Published: 2021-11-29 17:18 | Updated: 2021-12-02 19:19

Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga awarded project grant from the Swedish Research Council

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Photo: Getty Images Adene Sanchez

KI researcher Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga, Assistant Professor at the Aging Research Center (ARC), has been awarded a project grant for research within primary care from the Swedish Research Council.

Portrait of Associate professor Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga, division of ARC, NVS.
Photo: Lucas Morin

Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga is awarded SEK 2 400 000 for a project entitled "Monitoring older adults’ health for preventive and early interventions: use of the Health Assessment Tool (HAT) in the Swedish primary care setting" for the period 2022-2024.

The early identification of health declines in older primary care patients is essential to implement interventions for maintaining their physical and mental capacities. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has stressed the lack of available comprehensive health measures that could help in assessing risk, prioritizing hospitalization and planning vaccination.

"Our group has developed the Health Assessment Tool (HAT) and its derived sex-specific geriatric health charts to measure the dynamic and heterogeneous health status of older populations. Still, the validity and feasibility of HAT in clinical practice have not been tested", explains Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga.

In the present project the researchers aim to:

  1. study the external validity of HAT in different Swedish population-based cohort studies
  2. test the reliability and prognostic value of HAT in the primary care setting
  3. assess the feasibility and acceptability of using HAT in primary care

For Aim 1, they will use readily available data from the multi-center Swedish National Study on Aging and Care (SNAC). For Aims 2 and 3, they will collect data across eight primary healthcare centers in Stockholm county (urban), Kalmar county (semi-rural), and Nordanstig municipality (rural).

"Our final goal is to support primary care professionals in planning personalized interventions to preserve older adults’ health", says Amaia.

Broad perspective of the clinical and public health aspects

The research group involved in the project is multidisciplinary and the complementary expertise of the team members will guarantee a broad perspective of the clinical, and public health aspects of aging as well as adequate methodological and management skills.

  • Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga, Principal Researcher, Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska Institutet.
  • Laura Fratiglioni, Prinicipal Investigator of the SNAC Kungsholmen (SNAC-K) population study and the National E-Infrastructure on Aging Research (NEAR), Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska Institutet.
  • Davide Liborio Vetrano, specialized in geriatric medicine with a PhD in geriatric epidemiology, Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska Institutet.
  • Anders Wimo, Principal Investigator of SNAC Nordanstig (SNAC-N) population study, Division of Neurogeriatrics, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Instituet.
  • Christina Olsson, registered physiotherapist, Coordinator at the Danderyd Academic Primary Health Care Centre, Region Stockholm and lecturer at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Instituet.
  • Caroline Wachtler, specialized in family medicine, Researcher at the Division of Family medicine and Primary Care, Karolinska Institutet.
  • Cecilia Fagerström, registered nurse, Professor in caring sciences at Linnaeus University.