Stark, Susan, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Clinical Interests

Home modification interventions to support aging in place, implementation of evidence-based interventions

Research Interests

Community dwelling older adults with chronic health conditions face functional decline that impacts their ability to live independently. They are more likely to require assistance performing their daily activities and  are at a substantially greater risk of falling. Compensating for impairments with environmental support and self-management strategies can lessen the impact of functional decline, reduce the risk of falling and reduce the demand on health systems and caregivers.  Dr. Stark's clinical translational  research seeks to develop and test the efficacy and effectiveness of compensatory interventions aimed at improving an older adults ability to age  at home safely, elucidate their mechanism of action and implement programs to improve health outcomes.

Teaching Roles

Dr. Stark is an instructor for the environment class in the MSOT and OTD degree programs, the environment class in the Rehabilitation and Participation Science (RAPS) PhD program. She mentors students who work in her laboratory and is the co-director of the TL1 Predoctoral Training program at the Washington University Institute for Clinical Translational Science.


1998: PhD in environment and behavior science, University of Missouri-Columbia
1989: MS in occupational therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, Program in Occupational Therapy
1988: BS in exercise and health science, Alma College

Selected Publications

Chen, S.-W., Rice, S., Storey, K., Keglovits, M., Devine, M., Yan, Y., &  Stark, S. (2022). COVID-19: Factors predicting depressive symptoms in people aging with long-term physical disabilities. OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health. Advance online publication.

Keleman, A. A., Bollinger, R. M., Wisch, J. K., Grant, E. A., Benzinger T. L., Ances, B. M., & Stark, S. L. (2022). Assessment of instrumental activities of daily living in preclinical Alzheimer disease. OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health, 1-9.

Putnam, M., Morgan, K., Heeb, R., Yan, Y., Chen, S. W., & Stark, S.L. (2022). Aging with disability symptoms and ability to participate in, and satisfaction with, social participation among persons aged 45-65. Healthcare, 10(5), 903.

Gabel, M., Bollinger, R. M., Knox, M., Coble, D. W., Grill, J. D., Edwards, D. F., Stark, S.L., & Lingler, J. H. (2022). Perceptions of research burden and retention among participants in ADRC cohorts. Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders, 36(4), 281-287

King, C., Mehta, D., Somerville, E., Kronzer, A., Ben Abdakka, A., Wildes, T., Avidan, M., Lenze, E., &  Stark, S. (2022). Association of a perioperative multicomponent fall prevention intervention with falls and quality of life after elective inpatient surgery. JAMA Network Open, 5(3), e221938-e221938.

Gabel, M., Bollinger, R. M., Coble, D. W., Grill, J. D., Edwards, D. F., Lingler, J. H., Chin, E., &  Stark, S. L. (2022). Retaining participants in longitudinal studies of Alzheimer disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 87(2), 945-955.

Morgan, K. A., Putnam, M., Espin-Tello, S. M., Keglovits, M., Campbell, M., Yan, Y., Wehmeier, A., & Stark, S. (2022). Aging with long-term physical disability: Cohort analysis of survey sample in the U.S. [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. F1000Research 11, 68.

Chen, S.W., Keglovits, M., Devine, M., &  Stark, S. (2022). Sociodemographic differences in respondent preferences for survey formats: Sampling bias and potential threats to external validity. Archives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation 4(1), 1001.

Heeb, R., Putnam, M., Keglovits, M., Weber, C., Campbell, M., Stark, S., & Morgan, K. (2021). Factors influencing participation among adults aging with long-term physical disability. Disability and Health Journal, 15(1), 101169.

Kehrer, A.L., Barkocy, B., Downs, B., Rice, S., Chen, S.W., &  Stark, S. (2021). Interventions to promote independent participation among community-dwelling middle-aged adults with long-term physical disabilities: A systematic review. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-12.

Bollinger, R.M., Keleman, A., Thompson, R., Westerhaus, E., Fagan, A., Benzinger, T., Schindler, S.E., Ziong, C., Balota, D., Morris, J.C., Ances, B.M., &  Stark, S.L. (2021). Falls: A marker of preclinical Alzheimer disease: A cohort study protocol. BMJ Open, 11(9), e05080.

