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Contemp Clin Trials. 2013 Sep;36(1):1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2013.05.003. Epub 2013 May 13.

Experience Corps: a dual trial to promote the health of older adults and children's academic success.

Author information

1
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. lf2296@columbia.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

As the population ages, older adults are seeking meaningful, and impactful, post-retirement roles. As a society, improving the health of people throughout longer lives is a major public health goal. This paper presents the design and rationale for an effectiveness trial of Experience Corps™, an intervention created to address both these needs. This trial evaluates (1) whether senior volunteer roles within Experience Corps™ beneficially impact children's academic achievement and classroom behavior in public elementary schools and (2) impact on the health of volunteers.

METHODS:

Dual evaluations of (1) an intention-to-treat trial randomizing eligible adults 60 and older to volunteer service in Experience Corps™, or to a control arm of usual volunteering opportunities, and (2) a comparison of eligible public elementary schools receiving Experience Corps™ to matched, eligible control schools in a 1:1 control:intervention school ratio.

OUTCOMES:

For older adults, the primary outcome is decreased disability in mobility and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL). Secondary outcomes are decreased frailty, falls, and memory loss; slowed loss of strength, balance, walking speed, cortical plasticity, and executive function; objective performance of IADLs; and increased social and psychological engagement. For children, primary outcomes are improved reading achievement and classroom behavior in Kindergarten through the 3rd grade; secondary outcomes are improvements in school climate, teacher morale and retention, and teacher perceptions of older adults.

SUMMARY:

This trial incorporates principles and practices of community-based participatory research and evaluates the dual benefit of a single intervention, versus usual opportunities, for two generations: older adults and children.

KEYWORDS:

BHS; Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Education; Brain Health Study; CARE; COAH; Children's academic success; Community-based participatory research; EC; Experience Corps™; GHCC; Greater Homewood Community Corporation; Health promotion; Healthy aging; IADL; Instrumental Activities of Daily Living; Intergenerational programs; Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health; MMSE; MSA; Maryland School Assessment; Mini-Mental State Exam; Senior service

PMID:
23680986
PMCID:
PMC4112377
DOI:
10.1016/j.cct.2013.05.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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