Rahul Malhotra

Assistant Professor

Head of Research


Dr. Rahul Malhotra is a physician-researcher, working as Assistant Professor, Health Services and Systems Research (HSSR), and Deputy Director and Head of Research, Centre for Ageing Research and Education (CARE) at the Duke-NUS Medical School.

The primary area of his research is ageing, at the individual and the population level. The geographical focus of his research is Singapore, with some work in other Asian countries. Key research projects that he has led or is leading include (1) nationally representative longitudinal surveys of older Singaporeans (PHASE and THE SIGNS Study), studying the predictors and outcomes of change in physical, psychological and social health of older adults, (2) longitudinal quantitative and qualitative studies (TRACE and The Quali-T Study) of older Singaporean-family caregiver dyads, assessing the patterns, correlates and consequences of changes in caregiving-related outcomes over time, and (3) a health services research project (PROMISE), providing the evidence base for older person-centred prescription medication labels.

He has published over 175 peer-reviewed papers in the medical, public health and social science literature. He is a member of the World Health Organization’s Consortium on Metrics and Evidence for Healthy Ageing, and served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council for Healthy Ageing and Longevity for the 2020-2021 term. He received his basic (MBBS) and advanced (MD in Community Medicine) medical training at the University of Delhi, India, and public health (MPH) training at Harvard University, USA.

Google Scholar Profile

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Dr. Rahul Malhotra's primary area of research is ageing, at the individual and the population level. Secondary areas of research include chronic diseases and their risk factors, maternal and child health, and health promotion interventions.

His past, current and future research in ageing focuses on the development of evidence that enables understanding, measurement and alleviation of vulnerability – i.e., the increased risk of adverse outcomes – resulting from physical, psychological, social and health-service factors among older adults and their caregivers.

Specific research foci are

(1) Correlates and outcomes of physical and psychosocial health

(2) Caregiving

(3) Health communication and health literacy

(4) Development and/or validation of scales for measuring physical, psychological or social constructs

(5) Health expectancy

Selected publications, from over 175 publications till date.

  1. Malhotra R, Chan A, Malhotra C, Østbye T. Validity and reliability of the Caregiver Reaction Assessment scale among primary informal caregivers for older persons in Singapore. Aging & Mental Health. 2012; 16(8): 1004-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2012.702728
  2. Malhotra R, Malhotra C, Chan A, Østbye T. Life-course socioeconomic status and obesity among older Singaporean Chinese men and women. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences Social Sciences. 2013; 68(1): 117-127. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbs102
  3. Malhotra R, Ang S, Allen JC, Tan NC, Østbye T, Saito Y, Chan A. Normative values of hand grip strength for elderly Singaporeans aged 60 to 89 years: A cross-sectional study. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 2016; 17(9): 864.e1-864.e7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2016.06.013
  4. Siow JYM, Chan A, Østbye T, Cheng H-L G, Malhotra R. Validity and reliability of the Positive Aspects of Caregiving (PAC) scale and development of its shorter version (S-PAC) among family caregivers of older adults. The Gerontologist. 2017; 57 (4): e75-e84. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnw198
  5. Chei CL, Lee J M-L, Ma S, Malhotra R. Happy older people live longer. Age and Ageing. 2018; 47 (6): 860-866. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afy128
  6. Malhotra R, Bautista MA, Tan NC, Tang WE, Tay S, Tan A, Pouliot A, Saffari SE, Chei CL, Vaillancourt R. Bilingual text with or without pictograms improves elderly Singaporeans’ understanding of prescription medication labels. The Gerontologist. 2019; 59 (2): 378-390. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnx169
  7. Malhotra R, Bautista MAC, Müller AM, Aw S, Koh GCH, Theng Y-L, Hoskins SJ, Wong CH, Miao C, Lim WS, Malhotra C, Chan A. The Aging of a Young Nation: Population Aging in Singapore. The Gerontologist. 2019; 59(3): 401-410. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gny160
  8. Chan A, Saito Y, Matchar DB, Østbye T, Malhotra C, Ang S, Ma S, Malhotra R. Cohort Profile: Panel on Health and Ageing of Singaporean Elderly (PHASE). Int J Epidemiol. 2019; 48(6): 1750-1751f. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyz172.
  9. Malhotra R, Tareque MI, Saito Y, Ma S, Chiu C-T, Chan A. Loneliness and health expectancy among older adults: a longitudinal population-based study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2021; 69(11): 3092-3102. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.17343
  10. Malhotra R, Suppiah S, Tan YW, Tay SCS, Tan SYV, Tang WE, Tan NC, Wong YHR, Chan A, Koh GC-H, Vaillancourt R, on behalf of the PROMISE Study Group. Validation of pharmaceutical pictograms among older adults with limited English proficiency. Patient Education and Counseling. 2022; 105(4): 909-916. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2021.07.015