Christine Kovach, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Affiliated Scientist

College of Nursing

Interests & Expertise:
My research seeks to alleviate the range of human suffering that comes in the context of dementia. I have led a multidisciplinary team to establish a productive program of clinical intervention research in long-term care. Interventions incorporate technology and clinical decision support and are focused on three key areas:

  1. Symptom detection and treatment;
  2. Environmental interventions;
  3. Decreasing the burden of comorbid and iatrogenic problems

We value and have successfully moved efficacious interventions into translational work and public policy in the state of Wisconsin and nationally. I developed the highly effective Serial Trial Intervention (STI) for assessing and treating pain and other unmet needs in people with dementia who can no longer clearly or consistently communicate symptoms and needs. To see Dr. Kovach’s full profile, click here. Click here to see Dr. Kovach’s vitae.

Current Projects:
1. Track & Trigger Treatment (T3) Protocol to Stop Ineffective Drug and Non-Drug Treatment of People with Dementia Team: Christine Kovach PI, David Weissman, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Medical College of Wisconsin; Scott Adams PhD Economics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Mohammad Rababa and Barbara Hekel, Research Associates.

  • This research study has involved developing a new Track and Trigger Treatment (T3) Protocol tool for nursing home staff to use to stop ineffective and unneeded drug and non-drug treatments for people with dementia in nursing homes.

2. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) and the Prescribing Cascade Team: Christine Kovach PI, David Weissman, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Medical College of Wisconsin; Scott Adams PhD Economics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Mohammad Rababa and Amal Al-Ghassani, Research Associates.

  • This is a study of whether the high use of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) in nursing home residents represents a prescribing cascade. PPIs are widely used to treat symptoms of dyspepsia, esophagitis, and ulcer. While PPIs are thought of as safe for short-term use, long-term use is associated with increased incidence of hip fracture and serious infections.
  • The purpose of this study is to examine the use of PPIs and factors associated with nursing home residents being prescribed a PPI. Because of the high use of multivitamins and supplements and the problems caused by high anticholinergic burden in older adults, we are particularly interested in examining the association of these categories of drugs to PPI use.

Both of these studies are funded by the Helen Bader Foundation, Jewish Home Foundation and the Retirement Research Foundation.

Most Recent Publications:

Dermody, G., & Kovach, C. R. (2018). Barriers to promoting mobility in hospitalized older adults.Research in Gerontological Nursing11(1), 17-27.

Kovach, C. R., Evans, C. R., Sattell, L., Rosenau, K., & Gopalakrishnan, S. (2018). Feasibility and pilot testing of a mindfulness intervention for frail older adults and individuals with dementia.Research in Gerontological Nursing11(3), 137-150.

Kovach, C. R., Ellis, J. L., & Schiffman, R. F. (2018). Is assisted self-management a viable concept for individuals with cognitive impairment? , 11(3), 116-117.
Kovach, C. R. (2018). Maintaining trust in science. , 11(4), 171-173.

Richards, K.C. & Kovach, C.R. (2017). Comorbid Nighttime Agitation, Sleep Disturbance, and Restless Legs Syndrome What Next? Research in Gerontological Nursing, 10(4), 151-153. doi:10.3928/19404921-20170621-01