Health Mediating Effects of the Well Elderly Study
Since 1993, when the USC Well Elderly Study was first launched, the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy has been involved in studying the impact of a specific intervention called Lifestyle Redesign(TM) on health in older Americans. The initial Well Elderly Study conducted by USC from 1994 through 1996 made a number of notable contributions in the research on occupational therapy and its effect on the aging population. The largest outcomes research study conducted in the field to date, results of this research were published as the first occupational therapy study to appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association (10/97). The findings from this project showed that preventative occupational therapy intervention significantly slows the declines normally associated with aging, and is a cost-effective method of enabling older individuals to maintain their health and independence.
Professors Florence Clark and Jeanne Jackson recently completed a study, referred to as The New USC Well Elderly Study, which aims to replicate our previous results, which demonstrated that Lifestyle Redesign(TM) cost effectively slows down declines normally associated with aging. This new research effort is also intended to build theory by simultaneously examining biological and social psychological mechanisms potentially responsible for the positive effects previously produced by the intervention. The findings of this study will provide new information about the process events by which activity-based lifestyle interventions can influence aging outcomes.