Applying the Age-Friendly Health Systems 4M Framework to Create Geriatric Education

Document Type

Published Abstract


Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Publication Date





Supplement 1

First Page


Last Page



Occupational Therapy


Background: Through our four Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Programs (GWEP) and Geriatric Academic Career Awards (GACA), our universities have developed innovate ways to integrate Age-Friendly principles into our education. Additionally, our programs pivoted during COVID-19 to virtual and hybrid learning environments by grounding our work in age-friendly principles.

Methods: Each of our programs have developed curriculum to align with the primary principles of the 4M Model which includes 1) What Matters Most, 2) Medications, 3) Mentation, and 4) Mobility. While the implementation varied among our GWEPs/GACAs, collectively, we have created geriatric training that has focused on the 4Ms. At Dominican University, learners were engaged in an intergenerational project that paired them with community dwelling older adults, where they focused on creating life profiles that highlighted key elements of the 4Ms in their own lives. At the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago and Univ. of Louisville, learners were trained specifically in how to align 4M content with annual wellness visits (AWVs) and screenings using multiple hybrid modalites. At the Univ. of North Texas, an online course was created to teach learners the principles of 4Ms and included a forum for discussing application and barriers for implementation in practice. Pre and post tests on knowledge and skill, chart reviews, and qualitative interviews were used to assess learning outcomes related to age-friendly content.

Results: Across all of our GWEPs and GACAs, 500 learners have participated in our age-friendly clinical training. Our study found that using different methods to integrate age-friendly principles into our clinical curriculum has created positive learning experiences and shifted focused towards better patient care. Additionally, we have found that the infusion of age-friendly healthcare into our work has led to stronger patient outcomes including a focus on the priorities and goals of the patient.

Conclusions: While COVID-19 has posed a challenge in delivering geriatric education, our programs have found innovative and meaningful ways to train learners in clinical work using the principles of age-friendly healthcare.