Research Projects in Women's Health
Rates of anxiety and depression are especially high in women with family healthcare stressors. Much of our lab's focus is on women who care for aging family members, life partners, and friends, including those living with fatal neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease. For more information about the Alzheimer's epidemic, watch this short video.
Our interventions for women caregivers use cognitive behavioral strategies to promote well-being and functioning (Steffen, Gant & Gallagher-Thompson 2008.pdf). We are currently funded (2013-2015) by the Express Scripts Grants Program to develop and test an online health education intervention for caregivers, examining impacts on healthcare utilization, medication management, caregiving self-efficacy and psychosocial functioning.
Concurrently, we are examining additional aspects of women's health, including obesity and the role of emotional eating in caregivers, stressors associated with managing complex medication regimens for older family members and friends, and sexuality in women across the lifespan.
For an overview of how lifespan developmental theory frames our approaches to caregiving issues, click here to listen to Dr. Steffen's (2008) presentation to the St. Louis Ethical Society.