Arlene Miller, PhD, RN, FAAN, Funded Projects
Reducing Contextual Risk of Depressed Mood and Falls in Multiethnic Elderly Immigrants
Funding Source: Internal Research Support Program
Dates: 06/01/08– 05/31/09
Abstract: The purpose of this pilot study is to describe culturally-specific and shared perceptions of home and neighborhood contextual risk factors for depression and falls for older immigrant women who reside in the same ethnically diverse immigrant community. The specific aims of the study are to explore attitudes, beliefs and practices of multiethnic community-dwelling older immigrant women regarding depressed mood, fear of falling, and other salient health issues; and describe the physical and social context of homes and neighborhoods that affect mobility, functional independence, and social isolation. Depressed mood and falls are major contributors to morbidity and mortality in the elderly, are often coexistent, and may have common etiology and/or exacerbate one another. Immigrant women are particularly vulnerable to both. The study will be conducted in two of the most diverse immigrant neighborhoods in Chicago, with three of the largest immigrant groups in these neighborhoods: immigrants from Mexico, the former Soviet Union, and South Asia. These groups have a significant older population who join their adult children and extended families. The study will utilize focus groups with community-dwelling immigrant women as well as social service personnel serving as key informants who provide services in community agencies serving these ethnic groups. The study will help us establish and solidify relationships with community partners for a future translational study of a multi-focal, high impact intervention to reduce the combined risk for depressed mood and falls that will target residential communities as well as age and culture.