Dr. VanHaitsma is a Clinical Geropsychologist with a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She is Professor in the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing and Director of the Program for Person Centered Living Systems of Care (PPCLSC) located in the The Tressa Nese and Helen Diskevich Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (CGNE). She also serves as Adjunct Research Scientist at the Polisher Research Institute, Abramson Senior Care. Dr. VanHaitsma provides mentorship to doctoral and post-doctoral level students. From a research perspective, she has been the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on more than 35 grants as well as consultant on additional grants awarded from federal, state and foundation sources. Over her career, she has published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, many of which are co-published with former students. Dr. VanHaitsma’s areas of research include: development and testing of various mental health education and intervention approaches; innovative methodological and measurement development; and testing intervention and implementation strategies that facilitate the uptake of evidence-based, person-centered preference-informed care practices targeting older adults with multiple chronic care conditions. For a summary of work specific to preference based living activities, see www.preferencebasedliving.com.
PhD, Nursing (Focus: Aging), University of Iowa
MSN, Adult and Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program, University of Iowa
BSN, Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan
Honors and Awards
|2022–2023||Faculty Scholar, NIA IMPACT Collaboratory.|
|2022||Fellow, Gerontological Society of America (FGSA).|
|2021||Alzheimer’s Association Interdisciplinary Summer Research Institute.|
|2019||Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing Award, National Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE).|
|2018–2020||Selected Faculty for the Distinguished Honors Faculty Program, Pennsylvania State University.|
|2015||Developing Behavioral Interventions Scholarship, Johns Hopkins Summer Research Institute.|
|2013||Myrtle Aydelotte Doctoral Education Fund in Nursing Award, University of Iowa|
|2013||Graduate College Summer Fellowship, University of Iowa|
|2013||Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence Travel Award, University of Iowa|
|2013||Etta Rasmussen Professional Development Award, University of Iowa|
|2012||International Programs Graduate Student Travel Award, University of Iowa|
|2010–2011||Interdisciplinary Fellowship of Aging, Center on Aging, University of Iowa|
|2008||Inducted Member of the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Gamma Chapter, University of Iowa.|
Liao, Y-J, K., Jao, Y.-L., Berish, D., Hin, A.S., Wangi, K., Kitko, L., Mogle, J., & Boltz, M. (2023). A Systematic Review of Barriers and Facilitators of Pain Management in Persons with Dementia. The Journal of Pain. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2022.12.014
Jao, Y.-L., Wang, J., Liao, Y.-J., Parajuli, J., Berish, D. E., McNally, L., Boltz, M., Van Haitsma, K., Wang, N., & Calkins, M. (2022). Effect of Ambient Bright Light on Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms in People with Dementia: A Systematic Review. Innovation in Aging.
Feng, Y., Liu, S., Wang, J., Yang, J., & Jao, Y.-L. (2022). Data-driven personal thermal comfort prediction: A literature review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 16, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2022.112357
Scott, T., Jao, Y.-L., Tulloch, K., Yates, E., & Pachana, N. A. (2022). Systematic Review of Horticulture Therapy Interventions and People Living with Dementia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 10.1093/geroni/igab046.2437
Anju Paudel, Jacqueline Ann Mogle, Ashley Kuzmik, Barbara Resnick, Rhonda BeLue, Elizabeth Galik, Wen Liu, Liza L. Behrens, Y.-L. Jao, & Marie Boltz. (2022) Gender Differences in Interactions and Depressive Symptoms Among Hospitalized Older Patients Living with Dementia. Journal of Women & Aging DOI: 10.1080/08952841.2022.2146972
Anderson, J. G. & Jao, Y.-L. (2022). The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Family-Focused Care of People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. Journal of Family Nursing (3), 179-182.
Yuan, F., Boltz, M., Jao, Y.-L., Casenhise, A., Siddiq, A., Bray, R., Duzan, J., Crane, M., & Zhao, X. (2022). Assessment of a Humanoid Partner for Older Adults and Persons with Dementia during Home-based Activities. ICSR 2022 – 14th International Conference on Social Robotics.
Jao, Y.-L., Liu, W., Habib, C. Habib, Jyotsana, P., Holmes, S., & Galik, E. (2021). Function-focused person-environment fit for long-term care residents with dementia: Impact on apathy. Gerontologist. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnaa111
Liao, Y.-J. Parajuli, J., Jao, Y.-L., Kitko, L., & Berish, D. (2021). Non-pharmacological Interventions for Pain in People with Dementia: A Systematic Review Systematic Review on Pain in Dementia. International Journal of Nursing Studies. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2021.104082
Woods, D., Yuan, F., Jao, Y.-L., & Zhao, X. (2021). Social Robots for Older Adults with Dementia: A Narrative Review on Challenges and Future Directions. Social Robotics, 411–420. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-90525-5_35
Parajuli, J., Berish, D. E., Jao, Y.-L., Liao, Y.-J., Johnson, L. A., & Walsh, A. (2021). Prevalence and Health Outcomes in Individuals with Comorbid Cancer and Dementia: Longitudinal Analysis. Aging and Health, DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2021.2003298
Parajuli, J., Berish, D, & Valenti, K. G., Jao, Y.-L. (2020). Prevalence and predictors of depressive symptoms in older adults with cancer. Aging and Mental Health.
