Bei Wu headshot

Bei Wu


Dean's Professor in Global Health
Director, Global Health & Aging Research
Director for Research, Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing
Affiliated Professor, Ashman Department of Periodontology & Implant Dentistry

1 212 992 5951

433 First Avenue
Room 520
New York, NY 10010
United States

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Professional overview

Dr. Bei Wu joins NYU’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing as a fully tenured Professor of Nursing. She received her Bachelor of Law from Shanghai University and her PhD in Gerontology from University of Massachusetts Boston.

Dr. Wu’s career in gerontology has been distinguished by interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers in various disciplines (particularly in nursing and in dentistry) at many academic institutions and organizations in the U.S. and abroad. She has provided keynote presentations, lectures, and/or consultation in dozens of universities and organizations in the United States and globally, including China, Singapore, the Netherlands, Norway, and Turkey.  As Principal Investigator, she has led a significant number of projects supported by federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Her numerous publications cover a variety of issues related to aging and health, including long-term care, dementia, caregiving, and oral health.  She has served on a number of NIH review panels and is also a frequent grant reviewer for the Research Fund of Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau, Medical Research Council (United Kingdom), and Chang Jiang Scholars Program at the Ministry of Education of China.

Dr. Wu was previously The Pauline Gratz Professor of Nursing and Professor of Global Health at Duke University, where she served as Director for International Research in the School of Nursing.  She was also a Senior Fellow of the Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development.  Dr. Wu is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. She is an Advisory Professor at Fudan University and was a Visiting Chair Professor at Wuhan University, Shanghai University, and Jiangsu University.  Dr. Wu is President of the Geriatric Oral Health Group of the International Association for Dental Research and Chair of the Mentoring Committee at the Gerontological Society of America.


Place of Residence and Cognitive Function among the Adult Population in India.

Xu, H., Ostbye, T., Vorderstrasse, A. A., Dupre, M. E., & Wu, B. (2018). Neuroepidemiology 50, (119-127). 10.1159/000486596

The place of residence has been linked to cognitive function among adults in developed countries. This study examined how urban and rural residence was associated with cognitive function among adults in India.

Residential mobility and cognitive function among middle-aged and older adults in China

Xu, H.Z., Dupre, M. E., Ostbye, T., Vorderstrasse, A. A., & Wu, B. (2018). Research on Aging 10.1177/0164027518770780

Self-Reported Cognitive Impairment Across Racial/Ethnic Groups in the United States, National Health Interview Survey, 1997-2015.

Luo, H., Yu, G., & Wu, B. (2018). Preventing chronic disease 15, (E06). 10.5888/pcd15.170338

The primary objectives of this study were 1) to examine trends of self-reported cognitive impairment among 5 major racial/ethnic groups during 1997-2015 in the United States and 2) to examine differences in the trends across these groups.

Acculturation, depression and oral health of immigrants in the USA.

Luo, H., Hybels, C. F., & Wu, B. (2017). International dental journal 10.1111/idj.12364

The objectives were to describe the oral health status of immigrants in the USA, describe the association between acculturation and oral health by accounting for the effects of depression and to explore the effects of interaction between acculturation and depression on the oral health of immigrants.

Are expectations for community mental health increasing among older adults in China?

Olesiuk, W.J., & Wu, B. (2017). Psychological Services 14, (397-402). 10.1037/ser0000084 American Psychological Association (APA).

In recent years, the Chinese government began expanding access to social services to older adults. This study examined whether older adults have increasing expectations that psychological consulting services will be provided by their communities. We analyzed the responses of participants in a prospective cohort study at 2 time points: 2005 and 2008. We utilized logistic regression with survey weights to determine whether there were any changes in attitudes toward community mental health services during the study period, and to determine the correlates of this change. The study participants had a higher expectation that their government would provide psychological consulting services in 2008 than 2005. The multiple logistic regressions conducted indicated that there was a statistically significant relationship between expectations for community-provided psychological consulting services and being a rural resident (odds ratio [OR] = 0.553, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.353, 0.865]), change in gross regional product per capita (OR = 0.967, 95% CI [0.937, 0.997]), the interaction of those 2 variables (OR = 1.07, 95% CI [1.03, 1.11]), and increase in psychological well-being (OR = 0.971, 95% CI [0.954, 0.988]). Our study highlights the role that economic development can play in changing attitudes toward community-provided psychological consulting services. It suggests that as economic development occurs, expectations for local communities to provide mental health services will increase. (PsycINFO Database Record

Association between tooth loss and cognitive decline: A 13-year longitudinal study of Chinese older adults

Li, J., Xu, H., Pan, W., & Wu, B. (2017). PLOS ONE 12, (e0171404). 10.1371/journal.pone.0171404 Public Library of Science (PLoS).

To examine the association between the number of teeth remaining and cognitive decline among Chinese older adults over a 13-year period.

