Faculty

Abraham A. Brody headshot

Abraham A Brody

Associate Professor, Nursing & Medicine
Associate Director, Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing

1 212 992 7341

433 First Avenue
Room 504
New York, NY 10010
United States

Accepting PhD students

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Professional overview

Abraham Brody, PhD, RN, FAAN is associate director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing and associate professor of Nursing and Medicine at NYU Meyers College of Nursing. He is also the founder of Aliviado Health and the Pilot Core Lead of the NIA IMPACT Collaboratory. His work focuses on the intersection of geriatrics, palliative care, quality, and equity. The primary goal of his research, clinical, and policy pursuits is to improve the quality of care for older adults with serious illness wherever they reside. His primary mode for doing so is through the development, testing, and dissemination of real-word, technology, and informatics supported quality improvement interventions. He is currently the principal investigator of two NIH-funded large-scale pragmatic clinical trials to improve the quality of care and quality of life for persons living with dementia and their caregivers in the community and a co-investigator on several other pragmatic trials and health services research projects in geriatrics and palliative care.

From a leadership perspective, Brody works across disciplines to help advance geriatrics and palliative care nationally. As pilot core lead of the $53.4 million nationwide Collaboratory, he is responsible for heading the pilot program, which, in collaboration with the National Institute on Aging, reviews and awards funds to help investigators prepare for large-scale pragmatic clinical trials for persons living with dementia and their caregivers. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the NINR Funded Palliative Care Research Cooperative, the policy-setting body for the organization. 

In addition to his research and national leadership responsibilities, Brody is passionate about mentoring and developing a diverse nursing and scientific workforce. To this end, he developed and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Leadership Development Program and is the technology core director of NYU Meyer’s P20 Exploratory Center for Precision Health in Diverse Populations, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Training, Research, and Education Core of the NYU-HHC Clinical Translational Sciences Institute. He mentors faculty, post- doctoral scholars, and PhD students across multiple disciplines and institutions. Brody also maintains an active practice in the Geriatric and Palliative Consult Services at NYU Langone Health.
 
Home Health Study
HAS-QOL Study

Education

PhD - University of California, San Francisco (2008)
MSN - University of California, San Francisco (2006)
BA - New York University, College of Arts and Sciences (2002)

Specialties

Home care
Palliative care
Non-communicable disease
Health Policy
Gerontology
Interprofessionalism
Chronic disease
Community/population health
Neurology
Research methods
Underserved populations

Professional membership

American Nurses Association
American Geriatrics Society
Eastern Nursing Research Society
Gerontological Society of America
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
International Home Care Nurses Organization
Palliative Care Research Cooperative
Sigma Theta Tau, Upsilon Chapter

Honors and awards

Faculty Honors Awards

Fellow, Palliative Care Nursing, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (2017)
Fellow, American Academy of Nursing (2017)
Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine (2016)
Fellow, Gerontological Society of America (2016)
Sojourns Scholar, Cambia Health Foundation (2014)
Nurse Faculty Scholar, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2014)
Medical Reserve Corps, NYC, Hurricane Sandy Award (2013)
Goddard Fellowship, NYU (2013)
Research Scholar, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (2010)
Finalist, SRPP Section Young Investigator, Gerontological Society of America (2008)
Edith M. Pritchard Award, Nurses' Education Funds (2006)
Scholar, Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity, John A Hartford (2006)
Finalist, Student Regent, University of California, San Francisco (2005)
Inducted into Sigma Theta Tau, Nursing Honor Society (2004)

Publications

Publications

Adaptation and Piloting for Hospice Social Workers of Aliviado Dementia Care, a Dementia Symptom Management Program

Jones, T. M., & Brody, A. A. (2020). American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 10.1177/1049909120962459
Abstract
Abstract
Background: Forty-five percent of hospice patients currently have a primary or secondary diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders. However, few programs have focused specifically on assisting hospices in providing evidence-based symptom management to persons living with dementia (PLWD). Objective: To adapt and pilot the training component of Aliviado Dementia Care, a dementia symptom management quality improvement program originally developed for home healthcare, for use by social workers as part of the hospice interdisciplinary team. Design: A prospective pre-post design was utilized, measuring knowledge, confidence, and attitudes at baseline, and immediately and 1-month post-training. Analysis was performed using paired t-tests and repeated measures ANOVA. Subjects: Hospice social workers currently practicing in the United States with at least 1 year of experience. Measurements: The Dementia Symptom Knowledge Assessment and a post-training continuing education evaluation form. Results: Forty-six subjects were enrolled, of whom 26 completed the first post-test and 23 both post-tests. There was a poor baseline level of knowledge and confidence in caring for PLWD. Significant improvements occurred following training, particularly in implementing non-pharmacologic interventions for behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) (16.64% increase, p <.0001) and confidence in managing behavioral symptoms (16.86%, p =.01) and depression (25.18%, p <.0001). Changes were maintained over time. All respondents were either very satisfied or satisfied with the quality and content of the program. Conclusions: The training modules of Aliviado Dementia Care were successfully tailored for use by hospice social workers, showing significant improvement in knowledge and confidence in caring for behavioral symptoms in PLWD. Future work will examine whether the larger program, including this training, can subsequently improve patient outcomes in hospice.

