Beth Fields, PhD, OTR/L



Beth Fields, PhD, OTR/L is a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Pittsburgh supported by the Center for Caregiving Research, Education and Policy, and in the VA Pittsburgh supported by the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center and the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion. Beth has acquired skills in qualitative research methods and intervention development and testing. She is currently learning health systems conceptual frameworks, performance indicators, and multilevel statistical methods and models. Her work is informed by occupational therapy and science, disability studies, rehabilitation science, gerontology, psychology, and nursing. Beth is committed to growing interdisciplinary collaborations to advance the translation of findings into improved health care policy, services and outcomes for aging adults and family caregivers. Her recent research efforts include:

  • Use of nonpharmacological, environment-based interventions for improving quality of life of older adults with dementia residing in institutional care facilities
  • Investigation of tools and approaches for preparing family caregivers to fulfill care responsibilities of older adults with decreased health and functional status
  • Examination of system and individual-level factors as each relate to family caregiver involvement in care and how each mitigate or promote successful caregiving effort

Dr. Fields acquired skills in qualitative research methods and intervention development and testing through her doctoral studies at Colorado State University and pursued postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh focused on health systems research design and methodologies. Beth completed one year of postdoctoral training (07/2017 – 06/2018) in the Department of Occupational Therapy. During this training, she helped lead research for The Caregiver Project, a large health system-health policy institute collaborative funded by the Pittsburgh Foundation. As part of the research team, Beth investigated characteristics of family caregiver assessments used in hospitals and analyzed the relationship of family caregiver health literacy and communication with health providers and navigation of health services and supports. She conducted observations and documented health providers’ demonstration of understanding and implementation of the CARE Act. She is presently finishing up evaluations on the facilitators and barriers to including and training family caregivers of hospitalized patients. Beth is involved in a secondary data analysis of cross-sectional data to examine the role of race on positive and negative aspects of family caregiving. Beth is committed to growing interdisciplinary collaborations to advance her research efforts and help transform the health and quality of life of aging adults and their family caregivers.