Change of Cognitive Function in U.S. Chinese Older Adults: A Population-Based Study

Li, L., Ding, D., Wu, B., & Dong, X. Q. (2017). Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences 72, (S5-S10). http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glx004

Does Oral Health Predict Functional Status in Late Life? Findings From a National Sample

Zhang, W., Wu, Y.Y., & Wu, B. (2017). Journal of Aging and Health (089826431769855). 10.1177/0898264317698552 SAGE Publications.

Factors associated with consumption of alcohol in older adults - a comparison between two cultures, China and Norway: the CLHLS and the HUNT-study.

Li, J., Wu, B., Selbæk, G., Krokstad, S., & Helvik, A. S. (2017). BMC geriatrics 17, (172). 10.1186/s12877-017-0562-9

There is little knowledge about the consumption of alcohol among Chinese and Norwegian older adults aged 65 years and over. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and factors related to alcohol consumption among older adults in China and Norway.

Persistent use of psychotropic drugs in nursing home residents in Norway

Helvik, A., Šaltytė Benth, J., Wu, B., Engedal, K., & Selbæk, G. (2017). BMC Geriatrics 17, (52). 10.1186/s12877-017-0440-5 Springer Nature.

The prevalence of psychotropic drug (PTD) use in NH residents is high, but few have explored prevalence and persistency in PTD in NH residents and factors associated with persistency. This at the same time as we know that risk of side events may be higher with long- term use in older adults. Thus, the aim of this study was to describe the prevalence and persistence in use of PTD and to explore factors associated with persistence in use of PTD at two consecutive time points in nursing home (NH) residents.

Resident challenges with daily life in Chinese long-term care facilities: A qualitative pilot study

Song, Y., Scales, K., Anderson, R.A., Wu, B., & Corazzini, K.N. (2017). Geriatric Nursing 39, (18-23). 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2017.05.001 Elsevier BV.

Severity and duration of diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) before seeking care as predictors of healing time: A retrospective cohort study

Smith-Strøm, H., Iversen, M.M., Igland, J., Østbye, T., Graue, M., Skeie, S., … Rokne, B. (2017). PLOS ONE 12, (e0177176). 10.1371/journal.pone.0177176 Public Library of Science (PLoS).

To investigate whether A) duration of ulcer before start of treatment in specialist health care, and B) severity of ulcer according to University of Texas classification system (UT) at start of treatment (baseline), are independent predictors of healing time.

Social Support, Social Strain and Cognitive Function among Community-Dwelling U.S. Chinese Older Adults

Ge, S. Q. Wu, B., Bailey, D. E., & Dong, X. Q. (2017). Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences (72). https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glw221

The impact of residential status on cognitive decline among older adults in China: Results from a longitudinal study

Xu, H., Dupre, M.E., Gu, D., & Wu, B. (2017). BMC Geriatrics 17, (107). 10.1186/s12877-017-0501-9 Springer Nature.

Residential status has been linked to numerous determinants of health and well-being. However, the influence of residential status on cognitive decline remains unclear. The purpose of this research was to assess the changes of cognitive function among older adults with different residential status (urban residents, rural-to-urban residents, rural residents, and urban-to-rural residents), over a 12-year period.

The Relationship between Self-Treatment and Outpatient Visits: Findings from a National Survey in China

Luo, J. (2017). Journal of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology 3, 10.23937/2469-5858/1510027 ClinMed International Library.

Acculturation and Dental Service Use Among Asian Immigrants in the U.S

Luo, H., & Wu, B. (2016). American Journal of Preventive Medicine 51, (939-946). 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.07.041 Elsevier BV.

The objective of this study was to assess dental service utilization across different Asian immigrant groups and to examine the relationship between acculturation and dental service utilization among Asian immigrants in the U.S.

Interventions for Dementia Caregivers in Chinese Populations: A Systematic Review

Wu, B., Xu, H., Xu, J., Song, Y., Wang, J., Wu, M., … McConnell, E. (2016). Alzheimer's & Dementia 12, (P983-P984). 10.1016/j.jalz.2016.06.2019 Elsevier BV.

Mediation Effect of Oral Hygiene on the Relationship Between Cognitive Function and Oral Health in Older Adults.

Lee, K. H., Plassman, B. L., Pan, W., & Wu, B. (2016). Journal of gerontological nursing 42, (30-7). 10.3928/00989134-20151218-03

Poor oral health is a common problem among older adults in general and particularly among those with cognitive impairment. The current study was conducted to (a) explore direct and indirect relationships between cognitive function and oral health outcomes and (b) test the mediating effect of oral hygiene on the relationship between cognitive function and oral health. The current study used data from 327 community-dwelling older adults in West Virginia who completed an oral health evaluation, comprehensive cognitive assessment, and questionnaire about oral hygiene. Structure equation modeling was used to test for mediation. Results showed that more severe cognitive impairment was related to poorer oral health outcomes and less frequent tooth brushing and flossing. Tooth brushing serves as a mediator between cognitive impairment and oral health outcome. The current study suggests regular tooth brushing is a promising intervention to maintain oral health among individuals with cognitive impairment. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 42(5), 30-37.].

