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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 28, 2006

Study Looks At Medication Management, Health Promotion

University of Iowa researchers from three colleges have received a $975,000, three-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct an intervention study involving health promotion for people with a disability.

Researchers from the College of Public Health, the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the College of Pharmacy, as well as staff from the Center for Disabilities and Development in Children's Hospital of Iowa, will test the effectiveness of the eight-week, group-session health promotion program called Living Well With a Disability, which will include a new medication therapy management component.

Elizabeth Chrischilles, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology in the UI College of Public Health, and Scott Lindgren, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics in the Carver College of Medicine and associate director of the University Center for Excellence on Disabilities, have worked together for several years to better understand the major health and medication issues people with disabilities face each day.

"We find that adverse drug effects are very common in people with disabilities, and the adverse effects of drugs have more negative impact on them than on the general public," Chrischilles said.

The Living Well With a Disability (LWD) program is well established in Iowa and teaches healthy living strategies to people with chronic disabilities. Centers for independent living around the state provide the program to their clients with disabilities.

Topics covered in the program include health promotion, active lifestyles, healthy eating and mental wellness. The study will include a pharmaceutical case management element that will educate participants on medications, drug side effects and drug interactions, and it will provide four meetings with a pharmacist to create a medication care plan. Pharmaceutical case management is a pharmacist-physician collaborative care model. Pharmacists identify and work with physicians to achieve opportunities for improving medication safety and effectiveness.

"We want to have a bigger impact on wellness, and by adding the pharmaceutical case management we hope to minimize the health problems that people with disabilities develop," Lindgren said.

Researchers will identify participants for the study through a mailed questionnaire. Study participants will be randomly assigned to one of three groups. A third of study participants will receive the LWD program with the new pharmaceutical element; a third will receive only the LWD program; and a third will be evaluated without involvement in the LWD program.

"There is a strong interdisciplinary influence in this study, and all the groups involved have an orientation toward the health of Iowans in general, which makes it a natural partnership," Chrischilles said. "We hope to improve medication safety to improve the health of people with disabilities."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032, Writer: Andrea Schreiber