WVU psychology professor exploring using lifestyle changes in different age groups to combat health diseases
Julie Patrick, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at West Virginia University, is using a $12,400 grant from the McLean Hospital Corporation to research the effects of health coaching on various age groups.
The results of the research will help her team pinpoint whether lifestyle changes, such as eating well and sleeping better, affect age groups differently and how to combat diseases that people are more prone to later in life.
“Most middle-aged and older adults care about health. Health is an important aspect of their lives, and many of us are interested in ways to improve our health. Health coaching has become this multi-million dollar business, but we really don’t know whether (it) works the same for young adults, middle-aged adults, and older adults,” Patrick said.
If you are interested in volunteering for the study, please contact Julie Patrick at Julie.email@example.com. Volunteers for the study will be paid up to $100.
Those who want to participate will complete a pre-screen survey. From those who express an interest in health coaching, 160 will be invited to participate in the second, longer study.
“We know that health issues are really important at midlife and late life, but we also know that those changes are hard to make,” she said.
“So if we know that starting exercise can help people eat better, (say) we’ve got somebody with type 2 diabetes or hypertension and we want them to be more attentive to their health, maybe we should get them walking. Once they’re walking as exercise, maybe then they can attend to their diet better.”
Patrick earned her doctorate from The University of Akron. Prior to joining the WVU faculty, she had positions at the Myers Research Institute at Menorah Park in Beachwood, Ohio, and at the Center on Aging at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.
Patrick’s interests are broadly in the field of adult development, with a focus on families at mid- and late-life and successful aging. She has research expertise in cognitive aging, including decision-making and memory interventions. Her lab is active in health promotion and health intervention studies.
Amy Gentzler, assistant professor of psychology at WVU, is a co-investigator on the project.
For more information, contact Julie Patrick at (304) 293-1782, or Julie.Patrick@mail.wvu.edu.
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