An Adapted Conceptual Model Integrating Palliative Care in Serious Illness and Multiple Chronic Conditions

Murali, K. P., Merriman, J. D., Yu, G., Vorderstrasse, A., Kelley, A., & Brody, A. A. (2020). American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 37(12), 1086-1095. 10.1177/1049909120928353
Abstract
Abstract
Objective: Seriously ill adults with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) who receive palliative care may benefit from improved symptom burden, health care utilization and cost, caregiver stress, and quality of life. To guide research involving serious illness and MCC, palliative care can be integrated into a conceptual model to develop future research studies to improve care strategies and outcomes in this population. Methods: The adapted conceptual model was developed based on a thorough review of the literature, in which current evidence and conceptual models related to serious illness, MCC, and palliative care were appraised. Factors contributing to patients’ needs, services received, and service-related variables were identified. Relevant patient outcomes and evidence gaps are also highlighted. Results: Fifty-eight articles were synthesized to inform the development of an adapted conceptual model including serious illness, MCC, and palliative care. Concepts were organized into 4 main conceptual groups, including Factors Affecting Needs (sociodemographic and social determinants of health), Factors Affecting Services Received (health system; research, evidence base, dissemination, and health policy; community resources), Service-Related Variables (patient visits, service mix, quality of care, patient information, experience), and Outcomes (symptom burden, quality of life, function, advance care planning, goal-concordant care, utilization, cost, death, site of death, satisfaction). Discussion: The adapted conceptual model integrates palliative care with serious illness and multiple chronic conditions. The model is intended to guide the development of research studies involving seriously ill adults with MCC and aid researchers in addressing relevant evidence gaps.

Building a National Program for Pilot Studies of Embedded Pragmatic Clinical Trials in Dementia Care

Brody, A. A., Barnes, D. E., Chodosh, J., Galvin, J. E., Hepburn, K. W., Troxel, A. B., Hom, K., McCarthy, E. P., & Unroe, K. T. (2020). Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 68, S14-S20. 10.1111/jgs.16618
Abstract
Abstract
Sixteen million caregivers currently provide care to more than 5 million persons living with dementia (PLWD) in the United States. Although this population is growing and highly complex, evidence-based management remains poorly integrated within healthcare systems. Therefore, the National Institute on Aging IMPACT Collaboratory was formed to build the nation's ability to conduct embedded pragmatic clinical trials (ePCTs) for PLWD and their caregivers. The pilot core of the IMPACT Collaboratory seeks to provide funds for upward of 40 pilots for ePCTs to accelerate the testing of nonpharmacologic interventions with the goal that these pilots lead to full-scale ePCTs and eventually the embedding of evidence-based care into healthcare systems. The first two challenges for the pilot core in building the pilot study program were (1) to develop a transparent, ethical, and open nationwide process for soliciting, reviewing, and selecting pilot studies; and (2) to begin the process of describing the necessary components of a pilot study for an ePCT. During our initial funding cycle, we received 35 letters of intent, of which 17 were accepted for a full proposal and 14 were submitted. From this process we learned that investigators lack knowledge in ePCTs, many interventions lack readiness for an ePCT pilot study, and many proposed studies lack key pragmatic design elements. We therefore have set three key criteria that future pilot studies must meet at a minimum to be considered viable. We additionally discuss key design decisions investigators should consider in designing a pilot study for an ePCT. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:S14–S20, 2020.

