November 9, 2006
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact Jerry Carey
Phone: (856) 566-6171
UMDNJ Researchers to Recruit 10,000 New Jersey Residents for Studies on Aging
STRATFORD—What does it mean to age successfully?
On November 6, the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging (NJISA) at the UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine launched a unique, statewide project to help researchers find the answer to that question. Called ORANJ BOWL (Ongoing Research on Aging in New Jersey: Bettering Opportunities for Well Living), it is an ambitious, multi-year program that will track the health, lifestyle and well being of more than 10,000 New Jersey residents who are between 50 and 74 years old.
"ORANJ BOWL is the first longitudinal health study in America to study middle-aged and older participants annually over many years," said Dr. Rachel Pruchno, director of Research at NJISA. "Our first goal is to learn about the causal pathways that determine who ages successfully. At the same time, we’ll also focus on identifying and understanding the differences that might exist between groups."
Along with the longitudinal study, ORANJ BOWL will also be a research panel, a large collection of individuals who can be sorted on the basis of their shared personal or health characteristics. Individuals who agree to join ORANJ BOWL participate in a telephone interview that lasts approximately one hour. During this survey interview, participants are asked questions on a wide variety of measures common to aging research, such as physical health, emotional health, social and family support, attitudes toward aging, health-related behaviors and lifestyle, and financial and demographic information. Each year, a similar follow-up assessment interview will take place.
These interviews alone will combine to form a rich resource of information on aging. Researchers at UMDNJ and throughout the world will be able to mine this existing ORANJ BOWL data or work through the ORANJ BOWL researchers to invite participants to volunteer for additional research studies.
"ORANJ BOWL is a constantly evolving data repository that will revolutionize how aging research is done," said Dr. Jonathan Brill, general manager of the ORANJ BOWL Research Program at NJISA. "Typically, more than half the budget of research projects goes for recruiting suitable subjects. ORANJ BOWL spreads that expense over many studies, dramatically reducing the cost. For example, if a research team wants to study women between 60 and 64 who smoke cigarettes, own a dog, have health insurance and take daily vitamins, we will probably be able to identify a usefully large, statistically representative sample from our ORANJ BOWL panel."
ORANJ BOWL participants are being recruited by telephone outreach from the NJISA Research Call Center, a new state-of-the-art facility on the Stratford campus. Households throughout New Jersey are selected for contact using New Jersey telephone numbers randomly generated by computers. This procedure ensures that the results can be generalized and are statistically representative of all community-dwelling New Jersey residents between 50 and 74 years of age. Recruitment efforts will alternate among five, predetermined regions in New Jersey, with each region representing approximately 20 percent of the state’s population. The first region will include Mercer, Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren, Morris and Sussex counties.
To schedule an interview with Dr. Pruchno or Dr. Brill, please contact Jerry Carey, UMDNJ News Service, at (856) 566-6171 or at (973) 972-3000.
UMDNJ is the nations largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.