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

Clemson, L., Stark, S., Pighills, A., Sherrington, C., Lamb, S. Environmental interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community, protocol. Cochrane Library, revision.

Oughli, HA, Chen, G, Miller, JP, Nicol, G, Butters, MA, Avidan, M, Stark, S and Lenze, EJ Cognitive improvement in older adults in the year after hip fracture: Implications for brain resilience in advanced aging. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2018.

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

Hu, YL, Junge, K, Nguyen, A, Hiegel, K, Somerville, E, Keglovits, M, & Stark, S. Evidence to Improve Physical Activity among Medically Underserved Older adults: A Scoping Review. The Gerontologist, 2018.

Somerville, E., Massey, K., Keglovits, M., Vouri, S., Hu, Y-L., Carr, D., Stark S. Scoring, clinical utility, and psychometric properties of the In-Home Medication Management Evaluation. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, in press.

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

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

Murphy, M., Somerville, E., Keglovits, M., Hu, Y., Stark, S. The In-Home Medication Management Performance Evaluation (HOME-Rx): A validity study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2017;71(4). 7104190020p1-71404190020p7.

Hu, X., Dor, R., Bosch, S., Stark, S., Lu, C. Challenges in detecting falls of community dwelling older adults. Third IEEE International Conference on Smart Computing (SMARTCOMP 2017) Proceedings. IEEE 2017.

Stark, S., Keglovits, M., Arbesman, M., Lieberman, D. Effect of home modification interventions on the participation of community-dwelling adults with health conditions: A systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2017;71(2), 71022900101p1-7102290010p11.


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

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

Stark, S., Keglovits, M., Armbesman, M. Leiberman, D. Effectiveness of home modification interventions on participation for community-dwelling adults and older adults: A systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy 71(2).

Mandelbaum C., Clemson, L., Keglovits, M., Stark, S. Fall Hazards in the Homes of Older Adults: A Scoping Review. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (under review).

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

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

Keglovits, M., Somerville, E., Stark, S. The In-Home Occupational Performance Evaluation for informal caregivers providing assistance. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, (in press for 2016) (69)5.

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

Stark, S. L., Somerville, E., Keglovits, M., Smason, A., Bigham, K. Clinical reasoning guideline for home modification interventions. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2015;69(2), 6902290030p1-6902290030p8.

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

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

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

Stark, S,  Roe, C.M., Grant, E., Hollingsworth, H., Benzinger, T. L., Fagan, A. M., Buckles V., & Morris, J.C.. Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease and risk for falls. Neurology. 2013;81:437-44.

Carpenter, C., Griffey, R.T., Stark, S., Coopersmith, C. M., & Gage, B. F. Physician and Nurse Acceptance of Technicians to Screen for Geriatric Syndromes in the Emergency Department. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2011; 12(4): 489-495.

Stark S, Somerville E, & Morris J. The in-home occupational performance evaluation. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2010; 64(4) 580-589.

Yang H & Stark S. How do environmental features in assisted living facilities influence residents’ social engagement. Journal of Housing for Elderly. 2010;24(10):28-43.

Carpenter CR, Griffey RT, Stark S, Coopersmith CM, Gage BF. Geriatric syndrome screening in emergency medicine: A geriatric technician acceptability analysis. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2009;54(3):S82.

Stark S, Landsbaum A, Palmer J, Somerville E, & Morris J. Home modifications improve daily activity performance of older adults. The Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2009;76:235-245.

Reed G, Dilfer K, Bufka L, et al. Three model curricula for teaching clinicians to use the ICF. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2008;30(00):1-15.

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

Gray DB, Hollingsworth HH, Stark S, Morgan, KA. A subjective measure of environmental factors and barriers to participation for people with mobility limitations. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2008;30(6):434-457.

Carpenter B, Edwards D, Pickard J, et al. Anticipating relocation: Concerns about moving among NORC residents. Journal of Gerontological Social. 2007; 49(1-2):165-84.

Gray DB, Hollingsworth HH, Stark SL & Morgan KA. Participation survey/mobility psychometric properties of a measure of participation for people with mobility impairments and limitations. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2006;87(2):189-197.

Vierkant K, Hollingsworth H & Stark S. Accessible worship: The receptivity of religious buildings in St. Louis. Disability Studies Quarterly. 2006; 26.

Gray DB, Hollingsworth HH, Stark SL & Morgan KA. PARTS/M: Psychometric properties of a measure of participation for people with mobility impairments and limitations. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2006;87(2):189-197.

Stark S, Hollingsworth H, Morgan K & Gray D. Development of a measure of the physical environment. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2006;29(2):123-137.

Reed G, Bufka L, Trask C, et al. Operationalizing the international classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) in clinical settings. Rehabilitation Psychology. 2005;50:122-131.

Stark S, Hollingsworth H, Morgan K & Gray D. Validation of the reintegration to normal living index in a population of community-dwelling people with mobility limitations. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2005;86:344-345.

Stark S. Removing environmental barriers in the homes of older adults with disabilities improves occupational performance. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research. 2004;24:32-39.

Stark S. Creating disability in the home: The role of environmental barriers. Disability and Society. 2001;16:37-49.

Stark S. The application of theory to universal design practice for people with disabilities. Proceedings of Designing for the 21st Century: An International Conference on Universal Design, Hempstead, NY 1998.

Solomon G & Stark S. Comparison of elderly and young alcoholics and prescription drug abusers: Historical and clinical presentation. Clinical Gerontologist. 1993;12:41-56.

Book Chapters and Other

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

Stark, S., Sanford, J, & Keglovits, M.  Environmental Performance Enablers and Their Impact on Occupational Performance. In: Charles H. Christiansen, Carolyn M. Baum, Julie D. Bass, (Eds) Occupational Therapy: Performance, Participation, and Well-Being, 4th edition, Slack, (2015)

Sanford, J. & Stark, S. Universal Design as a Workplace Accommodation Strategy. In: Ingrid Soderback, Ed, the International Handbook of Occupational Therapy Interventions Second Edition, Springer (2015)

Stark, S., & Keglovits, M., Critically Appraised Topic: Home Modifications, American Occupational Therapy Association.

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

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

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

Contributor. Draft report Chapter 6, Environment facilitators and barriers, International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury. Geneva, WHO, 2010.

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

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


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

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

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. Home modifications that enable occupational performance. In: Letts L, Rigby P & Stewart D, eds. Using environments to enable occupational performance. Thorofare, NJ: Slack; 2003.

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

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


2012: The Arlene and Meyer Kopolow Award for excellence in Geriatrics, Psychiatry and Neurology
2011: American Occupational Therapy Association Cordelia Myers Writer’s Award
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

Research Laboratory

Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory



Ranked as the Number Three OT Program in the Nation

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 a Virtual Visit

Current, future and accepted applicants are encouraged to virtual visit. We also welcome people who are exploring career options and considering occupational therapy. Dr. Kathy Kniepmann, one of our faculty members, opens our virtual visit sessions with an informal presentation and discussion,  followed by a chat with a current student.

Upcoming VIRTUAL visit sessions*:

Considering a career in OT? Click here to register for a free mini-course!

*At least two to three visit sessions are scheduled every month. All times are Central Standard Time (CST). Click here for more info.

Schedule a Visit Directions


Call Dr. Kniepmann at (314) 286-1610
or Sarah Alsop at (314) 286-1655