Trajectories of depressive symptoms and oral health outcomes in a community sample of older adults.

Hybels, C. F., Bennett, J. M., Landerman, L. R., Liang, J., Plassman, B. L., & Wu, B. (2016). International journal of geriatric psychiatry 31, (83-91). 10.1002/gps.4292

Adverse outcomes associated with chronic depressive symptoms are of clinical importance. The objective was to identify subgroups of older adults based on their trajectories of depressive symptoms over a 10-year period and determine if these subgroups predicted oral health outcomes.

Trends in decayed teeth among middle-aged and older adults in the United States: socioeconomic disparities persist over time.

Hybels, C. F., Wu, B., Landerman, L. R., Liang, J., Bennett, J. M., & Plassman, B. L. (2016). Journal of public health dentistry 76, (287-294). 10.1111/jphd.12153

While trends in tooth loss among older adults have been well documented and show a decline over the last few decades, little is known about trends in tooth decay which may lead to tooth loss. The study aim was to examine trends in tooth decay among adults ages 50 years and older in the United States and determine whether these trends were consistent across demographic and socioeconomic subgroups of middle-aged and older adults.

A urinary incontinence continuing education online course for community health nurses in South Korea.

De Gagne, J. C., Park, S., So, A., Wu, B., Palmer, M. H., & McConnell, E. S. (2015). Journal of continuing education in nursing 46, (171-8). 10.3928/00220124-20150320-02

Although urinary incontinence is prevalent among older women living in rural Korea, a lack of awareness and education exists in this population and among health professionals. Geographic isolation and limited resources also contribute to having few educational offerings for rural nurses. The authors' aim was to develop an online continuing education course on continence care for community health nurses and to examine its effectiveness.

Association between Elder Mistreatment and Suicidal Ideation among Community-Dwelling Chinese Older Adults in the USA.

Dong, X., Chen, R., Wu, B., Zhang, N. J., Mui, A. C., & Chi, I. (2015). Gerontology 62, (71-80). 10.1159/000437420

Elder mistreatment and suicidal ideation are important public health concerns among aging populations. However, very few studies have been conducted to explore the association between elder mistreatment and suicidal ideation.

Changes of Health Status and Institutionalization Among Older Adults in China.

Peng, R., & Wu, B. (2015). Journal of aging and health 27, (1223-46). 10.1177/0898264315577779

To examine rates of institutionalization of Chinese older adults aged 65+ and the impact of changes in health status on the likelihood of institutionalization.

Dental care utilization among caregivers who care for older adults.

Wu, B., Luo, H., Flint, E., & Qin, L. (2015). Research on aging 37, (388-412). 10.1177/0164027514537082

The goal of this study was to investigate individual and contextual factors associated with dental care utilization by U.S. informal caregivers. The sample included all 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System respondents who completed the caregiver module and reported providing care for 1 year or more to an individual aged ≥ 50 years or older (n = 1,196). Multiple logistic regressions were used to examine associations of caregiver and care characteristics and county-level contextual characteristics (from Area Resource File data) with two outcomes: dental visits and dental cleaning during previous year. Caregivers with health insurance coverage and higher education were more likely to use dental care; those who had lost more teeth and who were spouse caregivers were less likely to do so. Community characteristics were not correlated with caregivers' use of dental care. Our findings suggest that better access to dental care could improve dental care utilization by caregivers.

Dental care utilization among older adults with cognitive impairment in the USA.

Lee, K. H., Wu, B., & Plassman, B. L. (2015). Geriatrics & gerontology international 15, (255-60). 10.1111/ggi.12264

We examined the relationship between cognitive impairment and dental care utilization among older adults in the USA.

Factors associated with traditional Chinese medicine utilization among urban community health centers in Hubei Province of China.

Cai, Y., Mao, Z., Xu, B., & Wu, B. (2015). Asia-Pacific journal of public health 27, (NP2489-97). 10.1177/1010539513491415

This study aims to examine resources and utilization of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and factors influencing TCM utilization in urban community health centers (CHCs) in Hubei Province of China. A cross-sectional survey including 234 government-owned CHCs was conducted in 2009. One-way analysis of variance analysis and a Poisson regression model were used to examine distribution of TCM resources and factors influencing TCM utilization. This study found unequal distribution of TCM resources among districts. TCM outpatient visits were positively associated with higher economic development districts, lower initial capital investment of the CHCs, health services covered by health insurance, higher qualification of TCM physicians, provision of TCM health records and rehabilitation, and greater availability of herbal medicine. To achieve equal access to TCM services, policy makers should consider the socioeconomic differences and income groups, provide training for TCM physicians, build pathway to recruit senior TCM physicians, and cover more TCM therapies by health insurance.

Family Caregiver's Perception of Alzheimer's disease and caregiving in Chinese culture.

Dai, B., Mao, Z., Wu, B., Mei, Y. J., Levkoff, S., & Wang, H. (2015). Social work in public health 30, (185-96). 10.1080/19371918.2014.969858

This study examined the perception of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and caregiving among family caregivers of individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD in China. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 46 family caregivers of individuals with cognitive impairment in 2009 in Wuhan and Beijing, China. Participants included 38 spouses, 7 adult children, and 1 sibling, aged between 41 and 85 years old. The findings showed that all family caregivers thought the Chinese terminology of AD laonian chidai, brought discrimination to individuals with cognitive impairment. Caregivers of individuals with AD experienced burden and desired an increase of formal services. Traditional beliefs of respecting elders and caring for extended family members were held among family caregivers of individuals with cognitive impairment, and there was nearly no difference found between caregivers of AD and those of MCI. It implied that traditional culture provided positive influences on caring for elders with cognitive impairment. An alternative term for MCI may contribute to further reducing the discrimination brought by the old Chinese terminology of AD laonian chidai. Development of formal services for elders with cognitive impairment may contribute to reducing caregivers' worries about future caregiving.

Forty-Year Trends in Tooth Loss Among American Adults With and Without Diabetes Mellitus: An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis.

Luo, H., Pan, W., Sloan, F., Feinglos, M., & Wu, B. (2015). Preventing chronic disease 12, (E211). 10.5888/pcd12.150309

This study aimed to assess the trends in tooth loss among adults with and without diabetes mellitus in the United States and racial/ethnic disparities in tooth loss patterns, and to evaluate trends in tooth loss by age, birth cohorts, and survey periods.

Oral Health among Older Chinese Immigrants and Implications for Social Work Practice: Figure 1:

Mao, W., Wu, B., & Chi, I. (2015). Health & Social Work 40, (e75-e82). 10.1093/hsw/hlv035 Oxford University Press (OUP).

Self-reported diabetes treatment among Chinese middle-aged and older adults with diabetes: Comparison of urban residents, migrants in urban settings, and rural residents

Xu, H., Luo, J., & Wu, B. (2015). International Journal of Nursing Sciences 2, (9-14). 10.1016/j.ijnss.2015.01.005 Elsevier BV.

Self-reported functional and general health status among older respondents in China: the impact of age, gender, and place of residence.

Wu, B., Yue, Y., & Mao, Z. (2015). Asia-Pacific journal of public health 27, (NP2220-31). 10.1177/1010539511428350

This study made comparisons of self-reported functional and general health status between Chinese women and men in different age-groups in rural and urban settings and examined multiple factors relating to these health statuses in older adults. This study included a sample of 4017 respondents, aged 55 years and older, from the Hubei subsample of the Chinese National Health Service Survey III in 2003. The results illustrate that the differences in self-rated functional and general health status between genders and between urban and rural areas diminished with age. Access to health care was strongly associated with health status. The quality of the local environment, measured by access to tap water, was a significant factor for rural residents. Our study suggests that improving access to health care services and reducing environmental health risks are critical for improving physical functioning, psychological functioning, and self-rated general health for older adults in China.

The effect of a urinary incontinence self-management program for older women in South Korea: A pilot study

De Gagne, J.C., So, A., Wu, B., Palmer, M.H., & McConnell, E.S. (2015). International Journal of Nursing Sciences 2, (39-46). 10.1016/j.ijnss.2015.01.002 Elsevier BV.

The Effects of Qigong for Adults with Chronic Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Bai, Z., Guan, Z., Fan, Y., Liu, C., Yang, K., Ma, B., & Wu, B. (2015). The American journal of Chinese medicine 43, (1525-39). 10.1142/S0192415X15500871

A systematic review was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of qigong as a treatment for chronic pain. Five electronic databases were searched from their date of establishment until July 2014. The review included 10 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that compared the impacts of qigong on chronic pain with waiting list or placebo or general care. Random effect models and standard mean differences were used to present pain scores. A total of 10 RCTs met inclusion criteria. There was a statistically significant difference on reducing chronic pain between internal qigong and control (SMD: -1.23 95% CI= -2.23, -0.24p = 0.02), external qigong and general care (SMD: -1.53 95% CI= -2.15, -0.91p < 0.05), external qigong and placebo (SMD: -0.51 95% CI = 0.95, -0.06p = 0.03), and internal qigong for chronic neck pain at 6 months (SMD: -1.00 95% CI= -1.94, -0.06p = 0.04). The differences between external qigong and control, external qigong and waiting list, internal qigong and waiting list, and external for premenstrual syndromes were not significant. This study showed that internal qigong generated benefits on treating some chronic pain with significant differences. External qigong showed nonsignificant differences in treating chronic pain. Higher quality randomized clinical trials with scientific rigor are needed to establish the effectiveness of qigong in reducing chronic pain.

Treatment of chronic conditions with traditional Chinese medicine: findings from traditional Chinese medicine hospitals in Hubei, China.

Cai, Y., Boyd, D. L., Coeytaux, R. R., Østbye, T., Wu, B., & Mao, Z. (2015). Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) 21, (40-5). 10.1089/acm.2014.0125

This study aimed to document clinical use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for chronic conditions in all TCM hospitals in a Chinese province and to recommend treatments most in need of evaluation for use in community health centers.

Undermet needs for assistance in personal activities of daily living among community-dwelling oldest old in China from 2005 to 2008.

Peng, R., Wu, B., & Ling, L. (2015). Research on aging 37, (148-70). 10.1177/0164027514524257

Based on the 2005 and 2008 Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, this study examined the prevalence of undermet needs for assistance in personal activities of daily living (ADL) and its associated risk factors among the oldest old aged 80+. Multilevel multinomial logistic modeling was used to analyze the risk factors and changes of undermet needs over time. The results show that the prevalence of slightly undermet needs decreased in urban China from 2005 to 2008. However, the prevalence of undermet needs remained high; 50% or more for both rural and urban residents. Compared to 2005, the likelihood of having slightly undermet needs in 2008 significantly decreased by 28% among rural residents and 22% among urban residents. The common risk factors of undermet needs among rural and urban residents included financial dependence, living alone, having unwilling caregivers, more ADL disabilities, and having poor self-rated health.

Racial and ethnic differences in obesity and overweight as predictors of the onset of functional impairment.

Wei, L., & Wu, B. (2014). Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 62, (61-70). 10.1111/jgs.12605

To examine racial and ethnic differences in the effects of body mass index (BMI) on the onset of functional impairment over 10 years of follow-up.

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Preventive Care Practice Among U.S. Nursing Home Residents.

Luo, H., Zhang, X., Cook, B., Wu, B., & Wilson, M. R. (2014). Journal of aging and health 26, (519-539). 10.1177/0898264314524436

To assess racial/ethnic disparities in preventive care practices among U.S. nursing home residents.

Social isolation and cognitive function in Appalachian older adults.

DiNapoli, E. A., Wu, B., & Scogin, F. (2014). Research on aging 36, (161-79). 10.1177/0164027512470704

Investigating the relation between social isolation and cognitive function will allow us to identify components to incorporate into cognitive interventions.

Social stratification and tooth loss among middle-aged and older Americans from 1988 to 2004.

Wu, B., Hybels, C., Liang, J., Landerman, L., & Plassman, B. (2014). Community dentistry and oral epidemiology 42, (495-502). 10.1111/cdoe.12116

Tooth retention has improved over the past few decades, but it is not known whether these trends have been observed across all demographic/socioeconomic subgroups. We examined number of missing teeth among dentate individuals (n = 9,113) as well as edentulism and systematically modeled their trends over time by using clinical examination data.

Social stratification, oral hygiene, and trajectories of dental caries among old Americans.

Liang, J., Wu, B., Plassman, B., Bennett, J. M., & Beck, J. (2014). Journal of aging and health 26, (900-23). 10.1177/0898264314534891

This study analyzed how oral hygiene (i.e., brushing, rinsing, and flossing) influences the trajectories of dental caries (i.e., numbers of decayed, missing, and filled teeth) among older Americans within the context of social stratification.

Staff characteristics and care in Chinese nursing homes: A systematic literature review

Song, Y., Anderson, R.A., Corazzini, K.N., & Wu, B. (2014). International Journal of Nursing Sciences 1, (423-436). 10.1016/j.ijnss.2014.10.003 Elsevier BV.

Tooth loss in Appalachia and the Mississippi delta relative to other regions in the United States, 1999-2010.

Gorsuch, M. M., Sanders, S. G., & Wu, B. (2014). American journal of public health 104, (e85-91). 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301641

We examined regional variation in tooth loss in the United States from 1999 to 2010.

Beliefs and communication practices regarding cognitive functioning among consumers and primary care providers in the United States, 2009.

Friedman, D. B., Rose, I. D., Anderson, L. A., Hunter, R., Bryant, L. L., Wu, B., … Tseng, W. (2013). Preventing chronic disease 10, (E58; quiz 8-13). 10.5888/pcd10.120249

Limited research has examined primary care providers' communication with patients about maintaining cognitive functioning. Our study's objective was to compare the perceptions of consumers and primary care providers related to beliefs and communication practices about lifestyle behaviors beneficial for overall health and for maintaining cognitive functioning.

Cognitive function and oral health-related quality of life in older adults.

Lee, K. H., Wu, B., & Plassman, B. L. (2013). Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 61, (1602-7). 10.1111/jgs.12402

To examine the relationship between cognitive function and self-reported oral health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in community-dwelling older adults.

Experiences and concerns of family caregivers providing support to people with dementia: a cross-cultural perspective.

Ivey, S. L., Laditka, S. B., Price, A. E., Tseng, W., Beard, R. L., Liu, R., … Logsdon, R. G. (2013). Dementia (London, England) 12, (806-20). 10.1177/1471301212446872

We examined experiences and concerns among caregivers of community-dwelling people with dementia from two ethnic groups. We conducted a thematic analysis of responses to the question, 'What is your life like as a caregiver?' in nine focus groups (n = 75) with Filipino and non-Hispanic White caregivers. Constant comparison methods identified themes by ethnicity. Experiences and concerns expressed across groups were related to care recipient symptoms commonly associated with dementia, including severe memory loss and behavioral changes. Participants in both ethnic groups described strategies that help them cope, such as receiving help from family and friends, receiving respite support, and participating in support groups. Filipino caregivers more often emphasized positive aspects of caregiving, whereas Whites often expressed that others do not understand the daily experiences of caregiving. Filipinos more commonly described caregivers as a 'good person' or 'saint' and emphasized that caregiving made them stronger.

Racial and Ethnic Variations in Preventive Dental Care Utilization among Middle-Aged and Older Americans, 1999-2008.

Wu, B., Liang, J., Luo, H., & Furter, R. (2013). Frontiers in public health 1, (65). 10.3389/fpubh.2013.00065

This study examined recent trends of preventive dental care utilization among Americans aged 50 and above, focusing on variations across racial and ethnic groups including Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Asians.

Racial disparities in trajectories of dental caries experience.

Liang, J., Wu, B., Plassman, B., Bennett, J., & Beck, J. (2013). Community dentistry and oral epidemiology 41, (517-25). 10.1111/cdoe.12045

This study charted the trajectories of dental caries, including decayed teeth, missing teeth and filled teeth among older Americans over a 5-year period. In particular, it focused on racial differences in the levels of and rates of change in dental caries experience.

Trends in ADL and IADL disability in community-dwelling older adults in Shanghai, China, 1998-2008.

Feng, Q., Zhen, Z., Gu, D., Wu, B., Duncan, P. W., & Purser, J. L. (2013). The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences 68, (476-85). 10.1093/geronb/gbt012

We investigated trends in activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) disability from 1998 to 2008 among elder adults in Shanghai, China.

Trends of edentulism among middle-aged and older Asian Americans.

Wu, B., Liang, J., Landerman, L., & Plassman, B. (2013). American journal of public health 103, (e76-82). 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301190

We estimated national trends of the prevalence of edentulism (complete tooth loss) for Asian American subgroups in the United States and investigated factors that could contribute to improvements in edentulism across populations over time.

Views on Lifestyle Change From Caregivers of People With Cognitive Impairment in China

Mei, Y.J., Levkoff, S., Wang, Q., Wang, H., Dan, C., Mao, Z., & Wu, B. (2013). SAGE Open 3, (215824401349916). 10.1177/2158244013499160 SAGE Publications.

Beliefs about promoting cognitive health among Filipino Americans who care for persons with dementia.

Laditka, S. B., Tseng, W., Price, A. E., Ivey, S. L., Friedman, D. B., Liu, R., … Beard, R. L. (2012). International journal of aging & human development 75, (273-96). 10.2190/AG.75.3.d

We examined beliefs about promoting cognitive health among Filipino Americans who care for persons with dementia, their awareness of media information about cognitive health, and their suggestions for communicating such information to other caregivers. We conducted three focus groups (25 participants). The constant comparison method compared themes across focus groups. Caregivers most frequently described cognitive health benefits of social engagement and leisure; next in emphasis were benefits of healthy diets. There was less emphasis on physical activity. Participants had heard from television that avoiding smoking, alcohol, and drugs might promote cognitive health. Ways to inform others about cognitive health included information in Filipino newspapers, and handouts in Filipino languages, distributed in Filipino stores, workplaces, community organizations, and health care facilities. Findings suggest an opportunity to develop public health messages promoting cognitive health that are in-language, published in ethnic-specific media, and that are culturally appropriate for Filipino and other Asian Americans.


(2012). Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 40, (288-288). 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2012.00700.x Wiley-Blackwell.

High throughput DNA sequencing to detect differences in the subgingival plaque microbiome in elderly subjects with and without dementia.

Cockburn, A. F., Dehlin, J. M., Ngan, T., Crout, R., Boskovic, G., Denvir, J., … Cuff, C. F. (2012). Investigative genetics 3, (19). 10.1186/2041-2223-3-19

To investigate the potential association between oral health and cognitive function, a pilot study was conducted to evaluate high throughput DNA sequencing of the V3 region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene for determining the relative abundance of bacterial taxa in subgingival plaque from older adults with or without dementia.

Differences in self-reported oral health among community-dwelling black, Hispanic, and white elders.

Wu, B., Plassman, B. L., Liang, J., Remle, R. C., Bai, L., & Crout, R. J. (2011). Journal of aging and health 23, (267-88). 10.1177/0898264310382135

To compare differences in self-rated oral health among community-dwelling Black, Hispanic, and White adults aged 60 and older.

Ethnically diverse older adults' beliefs about staying mentally sharp.

Friedman, D. B., Laditka, S. B., Laditka, J. N., Wu, B., Liu, R., Price, A. E., … Sharkey, J. R. (2011). International journal of aging & human development 73, (27-52). 10.2190/AG.73.1.b

This study examined diverse older adults' (n = 396, ages 50+) views about how to stay mentally sharp. We conducted 42 focus groups in four languages at nine United States locations using a standardized discussion guide and methods. The groups represented African Americans, American Indians, Chinese Americans, Latinos, Whites other than Latinos, and Vietnamese Americans. All groups mentioned benefits of social interaction. All groups, especially Chinese and African Americans, mentioned benefits of community engagement. Participants in all groups expressed their belief that mental stimulation, particularly reading, promoted cognitive health; African Americans and Whites were especially likely to say that mental exercises (e.g.; puzzles) were useful. Results suggest opportunities for education about potential cognitive health benefits of being socially connected through senior center activities and volunteer programs.

Older adults' concerns about cognitive health: commonalities and differences among six United States ethnic groups

LADITKA, J.N., LADITKA, S.B., LIU, R., PRICE, A.E., WU, B., FRIEDMAN, D.B., … LOGSDON, R.G. (2011). Ageing and Society 31, (1202-1228). 10.1017/s0144686x10001273 Cambridge University Press (CUP).

Oral health among white, black, and Mexican-American elders: an examination of edentulism and dental caries.

Wu, B., Liang, J., Plassman, B. L., Remle, R. C., & Bai, L. (2011). Journal of public health dentistry 71, (308-17). 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2011.00273.x

To examine racial/ethnic disparities in oral health among older Americans.

Prevention of Cognitive Impairment

Day, K.L., Friedman, D.B., Laditka, J.N., Anderson, L.A., Hunter, R., Laditka, S.B., … Coy, M.C. (2011). Journal of Applied Gerontology 31, (743-754). 10.1177/0733464811401354 SAGE Publications.

Social network and health: a comparison of Chinese older adults in Shanghai and elderly immigrants in Boston

Wu, B., Guo, M., Chi, I., & Plassman, B.L. (2011). International Journal of Social Welfare 20, (S59-S71). 10.1111/j.1468-2397.2011.00820.x Wiley-Blackwell.

Use of 16S ribosomal RNA gene analyses to characterize the bacterial signature associated with poor oral health in West Virginia.

Olson, J. C., Cuff, C. F., Lukomski, S., Lukomska, E., Canizales, Y., Wu, B., … Elliott, T. (2011). BMC oral health 11, (7). 10.1186/1472-6831-11-7

West Virginia has the worst oral health in the United States, but the reasons for this are unclear. This pilot study explored the etiology of this disparity using culture-independent analyses to identify bacterial species associated with oral disease.

Dementia Care Programs and Services for Chinese Americans in the U.S.

Wu, B., Lombardo, N.B.E., & Chang, K. (2010). Ageing International 35, (128-141). 10.1007/s12126-010-9055-2 Springer Nature.

Depressive symptoms and health problems among Chinese immigrant elders in the US and Chinese elders in China.

Wu, B., Chi, I., Plassman, B. L., & Guo, M. (2010). Aging & mental health 14, (695-704). 10.1080/13607860802427994

Researchers speculate that depression tends to be more prevalent among immigrant elders due to their lack of resources, acculturation stress, language problems, and social isolation. However, other characteristics of elderly immigrants, such as the healthy immigrant effect, may counteract these potential risk factors. This study examined whether depressive symptoms differed between Chinese immigrant elders and their counterparts in China and whether health conditions were similarly associated with depressive symptoms in these two samples.

Attitudes about aging well among a diverse group of older Americans: implications for promoting cognitive health.

Laditka, S. B., Corwin, S. J., Laditka, J. N., Liu, R., Tseng, W., Wu, B., … Ivey, S. L. (2009). The Gerontologist 49 Suppl 1, (S30-9). 10.1093/geront/gnp084

To examine perceptions about aging well in the context of cognitive health among a large and diverse group of older adults.

From message to motivation: where the rubber meets the road.

Logsdon, R. G., Hochhalter, A. K., Sharkey, J. R., & (2009). The Gerontologist 49 Suppl 1, (S108-11). 10.1093/geront/gnp074

Gender differences in views about cognitive health and healthy lifestyle behaviors among rural older adults.

