General Internal Medicine Research
The research interests of physicians and faculty of the Section of General Internal Medicine are diverse. Some of the funding sources for this research include: the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the American Cancer Society (ACS); and the state of North Carolina.
The goal of FOCUS is to examine a transfusion strategy for those patients with cardiovascular disease who are having surgery to repair a hip fracture. Specifically, the study wants to determine if a more aggressive transfusion strategy in these patients is associated with improved functional recovery and decreased risk of adverse postoperative outcomes such as acute myocardial infarction or death.
David P. Miller, Jr., MD, MS, FACP, conducts educational and health services research. His current educational research projects include two curriculum development grants targeting medical students and primary care residents. Dr. Miller is co-investigator on the Nutrition, Exercise, and Weight Management Lifestyle Intervention (NEW Lifestyle) grant. This 5-year educational study is funded by the National Cancer Institute and headed by John Spangler, MD MPH (Community and Family Medicine). This study will develop and test the effectiveness of a culturally sensitive web-based medical school curriculum designed to teach medical students skills in obesity prevention and treatment. He is also a co-investigator and site coordinator for the Southeastern Consortium on Substance Abuse Training, a multisite project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This consortium is developing a comprehensive 3-year program to train primary care residents on how to appropriately identify and intervene with patients who misuse and/or abuse alcohol and other drugs.
Dr. Miller’s health services research focuses on using computer-assisted instruction to overcome health literacy barriers. Computer-assisted instruction, or using computers to deliver an educational message, offers many advantages over traditional printed brochures and medical lectures. Namely, computer-based educational programs can engage the adult learner through multimedia, interactivity, and custom tailoring of the message. By using audio, video, graphics, and animations, computer-assisted instruction can also overcome the literacy barriers that affect approximately one-third of Americans. Dr. Miller’s recently completed research projects include a randomized-controlled trial of a web-based colorectal cancer screening decision aid for low literacy individuals, funded by a career development award from the American Cancer Society. The decision aid is freely available for viewing at intmedweb.wakehealth.edu/choice/choice.html.
David Mount, MD, has been awarded a minority supplement from the NIH-sponsored Look AHEAD and ACCORD clinical trials.
Carolyn F. Pedley, MD, continues her work with the NIH-sponsored ACCORD trial. Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes trial (ACCORD), and is the PI in another NIH-sponsored study, Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), which will evaluate the benefits of tight blood pressure control in patients with high risk factors for cardiovascular events. She is also the COPI of Care Now, a grant funded by Medicaid to improve clinical outcomes in high risk Medicaid patients utilizing health navigators at Wake Forest University Downtown Health Plaza. She is coinvestigator in the HELP PD trial, which is a NIH funded study to prevent diabetes in high risk individuals through a program of weight loss, through diet and exercise, utilizing health advisors. She is PI in the TECOS trial, a multicentered trial sponsored by Merck and managed by Duke Clinical Research Institute, to evaluate the cardiac benefits of sitagliptin in high risk diabetics.