Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 915-919

First online:

Making General Internal Medicine Research Relevant to the Older Patient with Multiple Chronic Comorbidities

  • Lee A. LindquistAffiliated withDivision of Geriatrics and General Internal Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Kenneth CovinskyAffiliated withDivision of Geriatrics, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
  • , Kenneth M. LangaAffiliated withDivision of General Internal Medicine, University of Michigan School of MedicineVA Ann Arbor Center for Clinical Management Research
  • , Brent G. PettyAffiliated withDivision of Clinical Pharmacology and Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • , Brent C. WilliamsAffiliated withDivision of General Internal Medicine, University of Michigan School of Medicine
  • , Jean S. KutnerAffiliated withDivision of General Internal Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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General Internal Medicine research evolves in response to the needs of the patients to whom we provide care. Currently, many studies exclude older adults who deeply affect the clinical care of this population. With the number of older adults increasing, creating research protocols that include older adults with multiple chronic comorbidities is imperative. Through funding from the Association of Specialty Physicians, a working group of aging-responsive researchers from the Society of General Internal Medicine was convened to tackle this issue. The goal of this article is threefold: 1) to shed light on the current exclusion of older adults in research; 2) to identify and propose research protocol solutions for overcoming barriers to including older adults in research; and 3) to provide suggestions for research funding. The extent to which these recommendations can create change depends greatly on our researcher colleagues. By embracing these challenges, we hope that the care provided to older adults with multiple chronic conditions will no longer be extrapolated, but become evidence-based.