A number of important concepts related to health and well-being are internal and subjective, like quality of life. Cohen's research aims to assess these internal concepts more effectively, so that research and clinical activities can better serve persons with disorders of language and cognition and their families.
In recent years, the National Institutes of Health have funded the creation and dissemination of high quality health questionnaires (also called patient-reported outcome measures). These measures are becoming increasingly important for evidence-based practice and value-based reimbursement for clinical services. However, the scores that these new measures produce are not optimally interpretable or actionable for adults with disorders of language and cognition (i.e. stroke, brain injury, or Alzheimer’s disease). For example, it is not clear what score ranges represent “mild” “moderate” or “severe” symptom levels, or when new clinical action is required. Dr. Cohen's project uses focus groups with patients, family members and expert clinicians, as well as advanced psychometric approaches, to help assign clinical meaning to new health questionnaires that are relevant to adults with cognitive and language disorders. In line with the Moore Foundation’s commitment to “bringing patient and family voices to decisions about care,” the ultimate goal of this project is to allow clinicians and researchers to better quantify and act on the patient’s report of his or her health, in a way that is line with perspective of the patient and their family.
Special Projects in Patient Care
University of Delaware, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders