Lau, Stephen, PhD

Clinical Interests

Dr. Lau’s areas of interest are stroke rehabilitation, depressive symptomatology, sleep medicine, cognition, mobile health technology and complex behavioral interventions.

Research Interests

Dr. Lau is a clinician scientist committed to developing accessible, precise, and effective rehabilitation in self-management, health promotion, and participation enhancement among stroke survivors living in the community. He seeks to understand the dynamic relationships among sleep disturbances, mood impairment, cognitive dysfunctions following stroke and develop evidence-based behavioral interventions that effectively prevent and mitigate stroke symptoms and improve participation in meaningful daily activities. His research leverages mobile health technologies (ecological momentary assessment and wearable sensors) to provide real-time in vivo monitoring that leads to the identification of factors contributing to adverse stroke consequences, thereby informing his work to develop and test complex behavioral interventions that effectively improve stroke survivors’ circadian, cognitive, and emotional functioning and continue their recovery in the community. Dissemination and implementation science is integrated into the design of his research to ensure that findings are efficiently transferred into clinical practice.

Teaching Roles

Dr. Lau mentors master’s and doctoral students who work in his lab.


2016: BS in Occupational Therapy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
2022: PhD in Rehabilitation and Participation Science, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
2023: Postdoctoral fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Lau earned his bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. As an occupational therapist, he is impressed by how the profession can offer a helping hand to those in need through innovative and practical solutions. The profession’s emphasis on evidence-based practice inspired him to earn his PhD in rehabilitation and participation science from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His dissertation focused on using mobile health assessment to disentangle the real-time associations between depression, motivation, and physical activity among community-dwelling stroke survivors. He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh, where he focused on sleep medicine and developing complex behavioral interventions. He is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Society for Neurorehabilitation.

Selected Publications

Baum, M.C, Lau, S.C.L., Heinemann, A.W., & Connor, L.T. (2023). Functional cognition is distinct from fluid and crystallized cognition. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 77(3):7703205020, DOI: 10.5014/ajot.2023.050010.

Lau, S.C.L., Connor, L.T., & Baum, M.C. (2023). Motivation, physical activity, and depressive symptomatology among community-dwelling stroke survivors: An ambulatory assessment approach. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, DOI: 10.1093/abm/kaac065.

Lau, S.C.L., Connor, L.T., Skidmore, E.R., Lee, J-M., King, A.A., & Baum, M.C. (2022). The moderating role of motivation in the real-time associations of fatigue, cognitive complaints, and pain with depressed mood among stroke survivors: An ecological momentary assessment study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2022.11.012.

Lau, S.C.L., Connor, L.T., & Baum, M.C. (2022). Associations between basic psychological need satisfaction and motivation underpinning daily activity participation among community-dwelling stroke survivors: An ecological momentary assessment study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2022.07.011.

Lau, S.C.L., Connor, L.T., King, A.A., & Baum, M.C. (2022). Multimodal ambulatory monitoring of daily activity and health-related symptoms in community-dwelling stroke survivors: feasibility, validity, and acceptability. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, S0003-9993(22), 00484-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2022.06.002.

Lau, S.C.L., Connor, L.T., Heinemann, A.W., Baum, M.C. (2022). Cognition and daily life activities in stroke: A network analysis. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, DOI: 10.1177/15394492221111730.

Lau, S.C.L., Judycki, S., Mix, M., DePaul, O., Tomazin, R., Hardi, A., Wong, A.W.K., & Baum, M.C. (2022). Theory-based self-management interventions for community-dwelling stroke survivors: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, DOI: 10.5014/ajot.2022.049117.

Lau, S.C.L., Drake, B.F., Sanders-Thompson V.L., & Baum, M.C. (2022). Racial variation in the association between domains of depressive symptomatology and functional recovery in stroke survivors. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, DOI: 10.1007/s40615-022-01293-8.

Lau, S.C.L., Connor, L.T., Lee, J-M., Baum, M.C. (2022). Depressive symptomatology and functional status among stroke survivors: A network analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 103(7), 1345-1351, DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2022.01.143.

Lau, S.C.L., Baum, M.C., Connor, L.T., & Chang, C-H. (2022). Psychometric properties of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale in stroke survivors. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, DOI: 10.1080/10749357.2022.2026280.

Lau, S.C.L., Connor, L.T., & Baum, M.C. (2021). Subjective and objective assessments are associated for physical function but not cognitive function in community-dwelling stroke survivors. Disability and Rehabilitation, DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2021.2012845.

Lau, S.C.L., Bhattacharjya, S., Fong, M.W.M., Nicol, G.E., Lenze, E.J., Baum, M.C., Hardi, A., & Wong, A.W.K. (2020). Effectiveness of theory-based digital self-management interventions for improving depression, anxiety, fatigue and self-efficacy in people with neurological disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 1357633X20955122, DOI:10.1177/1357633X20955122.

Heary, K.O., Wong, A.W.K., Lau, S.C.L., Dengler, J., Thompson, M.R., Crock, L.W., Novak, C.B., Philip, B., Mackinnon, S.E. (2020). Quality of life and psychosocial factors predict post-operative pain relief. HAND, 1558944720911213, DOI: 10.1177/1558944720911213.

Wong, A.W.K., Lau, S.C.L., Fong, M.W.M., Cella, D., J.S., Xie, & Heinemann, A.W. (2018). Conceptual underpinnings of the quality of life in neurological disorders (Neuro-QoL): Comparisons of core sets for stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, S0003-9993(18), 30206-5, DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2018.03.002.

Hong, W-J, Tao, J., Wong, A.W.K., Yang, S-L, Leung, M-T, Lee, T.M.C., Demeyere, N., Lau, S.C.L., Chien, C-W, Chan, C.C.H., Chen, L-D. (2018). Psychometric properties of the Chinese (Putonghua) version of the Oxford Cognitive Screen (OCS-P) in sub-acute post-stroke patients without neglect. BioMed Research International, 2018, 6827854, DOI: 10.1155/2018/6827854.

Wong, A.W.K., Chang, T.T., Christopher, K., Lau, S.C.L., Beaupin, L.K., Love, B., Lipsey, K.L. & Feuerstein, M. (2017). Patterns of unmet needs in adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors: In their own words. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 11(6), 751-764, DOI: 10.1007/s11764-017-0613-4.

Chan, S.C.C., Chan, C.C.H., Derbie, A.Y., Hui, I., Tan, D.G.H, Pang, M.Y.C., Lau, S.C.L., Fong, K.N.K. (2017). Chinese calligraphy writing for augmenting attentional control of older adults at risk of mild cognitive impairment: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 58(3), 735-746, DOI: 10.3233/JAD-170024.

Wong, A.W.K., Lau, S.C.L., Cella, D., Lai, J.S., Xie, G., Chen, L., Chan, C.C.H., & Heinemann, A.W. (2017). Linking of the Quality of Life in Neurological Disorders (Neuro-QoL) to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Quality of Life Research, 26(9), 2435-2448, DOI: 10.1007/s11136-017-1590-9.


2018: Travel Award for Secondary Data Analysis of Archived Studies, NIH Center for Large Data Research & Data Sharing in Rehabilitation (CLDR), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Lau, Stephen

Lau, Stephen, PhD

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy and Neurology

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Phone: (314) 273-3277
Fax: (314) 286-1601
[email protected]

Research Laboratory

Sleep, Mood and Cognition Laboratory



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