Fritz, B.A., King, C.R., Mickle, A.AM., Wildes, T.M., Budelier, T.P., Oberhaus, J., Park, D., Maybrier, H.R., Abdallah, A. B., Kronzer, A., McKinnon, S.L., Torres, B.A., Graetz, T.J., Emmert, D.A., Palanca, B.J., Stevens. T.W., Stark, S. L., Lenze, E.J., & Avidan, M.S., for the ENGAGES Research Group. (2021). Effect of electroencephalogram-guided anaesthesia administration and postoperative delirium on postoperative mortality: One-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 127(3), 386-395.

Bollinger, R., Somerville, E., Keglovits, K., Hu, Yi-Ling, & Stark, S. (2021). Evaluating the Feasibility of an Automated Bidet Intervention to Decrease Caregiver Burden. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(5), 7505345020.


Stark, S., Keglovits, M., Somerville, E., Hu, Y.L., Barker, A., Sykora, D., & Yan, Y. (2021). Home hazard removal to reduce falls among community-dwelling older adults: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Network Open, 4(8), e2122044.

Kernan, W.N., Viera, A.J., Billinger, S.A., Bravata, D.M., Stark, S.L., Kasner, S.E., Kuritzky, L., & Towfighi, A., on behalf of the American Heart Association Stroke Council; Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention; and Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease. (2021). Primary care of adult patients after stroke: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke, 52(9), e558-e571.

Hu, Y. L., Keglovits, M., Somerville, E., Snyder, M., & Stark, S. (2020). Translating a functional exercise program for fall prevention among diverse older adults in urban medically underserved areas: a mixed methods study. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 1(aop), 1-8.

Washington, S. E., Snyder, M., Hu, Y. L., & Stark, S. (2020). Evaluation of race as a predictor of fear of falling in Black older adults. Clinical Gerontologist, 1-6.

*Keglovits, M., Clemson, L., Hu, Y. L., Nguyen, A., Neff, A. J., Mandelbaum, C., Hudson, M., Williams, R., Silianoff, T. & Stark, S. (2020). A scoping review of fall hazards in the homes of older adults and development of a framework for assessment and intervention. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 67(5), 470-478.

Clemson, L., Stark, S., Pighills, A. C., Torgerson, D. J., Sherrington, C., & Lamb, S. E. (2019). Environmental interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2019(2).

Oughli, H. A., Chen, G., Philip Miller, J., Nicol, G., Butters, M. A., Avidan, M., Stark, S., & Lenze, E. J. (2018). Cognitive improvement in older adults in the year after hip fracture: Implications for brain resilience in advanced aging. Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(11), 1119–1127.

*Stark, S., Keglovits, M., Somerville, E., Hu, Y.-L., Conte, J., & Yan, Y. (2018). Feasibility of a novel intervention to improve participation after stroke. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81(2), 116-124.

*Hu, Y. L., Junge, K., Nguyen, A., Hiegel, K., Somerville, E., Keglovits, M., & Stark, S. (2019). Evidence to improve physical activity among medically underserved older adults: A scoping review. The Gerontologist, 59(4), e279-e293.

*Somerville, E., Massey, K., Keglovits, M., Vouri, S., Hu, Y. L., Carr, D., & Stark, S. (2019). Scoring, clinical utility, and psychometric properties of the In-Home Medication Management Performance Evaluation (HOME-Rx). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73(2).

*Stark, S.,
Somerville, E., Keglovits, M., Hu, Y.-L., Conte, J. W., Hollingsworth, H., & Yan, Y. (2018). Feasibility trial of tailored home modifications: Process outcomes. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72(1).

*Stark, S., Somerville, E., Keglovits, M., Conte, J., Li, M., Hu, Y.-L., & Yan, Y. (2017). Protocol for the Home Hazards Removal Program (HARP) study: A pragmatic, randomized clinical trial and implementation study. BMC Geriatrics, 17(1), 90.

