Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H.

In the U.S. baby boomers are one of the largest populations of Americans today. As they reach their late 60’s many baby boomers are now suffering from one or more chronic conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. However, most of these individuals are not aware of how to properly manage their conditions. In an effort to improve patient knowledge on self-management, there has been an increase in community programs across the nation designed to educate patients on proper care and healthy behaviors they can develop for their daily lives.

Regents and Distinguished Professor Marcia Ory, Ph.D., with the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, was awarded the 2013 RE-AIM Conceptual Research Manuscript of the year for her work with evidence-based community self-management programs for chronic conditions. RE-AIM is an organization dedicated to putting research into practice using a five-step method of assessment: Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance.

“There is emerging concern about pervasive research-to-practice gaps in which programs developed in research settings fail to be translated into widespread practice,” said Ory.

The RE-AIM framework seeks to bridge that gap by incorporating the five-step assessment into the research process. According to Ory, “RE-AIM is not something abstract or external to research, but rather if you want to do good research you need to find ways to incorporate this framework.”

The Conceptual Research Award was given in recognition of Ory’s editorial published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society entitled “Self-management at the tipping point: reaching 100,000 Americans with evidence-based programs.” This article highlighted the benefits of community-based self-management programs as well as discussed the results of a national rollout of Stanford University’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.

“There is accumulating documentation about the success of evidence-based self-management programs in helping people with the medical, role, and emotional management demands associated with chronic conditions,” said Ory. “This study showed these programs are able to not only reach a large number of people, but they are also very successful in practice and participant retention.”

In addition to this year’s Conceptual Research Award, Ory was author on 11 RE-AIM publications during 2013, making her the most prolific RE-AIM author for the year.

“Not only is Dr. Ory one of the most prolific RE-AIM users, but her work is very accessible for researchers and practitioners alike,” said Paul Estabrooks, Ph.D., one of the founding members of the RE-AIM workgroup.

“Her award winning article gets to the heart of what we consider an outstanding RE-AIM trial—it balances rigor with context to provide a clear picture of the scalability of an evidence-based program that can lead to sustainable changes in the participants and community-based organizations.”

Estabrooks, a professor of Human Nutrition, Food, and Exercise at Virginia Tech University, also maintains an informational website on the RE-AIM organization. For additional information on the editorial and the aims of the RE-AIM organization you can view the podcast of Dr. Estabrooks interview with Dr. Ory.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell

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