List

Jack Banks

Jack Banks, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher
Houston

View bio

Dr. Jack Banks is from Limerick, Ireland. Dr. Banks is a health-services scientist with research interests in behavioral influence on engagement with healthcare, chronic-disease management, telemedicine, digital health and mixed-methods approach

Suha Soni

Suha Soni, MPH(c), MBBS

Graduate Research Assistant
Houston

View bio

As a physician, Soni brings extensive clinical experience and a holistic approach to patient care. Her expertise lies in General Medicine, where she has had the privilege of working with diverse patient populations. Soni is particularly interested in preventive medicine, health promotion, and disease management strategies.

Alumni Coming soon

Get Involved

Research Doctoral Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

Doctoral research students

We welcome doctoral students interested in an academic research career to join the PPC lab at UTHealth School of Public Health. We are recruiting doctoral students to the Department of Management, Policy and Community Health doctoral programs: Health Services Research/Health Economics (PhD); Community Health Practice (DrPH); and Healthcare Management and Policy (PhD).

For admissions information, please contact Leticia Valles at the School of Public Health

Nancy Guinee Postdoctoral fellowship

We are recruiting a postdoctoral fellow to the PPC lab with an interest in an academic research career. We are soliciting PhD or clinician-research fellows with backgrounds in gerontology/geriatrics health systems research (quantitative, qualitative, and clinical trial methods); informatics, artificial intelligence, and technology assessment methods; and social scientists with methodological expertise drawn from cognitive and industrial psychology/management, cultural anthropology and social psychology, or behavioral economics and decision psychology.

Please send a CV and cover letter describing your interests to Dr. Naik

Student and Trainee Opportunities

Medical and Nursing student internships

We welcome medical, nursing and other health professions students interested in research electives in the PPC lab

please contact: IOA@uth.tmc.edu

Nancy Guinee Summer Internship Program

We are recruiting undergraduate and graduate students interested in Summer internship opportunities in the PPC lab

please contact: IOA@uth.tmc.edu


About School of Public Health

UTHealth Houston is internationally recognized as one of the world's great research universities. The School of Public Health connects research, education, patient care, and community outreach in bold, innovative ways. Basic scientists and clinical researchers from all disciplines work together to deliver innovative solutions that create the best hope for a healthier future. Our faculty are pioneering radical solutions for imminent public health problems and provide the tools and resources that will push our students to think critically and creatively both in and out of the classroom. This is where academic rigor meets real-world application.

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