Reducing Cognitive Impairment & Improving Joint Health in Older Adults


icon-logoPrincipal Investigator: Linda Li, Senior Research Scientist of Clinical Epidemiology, BSc(PT), MSc, PhD. Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia


When will the final results be reported?

We anticipate that the final results will be available by the end of 2017.


Why do this research?

Good brain and joint health is essential for people to enjoy the best quality of life. It is particularly important for older people because cognitive impairment and chronic joint diseases are common in this population. Not only do these conditions affect people’s quality of life, they are also expensive and can be fatal if not treated appropriately. Yet while there are effective prevention and treatment options available, their implementation in the general population has been slow and inconsistent. To improve public and healthcare providers’ use of effective strategies to enhance brain and joint health, there is an increasing use of digital media to provide health-related services and treatment. Digital media includes social networking tools, mobile applications, and health tracking devices such as portable blood glucose monitors or pedometers. These tools provide flexibility and user-friendly methods for delivering ‘just-in-time’ functions or information when and where the user needs it.

Working with community and health professional partners, we will do the following:

  • Figure out areas to improve the use of effective prevention and treatment options for brain and joint health. We will focus on physical activity for improving cognitive function and joint health, as well as the timely use of arthritis treatment.
  • Develop and test digital media test tools to improve the use of effective prevention and treatment by the public and health professionals.
  • Disseminate these tools to people who need and can benefit from them.


What will be done?

We have assembled a network of leaders from leading research/academic programs, plus 4 consumer/healthcare organizations across Canada to conduct the study.

Collectively, we will share expertise and resources to develop and test tools to improve the use of effective prevention and treatment by the public. Additionally, we will evaluate implementation strategies and train the next generation of researchers to incorporate digital media in delivering health information.


Who is funding the research?

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)


Who is on the research team?


Teresa Liu-Ambrose – Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, UBC

Diane Gromala – Professor, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University

John Esdaile – Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC

Sharon Straus- Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto

France Légaré – Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Université Laval

Richard Smith – Professor, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University

Chris Shaw – Associate Professor, School of Interactive Arts & Technology, Simon Fraser University

Allyson Jones – Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Alberta

Alison Hoens – Knowledge Broker, Department of Physical Therapy, UBC

Paul Adam  – Rheumatology Liaison and Outreach Services Coordinator, Mary Pack Arthritis Centre


Research Staff:

Jenny Leese, Research Assistant, ARC

Joanna Ye, Research Assistant, ARC

Jasmina Memetovic, Research Coordinator, ARC


Consumer Collaborators: 

Cheryl Koehn – President of Arthritis Consumer Experts

Daniel Schwartz – Medical Director, Fraser Health Renal Program

Jennifer O’Hagan – Manager, Program Development, Coordination and Evaluation, Alzheimer’s Society of BC

Leslie Soever – President, Arthritis Health Professions Association

Jeannette Kopak – Director of Business Development and Operations, Centre for Digital Media

Elise Kayfetz – Community Development Officer, Canadian Advocacy for Retired Persons (CARP)

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