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The Atlanta Research & Education Foundation is designed to facilitate collaborations between the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Atlanta and other institutions. We welcome your interest in our facility, personnel, and research capabilities.

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Investigator: Katharina Echt
Phone: (404) 321-6111 ext. 6323
Primary Research Interest: Psychology
Description of Research: Generally my research is concerned with understanding the sensory, cognitive, and psychosocial factors that affect health, functional capacity and quality of life. Primarily we have conducted studies to identify, so as to develop strategies and intervention approaches to accommodate, the sensory and cognitive decrements that contribute to losses in health self-management capacity and independence, particularly among aging veterans. Health self-management encompasses health literacy, treatment decision making, health-related problem solving and medication management and adherence. I am currently engaged in research focused on 1) the evaluation of a Glaucoma treatment adherence intervention, 2) identifying predictors of medication management and adherence in visually impaired veterans, 3) understanding preferences and attitudes involved in treatment decision making in men with early stage prostate cancer, and 4) enhancing the self-management of veterans with dual sensory impairment.
Relevance to VA: Our work is directly related to the Department of Veterans Affairs mission to provide quality health care and thus improve and maintain the quality of life and independence for its constituents. It is well established, for instance, that medication non-adherence and low health literacy are important threats to patient safety and to the maintenance of independence, especially in aging. The goal of helping patients and providers better understand the potential risk factors for poor health self-management and providing an evidence-base to guide targeted interventions is critical to the VA mission.

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