Parajuli, J., Aluem, T., Jao, Y-L., Hupcey, J. (2020). Barriers to Palliative and Hospice Care Utilization in Older Adults with Cancer: A Systematic Review. Journal of Geriatric Oncology,11 (1), 8-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2019.09.017
Resnick, B., Kolanowski, A., Van Haitsma, K., Galik, E., Boltz, M., Zhu, S., Ellis, J., Behrens L., Eshragi, K., Viviano, N., & Jao, Y-L. (2020). Reliability and Validity Testing of the Assessment of the Environment for Person-Centered Management of BPSD and Assessment of Policies for Person-Centered Management of BPSD Measures. Journal of Housing for the Elderly. https://doi.org/10.1080/02763893.2019.1683670
Liu, W., Jao, Y.-L., & Williams, K. (2019). Factors Influencing the Pace of Food Intake for Nursing Home Residents with Dementia: Resident Characteristics, Staff Assistance and Environmental Stimulation. Nursing Open.6 (3), 772-782.
Jao, Y.-L., Liu, W., & Williams, K., Chaudhury, H., & Parajuli, J. (2019). Association between environmental stimulation and apathy in nursing home residents with dementia, International Psychogeriatrics, 31 (8), 1109-1120. doi:10.1017/S1041610219000589.
Parajuli, J., Berish, D, & Jao, Y-L. (2019). Chronic Conditions and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults: The Mediating Role of Functional Limitations, Aging and Mental Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2019.1693971
Jao, Y.-L., Mogle, J., Williams, K., McDermott, C., & Behrens, L. (2018). Real-time observation of apathy in long-term care residents with dementia: Reliability of the Person-Environment Apathy Rating Scale. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 4 (44), 23-28. doi:10.3928/00989134-20180131-02
Williams, K., & Jao, -L. (2018). Supporting elders with cognitive changes and caregivers across community and long-term care settings. In M. Rizzo, & S. Anderson (Eds.). The Wiley Handbook of the Aging Mind and Brain. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Jao, Y.-L., Epps, F., McDermott, C., Rose, K., & Specht J. (2017). Effects of support groups for individuals with early-stage dementia and mild cognitive impairment: An integrative review. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 10 (1), 35-51.
Williams, K., Perkhounkova, Y., Jao, Y.-L., Bossen, A., Chung, S. J., Starykowicz, A., & Turk, M. (2017). Person-centered communication for nursing home residents with dementia: Four communication analysis methods. Western Journal of Nursing Research. doi:1177/0193945917697226
Jao, Y.-L., Loken, E., MacAndrew, M., Van Haitsma, K., & Kolanowski, A. (2017). Association between social interaction and affect in nursing home residents with dementia. Aging and Mental Health. doi: 1080/13607863.2017.1304526
Liu, W., Jao, Y.-L., & Williams, K. (2017). The association of eating performance and environmental stimulation among older adults with dementia in nursing homes: A secondary analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 71, 70-79.
Kolanowski, A., Boltz, M., Galik, E., Gitlin, L., Kales, H., Resnick, B., VanHaitsma, K., Knehans, A., Sutterlin, J. E., Sefcik, J. S., Liu, W., Petrovsky, D. V., Massimo, L., Gilmore-Bykovskyi, A., MacAndrew, M., Brewster, G., Nalls, V., Jao, Y.-L., Duffort, N., & Scerpella, D. (2017). Determinants of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia: A scoping review of the evidence. Nursing Outlook. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2017.06.006.
Williams, K., Shaw, C., Lee, A., Dinneen, E., Kim, S., Turk, M., Jao, Y.-L., & Liu, W. (2017). Voicing ageism in nursing home dementia care. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 43(9), 16-20. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20170523-02
Jao, Y.-L., Williams, K. M., Mogle, J., Behrens, L., & McDermott, C. (2017). Assessing apathy in long-term care residents with dementia: Who should be the rater? Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. doi: 10.1177/1471301217745104
Jao, Y.-L., Algase, D., Specht, J., & Williams, K. (2015). The association between characteristics of care environments and apathy in residents with dementia in long-term care facilities. The Gerontologist, 55 (Suppl 1), S27-S39. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu166
Jao, Y.-L., Algase, D., Specht, J., & Williams, K. (2016). Developing the Person-Environment Apathy Rating for persons with dementia. Aging and Mental Health, 20 (8), 861-870. doi:1080/13607863.2015.1043618
Jao, Y.-L., Gardner, S., & Carr, L. (2016). Measuring weight-bearing activities in patients with previous diabetic foot ulcers. Journal of Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing, 44 (1), 34-40.
Burgener, S., Jao, Y.-L., Anderson, J. G., & Bossen, A. (2015). Mechanism of action for non-pharmacological therapies for persons with dementia: Implications for practice and research. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 8 (5), 240-259. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20150429-02.
Gardner, S., Haleem, A., Jao, -L., Hillis, S., Femino, J., Phisitkul, P., Heilmann, K. P., Lehman, S. M., & Franciscus, C. L. (2014). Cultures of diabetic foot ulcers are not predictive of outcomes. Diabetes Care, 7(10), 2693-2701.
For more information about our projects, please visit https://remindlab.psu.edu/.
Education: Columbia University, Ed.D., Nursing Education; Ed.M., Nursing Education; M.S., Adult Nurse Practitioner; B.S., Nursing; The Pennsylvania State University, National Research Service Award Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Research Interests: Palliative and end-of-life care, family caregivers, heart failure, age-friendly health care, qualitative research
Caregiver Skills Training
Geriatric Workforce Enhancement
Interdisciplinary Person-Centered Care
Leadership & Nursing Management
Practice & Regulatory Standards
Strategic Planning & Implementation
Masters in Educational Leadership, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Bachelors of Science in Nursing, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY
Honors and Awards
Sigma Theta Tau International, Kappa Tau Chapter
Vermont Outstanding Teacher, A.C.S.U.