Judith Matthews, PhD, MPH, RN, is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Community Systems in the School of Nursing at Pitt. Dr. Matthews is also Associate Director of the Gerontology Program at the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR). Her research examines the use of technology for everyday health, particularly among older, community-residing adults.
Dr. Matthews is currently conducting the Health Kiosk Project, a multi-site study in the greater Pittsburgh area investigating how and why older adults at senior center, senior housing, and retirement communities use novel kiosks to self-monitor and manage aspects of their health. The project provides interactive instruction and feedback regarding cross-cutting health behaviors pertaining to diet, physical activity, sleep, bladder control, mobility, and mood. Participants are asked whether they need assistance or provide assistance to others and, if so, the duration and stressfulness of their caregiving responsibilities. Educational content and specific strategies encourage effective communication with healthcare providers during medical visits, on behalf of oneself or when accompanied by or accompanying someone else.
Her completed research includes a study of the preventive health practices of family caregivers of persons receiving home health services, and the Family Caregiver Video Study. The latter investigation involved caregivers of individuals with dementia wearing cameras during their day-to-day interactions, with clips of their video capture providing a springboard for discussion of their approach to dealing with their family member’s dementia-related behaviors and suggestions for additional strategies to try.