Older Adult Research Network
The Older Adult Research Network (OARN) supports and encourages research among older adults residing in the community and in senior-living communities and facilities. The OARN draws upon the experience and expertise of the University of Pittsburgh Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center.
The University of Pittsburgh Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center
This Center is one of 12 centers across the country funded by the National Institutes of Health to promote functional independence among older Americans. The Center builds on the expertise of physicians, nurses, therapists, radiologists, engineers, pharmacists, psychologists, epidemiologists, and others to understand and treat mobility problems as well as other age-related issues and is designed to promote independence in older adults through multidisciplinary research on mobility, balance, and aging.
Participation of older adults in research is crucial to medical advances. Life expectancy continues to rise and most Americans live well into their late 70s. This increase can be attributed to the practice of research which has led to the development of vaccines, antibiotics, and medications to prevent, treat, and manage ongoing health issues.
By participating in research, patients are able to play a more active role in their healthcare. The majority of research is conducted in younger, healthy populations. This creates a disadvantage and medical injustice for older Americans. Participating in research helps to bridge this gap by allowing older adults to take control of their independence and encourages medical advances that benefit generations to come.
Researchers who are interested using these registries should contact the registry coordinator. For more information about these registries, please visit: https://www.pepper.pitt.edu.
Community Registry for Older Adults
The Pepper Center Community Research Registry has more than 2,300 community-dwelling participants 60 years of age and older. Participants who choose to participate in the Claude D. Pepper Community Registry consent to be contacted for participation in Pepper-approved research studies. These participants are followed yearly to update contact information, mobility and balance status, and basic health information. This registry has helped more than 100 studies with recruitment.
The Community Registry is comprised of two phases of access:
- Screening of unidentified group data for potential sample size. Investigators can search the database using criteria related to mobility status, demographics, or other indicators to determine potential sample size for a study.
- Access to identifiable data for participant recruitment. Studies require formal research approvals, including IRB and protocol review by the Pepper Research Registry Committee. Investigators then have access to individual subject data in a web-based application. Investigators receive a password to access specific study inclusion/exclusion criteria on a secure registry database of potentially eligible respondents.
Platinum Senior-Living Residence Registry
A key element of the Pittsburgh Pepper Center is the Platinum Research Registry for Senior-Living Residents. The registry includes a voluntary network of regional senior-living facilities and communities which aims to provide a centralized resource for the promotion of research among older adults residing in senior-living. The registry increases communication between investigators and senior-living facility administration and is currently comprised of all UPMC Senior Communities and 15 non-UPMC facilities in the region.
The purpose of the registry is to collect:
- A database of people who reside in senior-living communities willing to consider participating in research studies
- A list of senior-living communities and adult day programs interested in participating as a site for future research studies
Possible research studies may include, but are not limited to, physical therapy, fall prevention, balance, sleep, and age-related issues. Residents of senior-living communities and adult day programs who are age 55 and older are eligible. Senior-living communities include independent living, personal care, assisted living, skilled nursing, and senior high-rise apartments.