A Descriptive Analysis of an Ambulatory Kidney Palliative Care Program

Scherer, J. S., Harwood, K., Frydman, J. L., Moriyama, D., Brody, A. A., Modersitzki, F., Blaum, C. S., & Chodosh, J. (2020). Journal of Palliative Medicine, 23(2), 259-263. 10.1089/jpm.2018.0647
Abstract
Abstract
Background: Many patients with serious kidney disease have an elevated symptom burden, high mortality, and poor quality of life. Palliative care has the potential to address these problems, yet nephrology patients frequently lack access to this specialty. Objectives: We describe patient demographics and clinical activities of the first 13 months of an ambulatory kidney palliative care (KPC) program that is integrated within a nephrology practice. Design/Measurements: Utilizing chart abstractions, we characterize the clinic population served, clinical service utilization, visit activities, and symptom burden as assessed using the Integrated Palliative Care Outcome Scale-Renal (IPOS-R), and patient satisfaction. Results: Among the 55 patients served, mean patient age was 72.0 years (standard deviation [SD] = 16.7), 95% had chronic kidney disease stage IV or V, and 46% had a Charlson Comorbidity Index >8. The mean IPOS-R score at initial visit was 16 (range = 0-60; SD = 9.1), with a mean of 7.5 (SD = 3.7) individual physical symptoms (range = 0-15) per patient. Eighty-seven percent of initial visits included an advance care planning conversation, 55.4% included a medication change for symptoms, and 35.5% included a dialysis decision-making conversation. Overall, 96% of patients who returned satisfaction surveys were satisfied with the care they received and viewed the KPC program positively. Conclusions: A model of care that integrates palliative care with nephrology care in the ambulatory setting serves high-risk patients with serious kidney disease. This KPC program can potentially meet documented gaps in care while achieving patient satisfaction. Early findings from this program evaluation indicate opportunities for enhanced patient-centered palliative nephrology care.

Family- And person-centered interdisciplinary telehealth: Policy and practice implications following onset of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Impact of Aliviado Dementia Care—Hospice Edition Training Program on Hospice Staff's Dementia Symptom Knowledge

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Abstract
Abstract
Context: As the aging population grows, the incidence of dementia continues to increase substantially. However, the lack of a significant geriatric health care workforce as well as little dementia training among generalist health care workers leads to suboptimal care for persons living with dementia (PLWD). In particular, few evidence-based interventions exist to improve the quality of dementia care among hospice interdisciplinary teams caring for PLWD. Aliviado Dementia Care—Hospice Edition is a quality assurance and performance improvement program that includes training, mentoring, and workflow enhancements, which aims to improve quality of hospice care provided to PLWD and their caregivers. Objectives: To determine the effectiveness of the Aliviado Dementia Care program in increasing dementia symptom knowledge of hospice interdisciplinary team members. Methods: About 53 hospice team members from two diverse hospices, consisting of social workers, chaplains, physicians, and nurses, participated in the Aliviado training program. In this prepost trial, 39 participants completed the Dementia Symptom Knowledge Assessment before and after completion of the program. Results: Paired t-tests showed significant differences before and after Aliviado training in depression knowledge and confidence, as well as behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) knowledge, confidence, and interventions. The greatest percent change increases were in depression (15.2%) and BPSD (13.3%) confidence as well as BPSD interventions (18.4%). Qualitative feedback consistently emphasized that trainees could now effectively assess their patients for specific symptoms such as pain and agitation. Conclusion: Aliviado is an evidence-based system-level intervention that improves clinical knowledge, attitudes, and confidence in treating PLWD enrolled in hospice.

Paid caregiver communication with homebound older adults,their families, and the health careteam

Reckrey, J. M., Geduldig, E. T., Lindquist, L. A., Sean Morrison, R., Boerner, K., Federman, A. D., & Brody, A. A. (2020). Gerontologist, 60(4), 745-753. 10.1093/geront/gnz067
Abstract
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Although paid caregivers (e.g., home health aides and home care workers) provide essential care for homebound older adults with serious illness in their homes, little is known about how and to whom paid caregivers communicate about the health needs they encounter. This study explored how paid caregivers (i) communicate when older adults experience symptoms or clinical changes and (ii) interact with the health care team. Research Design and Methods: We conducted separate one-on-one, semi-structured interviews (n = 30) lasting 40-60 min with homebound older adults (or their proxies if they had cognitive impairment) and their paid caregivers (provided they had worked with the older adult for ≥8 hr per week for ≥6 months). Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded. Results: Thematic analysis identified four themes: (i) older adults or their families were the gatekeepers to paid caregiver communication with the health care team; (ii) communication between older adults, their families, and paid caregivers was enhanced when close relationships were present; (iii) paid caregivers responded to health care team inquiries but rarely communicated proactively; and (4) most older adults, families, and paid caregivers were satisfied with existing paid caregiver communication with the health care team. Discussion and Implications: Rather than discuss concerns with the health care team, paid caregivers communicated directly with older adults or their families about the health needs they encounter. Understanding how communication occurs in the home is the first step to maximizing the potentially positive impact of paid caregivers on the health of older adults living at home.

