Associate Professor of Nursing
College of Nursing
The focus of Barbara Lutz’s research is the health care and service needs of persons who are living in the community with chronic disabling conditions.
Lutz’s current research focuses on the needs of stroke survivors and their caregivers as they transition from rehabilitation to home. Her record of research funding began with pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship awards from NIH and funding from the Rehabilitation Nursing Foundation and Sigma Theta Tau International to explore the service needs of persons with disabilities who were living in the community, including the needs of stroke survivors. The findings from that work identified the importance of having a family caregiver who was available and capable of providing assistance with basic and instrumental activities of daily living. This work highlighted the need to develop a better understanding of the needs of stroke family caregivers.
Lutz has worked with researchers on the post-discharge needs of veterans and their caregivers focusing on the implementation of a stroke tele-health program. Her research in the area of needs of stroke caregivers suggested that, during rehabilitation, the primary family caregiver is not systematically assessed to determine his/her capacity to provide care for the stroke survivor upon discharge home. This often results in poor post-discharge outcomes (e.g. injury, falls, rehospitalization) for the caregiver and stroke survivor.
She has also tested the feasibility of a stroke caregiver assessment intervention and developed a risk profile of the stroke survivor/caregiver dyad. The findings from this study will lead to a proposal to test transitional care intervention to assist stroke survivors and their caregivers as they are discharged home.
Lutz has published her work in several national and international peer-reviewed journals including Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, Disability and Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Nursing, and Qualitative Health Research. She has presented nationally and internationally at the International Stroke Conference, State of the Art Stroke Nursing Symposium, Annual Education Conference of the Association of Rehabilitation Nursing, and the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association.