Social Isolation clinical trials at University of California Health
3 in progress, 1 open to eligible people
open to eligible females ages 18-50
Obesity is a major public health problem related to a variety of illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. Prior research indicates that social stressors contribute to risk for obesity, possibly through alterations in diet and physical activity. However, it is not fully clear how these alterations contribute to obesity. The purpose of this study is to examine how the stressors of social isolation and discrimination relate to eating behaviors and dietary patterns, and further, how these behaviors affect the brain-gut-microbiome (BGM) connections. This study will focus on Mexican and Filipina women because research shows that they encounter a high burden of obesity and exposure to social stressors. Approximately 300 Mexican and Filipina women will be screened and enrolled. They will then provide information about social stressors via food diaries, physical body measures (e.g. waist circumference), questionnaire data regarding diet and eating behaviors, and measures of physical activity. Stool and serum will be collected to analyze microbes and metabolomics, and MRI to assess brain changes in the reward network. Analytic techniques will be used to integrate data from these multiple data sources. This analysis will determine the unique differences associated with ethnicity and social stressors in moderating eating behaviors and dietary patterns. The results of this study will provide new information about a possible pathway whereby social stressors affect behavioral, neurological and microbiome mechanisms related to obesity risk and provide new information in BGM patterns in two understudied ethnic groups. In the long term, this research may suggest possible approaches for intervention that may help reduce inequalities in obesity and related health problems.
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This pilot study will develop and examine the acceptability of a Community Navigator program of support for 10-24 older adult Arab Americans participants receiving services at a refugee-serving organization based in Southern California. This program will provide participants with social support from a 'Community Navigator,' who will work with clients to help promote attendance and engagement with the community during social activities and community events. This program aims to reduce feelings of loneliness or social isolation. In partnership with the refugee-serving organization, the UCLA investigators will implement this program in addition to services provided as usual at the community partner site. Researchers will then conduct interviews to explore participants' experiences and perceptions for improvement of the program.
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These caregivers are a vulnerable group due to their physical isolation and well-documented rural disparities in health care access and quality. Many rural dementia caregivers experience serious health consequences due to caregiving responsibilities that can limit their ability to maintain their caregiving role. Thus, there is a pressing need for effective, scalable, and accessible programs to support rural dementia caregivers. Online programs offer a convenient and readily translatable option for program delivery because they can be accessed by caregivers in the home and at the convenience of the user. Building Better Caregivers is an online 6-week, interactive, small-group self-management, social support, and skills-building workshop developed for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease or related dementia. The investigators will conduct a hybrid effectiveness-implementation randomized controlled trial that will enroll and randomize 640 rural dementia caregivers into two groups: the intervention (workshop) group and the attention control group. Caregivers will be recruited throughout the United States. Primary outcomes will be caregiver stress and depression symptoms. The investigators hypothesize that stress scores and depression symptoms will be significantly improved at 12 months in the intervention group versus control group. The investigators will also identify key strengths (facilitators) and weaknesses (barriers) of workshop implementation. The investigators will use the RE-AIM implementation framework and a mixed methods approach to identify implementation characteristics pertinent to both caregivers and rural community organizations. If the Building Better Caregivers workshop is proven to be effective, this research has the potential to open new research horizons, particularly on how to reach and effectively support isolated dementia caregivers in rural areas with an intervention that is scalable, even in low-resourced settings. If the workshop can achieve its goals with rural dementia caregivers, some of those most isolated, it would also be expected to be scalable in other low-resourced settings (e.g., in urban or suburban environments).