The Assessment, Intervention and Measurement (AIM) Core offers a range of services that includes both research support and data support.
Most of our services are priced based upon the hours of effort by core staff to complete the request. The fitness and body composition assessments are priced on a per-test basis. Detailed cost estimates are provided to investigators prior to the execution of any service agreements.
Our services include:
- Assistance with grant proposals is provided at no charge, if the AIM services are included in the grant budget
- Select items from our library (e.g., questionnaires in the public domain and validation articles) are provided at no charge. We also provide information on the required permission or license fees for questionnaire administration. We can provide more extensive research for specific measures for a small fee.
Clinical Research Support
- Development and maintenance of a patient-reported outcomes (PRO) questionnaire library
- Questionnaire selection and/or development
- Protocol assistance and submission
- Data collection procedure development
- Data collection by phone, mail, Internet, and in clinic as well as questionnaire data entry
- Qualitative data collection including focus groups and structured interviews
- Design and development of recruitment and participant tracking databases
- Computerized randomization modules (either simple or adaptive)
- Computer-assisted data collection instruments and procedures
- Set up of computerized adaptive tests for PROs, using tools developed by the Patient Reported Measurement Information System (PROMIS) network (an NIH Roadmap Initiative)
- Develop web-based surveys
- Preparation of data sets for analysis
- Psychometric analysis
Mobile/Web Technology Support
- Website design, development, and maintenance (internal, public facing)
- Mobile applications design, development, and maintenance (Smartphone, Smartwatch)
- Development of mobile applications for Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA), including optional participant compensation component
- Development of sensor application programming interface (API) scripts for Ecological Momentary Interventions (EMI)
- Design of SMS/MMS texting systems for mobile interventions
- Development of custom Content Management System (CMS) for website or mobile management by customer
- Graphic design for websites and mobile applications
- Social media development including programming of Facebook apps and widgets
Fitness & Body Composition Assessments
- VO2 Max testing
- Accelerometers to measure activity, including the ability to lease accelerometers for a study
- Anthropometric measurements
- Physical functioning tests
- Strength assessments using the Biodex system
- DXA scans for research purposes
- Perometer assessment for lymphedema
- Exercise sessions
- Venous blood draws
The following equipment is available for these assessments:
Metabolic carts (3): The ParvoMedics True One® 2400 Metabolic Measurement System measures inspiratory/expiratory gases for assessing cardiovascular functionality as well as estimating energy expenditures. The Parvo Medics True One 2400 is a complete, integrated metabolic measurement system for maximal oxygen consumption testing and indirect calorimetry assessment.
Electrocardiogram (ECG; 3): The Quinton Q-Stress® System for cardiac monitoring (ECG) has programming capabilities for individualized or standard protocol as well as alarming, recording and printing capabilities.
Treadmill (1): The Tracmaster TMX 425C is also programmable and can be interfaced to both the ParvoMedics System and the Quinton Q-Stress® System.
Cycle ergometers (2): The Lode Corival V2 is programmable and interfaces to the ParvoMedics System.
Biodex: The Biodex Multi-Joint System is a robotic dynamometer used for testing and rehabilitation of muscle function. The system can assess strength in the knee, ankle, hip, shoulder, elbow, forearm, and wrist, and has multiple modes of operation (isokinetic, passive, isometric, isotonic, and reactive eccentric).
Perometer: A portable Pero-system Messgeraete GmbH manual perometer, type 1000M (Wuppertal, Germany; distributed in the US by Juzo USA), which measures limb circumference and volume using infrared light to scan an image of the limb.
DXA: The Hologic Bone Densitometer (Discovery A) provides assessment of body composition (fat, lean tissue % and mass) and bone mineral density.
Gait analysis: The CIR Systems, Inc. GAITRite Portable Walkway System provides temporal-spatial measures of gait with calibrated pressure, and uses a real-time motion capture system to evaluate and measure body movements, body mechanics and the activity of the muscles.
Safety equipment: Within 30 feet of the exercise laboratory rooms is a fully equipped institution-standard emergency crash cart. The cart is complete with emergency drugs, oxygen tank, ventilation equipment, and a Zoll M series biphasic portable defibrillator/pacer. Within 10 feet of the exercise laboratory rooms is a Zoll series automatic external defibrillator (AED).
The AIM Library site is one of MD Anderson's sources for obtaining information about questionnaires that can be used in psychological, behavioral and quality of life studies. The AIM library database gives all MD Anderson faculty and staff access to information on over 100 questionnaires that have been used in these types of studies.
The library contains information about the author, the purpose of the questionnaire, related articles and number of items in the questionnaire. The library also provides information on the cost of using the questionnaire and the translations available.
Core Grant Citation
This Core is funded by NCI # CA016672. Publications should cite the Core grant in the acknowledgment section, if publications use data generated with the assistance of the Core facility. Two copies of the publication acknowledging the Core grant should also be submitted to the AIM Core, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Unit 1330, Houston, TX, 77030.