School of Pharmacy News & Media Center

The University of Mississippi

Professor’s research paper selected for international award

Posted on: February 24th, 2015 by enparson
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John P. Bentley

October 30, 2014

A University of Mississippi professor’s article has been selected for an honor from the International Society for Quality of Life Research.

Written by pharmacy administration professor John P. Bentley, “Functional status, life-space mobility and quality of life: a longitudinal mediation analysis” received the Outstanding Article of the Year Award at ISOQOL’s annual conference in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 18.

“We are so proud of Dr. Bentley for this wonderful recognition of his work,” said Donna West-Strum, pharmacy administration’s chair. “His expertise in the area of quality of life measurement is unparalleled, and this award speaks to that.”

The article was published in 2013 in Quality of Life Research. It focuses on Wilson and Cleary’s model of patient outcomes. The model is considered the gold standard for analyzing how different biologic and physiologic variables, such as blood pressure, affect quality of life.

In his paper, Bentley took an unusual approach to expand on the model. He used data collected over an extended period of time to determine the effect of functional status on quality of life as mediated through life-space mobility. He collaborated with Cynthia J. Brown, Gerald McGwin Jr., Patricia Sawyer and Richard M. Allman of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and David L. Roth of Johns Hopkins University on the study.

“To our knowledge, we were the first to do this with longitudinal data,” Bentley said. “No one has looked at mediated relationships implied by Wilson and Cleary’s model over time.” The paper resulted from Bentley’s dissertation work in biostatistics at UAB, which methodologically examined longitudinal mediation models. Roth, who is now director of the Center for Aging and Health at Johns Hopkins, was his adviser.

“The methods that John used are very innovative,” Roth said. “He addressed a common problem in quality of life research by looking at changes over time to determine which changes occur first and the cause and effect relationships among them.”

Bentley and Roth point out that the greatest finding from the paper’s results is that mobility unquestionably plays a role in quality of life.

“Even if you are becoming disabled, you should still stay physically active and get out of the house,” Roth said. “This article confirms the importance of maintaining mobility for high quality of life.”

Bentley said the award was “extremely humbling.”

“When you think about health-related quality of life research from an international perspective, there are people all over the world doing research in these areas,” he said. “They are not usually based in pharmacy schools, so I was floored when I heard that this paper was selected. It was humbling and a little overwhelming too.”