*Murphy, M., Somerville, E., Keglovits, M., Hu, Y., & Stark, S. (2017). The In-Home Medication Management Performance Evaluation (HOME-Rx): A validity study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(4).

Hu, X., Dor, R., Bosch, S., Khoong, A., Li, J., Stark, S., & Lu, C. (2017). Challenges in studying falls of community-dwelling older adults in the real world. Smart Computing (SMARTCOMP), 2017 IEEE International Conference.
*Stark, S., Keglovits, M., Arbesman, M., & Lieberman, D. (2017). Effect of home modification interventions on the participation of community-dwelling adults with health conditions: A systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(2).

*DeLaney, L. M., Hu, Y.-L., Keglovits, M., Somerville, E. K., Baum, C. M., & Stark, S. (2016). Predictors of engagement in home activities among community-dwelling older adults. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 34(4), 205-220.

Kronzer, V., Wildes, T., Stark, S., & Avidan, M. (2016). Review of perioperative falls. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 117(6), 720-732.

*Stark, S., Keglovits, M., Arbesman, M., & Lieberman, D. (2017). Effect of home modification interventions on the participation of community-dwelling adults with health conditions: A systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(2).

*Zozula, A., Carpenter, C. R., Lipsey, K., & Stark, S. (2016). Prehospital emergency services screening and referral to reduce falls in community-dwelling older adults: a systematic review. Emergency Medicine Journal, 33(5), 345-350.

Chiang, L. Y., Liu, J., Flood, K. L., Carroll, M. B., Piccirillo, J. F., Stark, S., Wang, A., & Wildes, T. M. (2015). Geriatric assessment as predictors of hospital readmission in older adults with cancer. Journal of Geriatric Oncology, 6(4), 254-261.

*Keglovits, M., Somerville, E., & Stark, S. (2015). In-Home Occupational Performance Evaluation for Providing Assistance (I–HOPE Assist): An assessment for informal caregivers. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(5).

Hammel, J., Magasi, S., Heinemann, A., Gray, D. B., Stark, S., Kisala, P., Carlozzi, N. E., Tulsky, D., Garcia, S. F., & Hahn, E. A. (2015). Environmental barriers and supports to everyday participation: A qualitative insider perspective from people with disabilities. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 96(4), 578-588.

Stark, S., Somerville, E., Keglovits, M., Smason, A., & Bigham, K. (2015). Clinical reasoning guideline for home modification interventions. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(2).

Stark, S., Silianoff, T. J., Kim, H. L., Conte, J. W., & Morris, J. C. (2015). Tailored calendar journals to ascertain falls among older adults. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 35(1), 53-59.

Wildes, T. M., Dua, P., Fowler, S. A., Miller, J. P., Carpenter, C. R., Avidan, M. S., & Stark, S. (2015). Systematic review of falls in older adults with cancer. Journal of Geriatric Oncology, 6(1), 70-83.

Carpenter, C. R., Avidan, M. S., Wildes, T., Stark, S., Fowler, S. A., & Lo, A. X. (2014). Predicting geriatric falls following an episode of emergency department care: A systematic review. Academic Emergency Medicine, 21(10), 1069-1082.

Stark, S., Roe, C. M., Grant, E. A., Hollingsworth, H., Benzinger, T. L., Fagan, A. M., Buckles, V. D., & Morris, J. C. (2013). Preclinical Alzheimer disease and risk of falls. Neurology, 81(5), 437-443.

Carpenter, C., Griffey, R. T., Stark, S., Coopersmith, C. M., & Gage, B. F. (2011). Physician and nurse acceptance of technicians to screen for geriatric syndromes in the emergency department. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 12(4): 489-495.

Stark, S. L., Somerville, E. K., & Morris, J. C. (2010). In-Home Occupational Performance Evaluation (I-HOPE). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(4), 580-589.

Yang, H.-Y., & Stark, S. (2010). The role of environmental features in social engagement among residents living in assisted living facilities. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 24(1), 28-43.

Carpenter, C. R., Griffey, R. T., Stark, S., Coopersmith, C. M., Gage, B. F. (2009). Geriatric syndrome screening in emergency medicine: A geriatric technician acceptability analysis. Scientific Assembly of the American College of Emergency Physicians, 54(3).

