Selected Projects

Here’s a look at some of our research:

  • Community Livability Project: A livable community typically features affordable housing, accessible transportation systems, and supportive health care services, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). We provided digital cameras for 18 senior residents of a small Missouri community—dubbed “Fieldcrest” for this study—and asked them to produce snapshots defining their community’s livability. Specifically, we asked them to photograph an answer to the question, “What does it mean to be a senior citizen in ‘Fieldcrest,’ Missouri?” Our researchers subsequently met with participants to discuss what they photographed over a 10-day period. For more information, contact Elizabeth Rattine-Flaherty at elizabeth.rattine-flaherty@stlcop.edu or Patrick Fontane at patrick.fontane@stlcop.edu.

  • Dementia Project: In this ongoing collaborative effort, a STLCOP student proposes and develops an age-related dementia research project with a faculty mentor from the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) of Washington University. The student reports on the project and helps prepare a manuscript for publication in a professional journal. For more information, contact Patrick Fontane at patrick.fontane@stlcop.edu.

  • Development of Drugs for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease: This research aims to discover new drugs using the tools of structural bioinformatics and computational chemistry.  The targets of this program are a number of dementia diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. This program has several new drugs in development.  Dr. John Beale has recently been awarded the first patent for St. Louis College of Pharmacy.  This research program is a collaborative venture with Dr. Nigel J. Cairns in the Department of Neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis.  For more information, contact John Beale at john.beale@stlcop.edu.

  • Dimensions of Religiosity and Life Satisfaction Among Older Adults: Evidence consistently links religious behavior and devotional activities—such as attending religious services or private prayer—to indicators of life satisfaction and general health. We analyzed data gathered by Neal Krause in 2005 and 2007, to reveal that  seniors’ “religiousness” is related to a sense of control that includes perceived social support derived from mutual self-disclosure. For more information, contact Patrick Fontane at patrick.fontane@stlcop.edu.

  • Geriatric Medication Game: We periodically update the Geriatric Medication Game© that was  developed more than 20 years ago to introduce student pharmacists, nurses, and physicians to the everyday challenges older adults face in our nation’s health care system. Participants assume the identity of an older person in the role-playing game, increasing their understanding of the problems the elderly confront as they deal with common medication-related situations. The next revision of the game will reflect changes due to the Affordable Care Act.

  • Illness and use of Health Care Services by Older Chinese Persons Living in St. Louis. Phase I of this project learned how older Chinese persons in St. Louis prioritize their illnesses and how they respond to their illnesses. Phase II will look for relationships between health screenings and quality of life among the same population.  Data gathering includes both a written and interview survey with English and Mandarin. Please contact Fangzheng Yuan via the ORA.

  • Student Perceptions of Older Adults: We began surveying STLCOP first-year students in 2000 to learn about their perceptions of older people, and conduct the survey each fall. Our goal is to chart young adult views of older adults, to determine if attitudes towards older people of students in a health profession curriculum change as they near graduation. For more information, contact Patrick Fontane at patrick.fontane@stlcop.edu.