This research aims to clarify the prevalence and impact of frailty on older people, contribute to increased benefits from exercise for frail older people and determine a better way to predict skeletal muscle mass for the study of sarcopenia (the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of ageing).
Frailty Screening and Burden Studies
The aim of this research is to clarify the prevalence and impact of frailty on older people. Screening tools will also be evaluated. Mr Mark Thompson is currently a Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) student looking at the North West Adelaide Health Study Cohort.
There are opportunities for interested students from a medical background (especially general practice) to undertake general practice research towards a PhD. The student will undertake a systematic review on the effectiveness of screening tools for frailty in a general practice and primary care setting. We then aim to investigate the performance of selected tools in general practice. For further information, please contact Professor Renuka Visvanathan.
Frailty Intervention Studies
Ms Agathe Jadczak is a PhD student is undertaking a series of research projects that will contribute to increased benefits from exercise for frail older people.
She will be undertaking a pilot study to investigate the benefits of protein supplementation and exercise on physical outcomes in community dwelling older people at-risk of frailty. Recruitment will commence in late 2015. Her research has benefited from funding from the University of Adelaide (Beacon Scholarship) and the Northern Communities Health Foundation. This is a research project in collaboration with Dr Natalie Luscombe from the CSIRO.
Her projects also include a quality improvement medical education project aimed at improving the delivery of course content in relation to exercise for older people. She is also undertaking qualitative research to investigate how older people would like to receive information about exercise.
Sarcopenia Screening and Burden Studies
Dr Solomon Yu completed his PhD by confirming that sarcopenia affected one in five older Australians aged 80 years and older and proposing a screening tool for sarcopenia in the community. Research is underway to determine if a better prediction equation for appendicular skeletal muscle mass can be developed. Dr Yu is also leading advanced trainee in geriatric medicine projects focused on the impact of sarcopenia on quality of life and function (including pulmonary function).