Protocol for an embedded pragmatic clinical trial to test the effectiveness of Aliviado Dementia Care in improving quality of life for persons living with dementia and their informal caregivers

Bristol, A. A., Convery, K. A., Sotelo, V., Schneider, C. E., Lin, S. Y., Fletcher, J., Rupper, R., Galvin, J. E., & Brody, A. A. (2020). Contemporary Clinical Trials, 93. 10.1016/j.cct.2020.106005
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction: Persons living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) frequently experience pain and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) which decrease quality of life (QOL) and influence caregiver burden. Home healthcare professionals however may underrecognize or lack the ability to manage BPSD. Intervention: This protocol describes an ADRD palliative quality assurance performance improvement program for home healthcare, Aliviado Dementia Care-Home Health Edition. It includes training, mentoring, and a toolbox containing intervention strategies. Methods: This embedded pragmatic clinical trial will utilize a multi-site, cluster randomized control design. Recruitment will occur from three home healthcare agencies located in New Jersey, Utah, and Florida. At each agency, care teams will be randomized as clusters and assigned to either the Aliviado Dementia Care program or usual care. We plan to enroll 345 persons living with ADRD and their informal caregiver dyads. The primary outcome will be to measure QOL in both the person living with ADRD and their informal caregiver, and emergency department visits and hospital admissions. Secondary outcomes in the person living with ADRD will include the examination of pain, BPSD, antipsychotic and analgesic use. Secondary outcomes in caregivers include burden, depressive symptoms, functional health and wellbeing, and healthcare utilization. Conclusion: This study will be the first large-scale embedded pragmatic clinical trial in home healthcare focused on care quality and outcomes in addressing QOL in ADRD. If proven successful, the intervention can then be disseminated to agencies throughout the country to improve the quality of care for this vulnerable, underserved population. Trial registration: Clinical Trials.gov: NCT03255967.

A Qualitative Analysis of the Delivery of Person-Centered Nutrition to Asian Americans With Dementia in the Adult Day Health Care Setting

Sadarangani, T., Chong, S., Park, S., Missaelides, L., Johnson, J., Trinh-Shevrin, C., & Brody, A. (2020). Journal of Applied Gerontology. 10.1177/0733464820910030
Abstract
Abstract
Adult day service centers (ADSCs) provide community-based long-term care, including meals, to racially diverse older adults, 47% of whom have dementia and consequently experience elevated nutritional risk. We examine nutritional behaviors for Chinese and Vietnamese persons living with dementia (PLWD) in ADSCs and evaluate the extent to which ADSCs provide person-centered nutritional care. Multi-stakeholder interviews were conducted. Data were coded using Dedoose and analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s six-step method. The Model for the Provision of Good Nutritional Care in Dementia guided analysis. Barriers to food intake included distracting meal environment, rigid mealtimes, and excessively restrictive diets. Conversely, peer relationships, culturally tailored meals and celebrations, and consistent staff assisting with feeding benefited PLWD. ADSCs can support healthy nutritional behaviors and quality of life among PLWD through person-centered nutritional care. To optimize nutritional services, further exploration is needed with respect to the ADSC environment, users’ culture and ethnicity, and liberalized diets for PLWD.

Race, Ethnicity, and Other Risks for Live Discharge Among Hospice Patients with Dementia

Luth, E. A., Russell, D. J., Brody, A. A., Dignam, R., Czaja, S. J., Ryvicker, M., Bowles, K. H., & Prigerson, H. G. (2020). Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 68(3), 551-558. 10.1111/jgs.16242
Abstract
Abstract
OBJECTIVES: The end-of-life trajectory for persons with dementia is often protracted and difficult to predict, placing these individuals at heightened risk of live discharge from hospice. Risks for live discharge due to condition stabilization or failure to decline among patients with dementia are not well established. Our aim was to identify demographic, health, and hospice service factors associated with live discharge due to condition stabilization or failure to decline among hospice patients with dementia. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: A large not-for-profit agency in New York City. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2629 hospice patients with dementia age 65 years and older. MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcome was live discharge from hospice due to condition stabilization or failure to decline (vs death). Measures include demographic factors (race/ethnicity, Medicaid, sex, age, marital status, parental status), health characteristics (primary dementia diagnosis, comorbidities, functional status, prior hospitalization), and hospice service (location, length of service, number and timing of nurse visits). RESULTS: Logistic regression models indicated that compared with white hospice patients with dementia, African American and Hispanic hospice patients with dementia experienced increased risk of live discharge (African American: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.42; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.34-4.38; Hispanic: aOR = 2.99; 95% CI = 1.81-4.94). Home hospice (aOR = 7.57; 95% CI = 4.04-14.18), longer length of service (aOR = 1.04; 95% CI = 1.04-1.05), and more days between nurse visits and discharge (aOR = 1.86; 95% CI = 1.56-2.21) were also associated with live discharge. CONCLUSION: To avoid burdensome and disruptive transitions out of hospice in patients with dementia, interventions to reduce live discharge due to condition stabilization or failure to decline should be tailored to meet the needs of African American, Hispanic, and home hospice patients. Policies regarding sustained hospice eligibility should account for the variable and protracted end-of-life trajectory of patients with dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:551–558, 2020.

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