Stark, S., Landsbaum, A., Morris, J. C. (2006). Home modifications to improve occupational performance for older adults in a NORC. The Gerontological Society of America, Dallas, TX, The Gerontologist. 46 (special issue I), 130.

Reed, G. M., Dilfer, K., Bufka, L. F., Scherer, M. J., Kotzé, P., Tshivhase, M., & Stark, S. (2008). Three model curricula for teaching clinicians to use the ICF. Disability and Rehabilitation, 30(12-13), 927-941.

Stark, S., Hollingsworth, H., Morgan, K., Chang, M., & Gray, D. B. (2008). The interrater reliability of the Community Health Environment Checklist. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 89 (11), 2218-2219.

Gray, D. B., Hollingsworth, H. H., Stark, S., & Morgan, K. A. (2008). A subjective measure of environmental facilitators and barriers to participation for people with mobility limitations. Disability and Rehabilitation, 30(6), 434-457.

Carpenter, B. D., Edwards, D. F., Pickard, J. G., Palmer, J. L., Stark, S., Neufeld, P. S., Morrowhowell, N., Perkinson, M. A., & Morris, J. C. (2007). Anticipating relocation: Concerns about moving among NORC residents. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 49(1-2), 165-184.

Gray, D. B., Hollingsworth, H. H., Stark, S., & Morgan, K. A. (2006). Participation Survey/Mobility: Psychometric properties of a measure of participation for people with mobility impairments and limitations. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 87(2), 189-197.

Vierkant, K. E., Hollingsworth, H., & Stark, S. (2006). Accessible worship: The Receptivity of religious buildings in St. Louis. Disability Studies Quarterly, 26(3).

Gray, D. B., Hollingsworth, H. H., Stark, S., & Morgan, K. A. (2006). Participation Survey/Mobility: Psychometric properties of a measure of participation for people with mobility impairments and limitations. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 87(2), 189-197.

Stark, S., Hollingsworth, H. H., Morgan, K. A., & Gray, D. B. (2007). Development of a measure of receptivity of the physical environment. Disability and Rehabilitation, 29(2), 123-137.

Reed, G. M., Lux, J. B., Bufka, L. F., Trask, C., Peterson, D. B., Stark, S., Threats, T. T., Jacobson, J. W., & Hawley, J. A. (2005). Operationalizing the international classification of functioning, disability and health in clinical settings. Rehabilitation Psychology, 50(2), 122.

Stark, S., Edwards, D. F., Hollingsworth, H., & Gray, D. B. (2005). Validation of the Reintegration to Normal Living Index in a population of community-dwelling people with mobility limitations. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 86(2), 344-345.

Stark, S. (2004). Removing environmental barriers in the homes of older adults with disabilities improves occupational performance. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 24(1), 32-40.

Stark, S. (2001). Creating disability in the home: The role of environmental barriers in the United States. Disability & Society, 16(1), 37-49.

Solomon, K., & Stark, S. (1993). Comparison of older and younger alcoholics and prescription drug abusers. Clinical Gerontologist, 12(3), 41-56.

Book Chapters and Other

Lysack, C. & Stark, S. (2016). Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, In S. K. Whitbourne (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging, Wiley-Blackwell.

Stark, S., Sanford, J. A., & Keglovits, M. (2014). Environmental performance enablers and their impact on occupational performance. Occupational therapy, performance, participation and well-being, 387-420.

Sanford, J. A., & Stark, S. (2015). Universal design as a workplace accommodation strategy. International Handbook of Occupational Therapy Interventions, 363-379.

Stark, S.
& Keglovits, M. (2014). Critically appraised topic: Home modifications, American Occupational Therapy Association.

Siebert, C., Smallfield, S., & Stark, S. (2014). Home modification practice guide: American Occupational Therapy Association.

Pearson, A., & Stark, S. (2014). Falls. In: Eugene Toy, Dentino, A., Williams, M., Johnson, L. eds. Case Files: Geriatrics. McGraw-Hill.

