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Computer-based Learning to Enhance ADRD Care in Prison: Just Care for Dementia

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AG078103-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41AG078103
Amount: $300,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: R
Solicitation Number: PA21-262
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-06-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-05-31
Small Business Information
1667 COLE BLVD STE 225
Golden, CO 80401-3313
United States
DUNS: 117936042
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (814) 863-2236
Business Contact
Phone: (303) 565-4330
Research Institution
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Project Summary/Abstract
U.S. prison systems face sharply increased demands in caring for older people living in prisons. Alzheimerandapos;s
Disease and related dementias (ADRD) are age-related diseases. Prison populations are over- represented by
minority populations who experience disparities in prevalence and incidence of dementia. Prison health, social,
and security staff perceive they lack the skills and knowledge essential for identifying dementia and supporting
people who are incarcerated and living with ADRDs. This unmet need may be due to a lack of standardized,
feasible, and acceptable ADRD education programs that are tailored specifically for those managing and caring
for people in the restrictive environment of prisons. Some prisons engage carefully vetted incarcerated people
to be peer caregivers, assisting staff with care for people with ADRD. Training programs in prisons are often
home grown and lack consistency, which points to a need for evidence based, current, and readily accessible
training for both prison staff and peer caregivers that is focused on care of people who are living with ADRD in
prison. In response to this need, this Phase I STTR project, titled Computer-based Learning to Enhance ADRD
Care in Prison: Just Care for Dementia, will demonstrate the scientific merit and feasibility of developing media
rich learning modules to train both multidisciplinary prison staff and peer caregivers on topics related to ADRD
care. The specific aims of the project are to: (1) transform best practices in ADRD care into media-rich, highly
interactive, computer-based educational module prototypes to prepare corrections staff and peer caregivers to
meet the growing care needs of people who are incarcerated and living with ADRD; and (2) conduct in-person
usability testing of the learning module prototypes with corrections staff and peer caregivers to evaluate the
user interface, ease of use, and perceived barriers in order to refine the product and optimize implementation in
prison settings. In collaboration with an advisory board comprised of people with expertise in prison healthcare,
training and technology, dementia in prisons, and experience with previous incarceration, we will plan and
develop discussion guides and then conduct focus groups with two groups of prison stakeholders:
interdisciplinary corrections staff and inmates who serve as peer caregivers at a menandapos;s and a womenandapos;s prison.
Focus groups will permit us to ensure that design and technology plans match what is allowable for training in
prison settings and will isolate essential ADRD content for development of the comprehensive training program.
Finally, we will create and evaluate prototypes of media rich, interactive computer-based learning modules for
corrections staff and peer caregivers. At the end of Phase I, we will have: a specifications document for the
design of modules that at once fits with the technology available in corrections settings; is permissible to be
used by people who are incarcerated; represents the critical learning needs of corrections staff and peer
caregivers for providing ADRD care; and further develop our collaborative relationships in preparation for
commercialization of the product.Project Narrative
The mission of corrections is to provide care, custody, and control for incarcerated individuals. United States
prisons are required by law to provide adequate care for growing numbers of older people who are
incarcerated—a group who are disproportionately at risk for Alzheimerandapos;s Disease and Related Dementias
(ADRD). This Phase I project focuses on research and development of highly interactive computer-based
learning modules, for prison staff and people who are incarcerated and serving as peer caregivers, to
promote an integrated systems approach for enhancing the care of people with ADRD in prison.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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