Stark, S., Somerville, E., Russell-Thomas, D. (2011). Choosing assessments for home modifications. In M. Christenson & C. Chase (Eds.), Occupational therapy and home modifications: Promoting safety and supporting participation. American Occupational Therapy Association.

Contributor, (2010). Draft report Chapter 6, Environment facilitators and barriers, international perspectives on spinal cord injury. Geneva, WHO.

Gray DB, Stark S, Bricout J, Morgan K & Hollingsworth, H. (2005). Measures of community receptivity and participation by people with mobility impairments. Entretiens de L’Institut Garches.

Rigby, P., Stark, S., Letts, L., & Ringart, L. (2008). OT Evaluation and Intervention: Environments. In: Crepeau EB, Cohn E & Schell BA, eds. Willard and Spackman’s Occupational Therapy (11th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Putnam, M. & Stark, S. (2006). Aging and disability: Promoting healthy aging & community participation. In B. Berkman (Ed.), The handbook of social work in health and aging (pp. 70-91). Oxford University Press, Inc.

Stark, S. & Sanford, J. (2005). Environmental performance enablers and their impact on occupational performance. In C. Christiansen & C. Baum (Eds.), Occupational therapy: Enabling function and well-being (3rd ed.). Slack.

Jacobson J, Kennedy C, Peterson D, et al. International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health: Procedural manual and guide for a standardized application of the ICF: A manual for health professionals, Sample and prototype. American Psychological Association, 2003.

Stark, S. (2003). Home modifications that enable occupational performance. In L. Letts, P. Rigby & D. Stewart (Eds.), Using environments to enable occupational performance. Slack.

Stark, S.
& Sutter, D. (2002). Needs assessment for the City of St. Louis Department of Human Services, Office on the Disabled.

Baptiste, S., Letts, L., & Stark, S., Westmorland, M. (2001). Doing client-centered practice. In M. Law & C. Baum (Eds.), Occupation based practice: Fostering performance and participation. Slack.


2022: American Occupational Therapy Foundation, Meritorious Service Award
2021: Washington University in St. Louis, Applied Health Behavior Research Mentor of the Year
2019: American Occupational Therapy Foundation, Academy of Research
2019: American Occupational Therapy Association, Cordelia Myers
American Journal of Occupational Therapy Best Article Award
2016: Gerontological Society of America, Fellow, Behavioral and Social Sciences Section
2016; 2020: National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers Best Research Paper award (co-author); Most cited paper in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Award
2016: Washington University School of Medicine Distinguished Faculty Award for Community Service
2011: American Occupational Therapy Association Cordelia Myers Writer’s Award
2010: The Arlene and Meyer Kopolow Award for excellence in Geriatrics, Psychiatry and Neurology
2006: Psi Theta Epsilon Honorary Member
2005: White House Conference on Aging Delegate
2005: Roster of Fellows, American Occupational Therapy Association
2004: Washington University Center for Aging, Proposal Development Award
1998: Adeline Hoffman Scholarship Award, University of Missouri, Department of Human Environmental Science
1997: Phi Upsilon Omicron
1994: President's Committee on Employment of Persons with Disabilities

Stark, Susan

Stark, Susan, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Professor of Occupational Therapy, Neurology and Social Work

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Phone: (314) 273-4114
Fax: (314) 286-1601
[email protected]

Research Laboratory

Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory



Close Get Started Panel

Get Started

We welcome inquiries from prospective students, potential collaborators, community partners, alumni and others who want to connect with us. Please complete the form below to begin the conversation.

Close Schedule a Visit Panel

Schedule an Info Session

We are excited that you are considering applying to the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University. Please join us for a Zoom Information Session for either our entry-level MSOT or OTD degrees or our online Post-Professional OTD. Current faculty members will discuss the degree program and answer any question you may have. We are offering these sessions on the following days and times. The content is the same for each one, so you only need to sign up for one.

Upcoming ENTRY-LEVEL Degree ZOOM Info sessions:

Schedule an Entry-Level Info Session

Upcoming PP-OTD Degree ZOOM Info session:

Schedule a PP-OTD Info Session