Wu, B., Goins, R. T., Laditka, J. N., Ignatenko, V., & Goedereis, E. (2009). The Gerontologist 49 Suppl 1, (S72-8). 10.1093/geront/gnp077

Research suggests that men and women often differ in knowledge and beliefs about causes and treatments of a variety of diseases. This study examines gender differences in views about cognitive health and behaviors that have been associated with its maintenance, focusing on older adults living in rural areas.

Getting the message out about cognitive health: a cross-cultural comparison of older adults' media awareness and communication needs on how to maintain a healthy brain.

Friedman, D. B., Laditka, J. N., Hunter, R., Ivey, S. L., Wu, B., Laditka, S. B., … Mathews, A. E. (2009). The Gerontologist 49 Suppl 1, (S50-60). 10.1093/geront/gnp080

Evidence suggests that physical activity and healthy diets may help to maintain cognitive function, reducing risks of developing Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Using a cross-cultural focus, we describe older adults' awareness about cognitive health, and their ideas about how to inform and motivate others to engage in activities that may maintain brain health.

Lifespan influences on mid- to late-life cognitive function in a Chinese birth cohort.

Zhang, Z. X., Plassman, B. L., Xu, Q., Zahner, G. E., Wu, B., Gai, M. Y., … Xu, T. (2009). Neurology 73, (186-94). 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181ae7c90

To explore factors throughout the lifespan that influence cognition in midlife to late life.

Promoting cognitive health: a formative research collaboration of the healthy aging research network.

Laditka, J. N., Beard, R. L., Bryant, L. L., Fetterman, D., Hunter, R., Ivey, S., … Wu, B. (2009). The Gerontologist 49 Suppl 1, (S12-7). 10.1093/geront/gnp085

Evidence suggests that healthy lifestyles may help maintain cognitive health. The Prevention Research Centers Healthy Aging Research Network, 9 universities collaborating with their communities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is conducting a multiyear research project, begun in 2005, to understand how to translate this knowledge into public health interventions.

The public's perceptions about cognitive health and Alzheimer's disease among the U.S. population: a national review.

Anderson, L. A., Day, K. L., Beard, R. L., Reed, P. S., & Wu, B. (2009). The Gerontologist 49 Suppl 1, (S3-11). 10.1093/geront/gnp088

The present review assesses the public's perceptions about cognitive health and Alzheimer's disease among adults in the United States. We searched the published literature and Internet, and contacted experts in the field to locate surveys assessing the public's perceptions about cognition. We found 10 eligible surveys and abstracted data concerning the public's knowledge, beliefs, concerns, and sources of information. Most of the surveys were conducted in the 2000s and focused on Alzheimer's disease rather then cognitive health. Based on the findings from the surveys, most adults were found to be aware of Alzheimer's disease but lacked specific information about the disease and its treatments. Most respondents did not perceive themselves as being very knowledgeable about Alzheimer's disease. Although we could classify the findings into several overarching domains, such as knowledge, we found considerable variability among surveys in the questions asked. Additional work is needed to understand the public's perceptions about cognitive health. Moreover, we also lack studies that help us understand perceptions about cognition across diverse demographic and cultural groups. Only by addressing these gaps can we develop targeted and effective strategies to enhance knowledge and beliefs about cognitive impairment and health.

The two voices of Alzheimer's: attitudes toward brain health by diagnosed individuals and support persons.

Beard, R. L., Fetterman, D. J., Wu, B., & Bryant, L. (2009). The Gerontologist 49 Suppl 1, (S40-9). 10.1093/geront/gnp083

Most individuals with Alzheimer's are cared for in their homes by unpaid family members. Research on caregiving focuses disproportionally on costs of care, service utilization, and negative psychosocial outcomes. Few narrative accounts of Alzheimer's exist; those that do suffer similar pejorative framings and narrow foci. No studies that we are aware of examine the health beliefs of diagnosed individuals and support persons, or their attitudes about brain health. This research reports perceptions of "aging well" held by those most intimately acquainted with Alzheimer's.

Workforce Issues in Residential Care Facilities in Rural China

Wu, B., & Caro, F.G. (2009). Journal of Housing For the Elderly 23, (227-242). 10.1080/02763890903035597 Informa UK Limited.

Gender Differences in Contributory Behaviors Among the Oldest-Old Chinese in Shanghai

Wu, B., Chi, I., Mjelde-Mossey, L.A., & Silverstein, N.M. (2008). Ageing International 32, (65-77). 10.1007/s12126-008-9001-8 Springer Nature.

Institutional Care for Elders in Rural China

Wu, B., Mao, Z., & Xu, Q. (2008). Journal of Aging & Social Policy 20, (218-239). 10.1080/08959420801977632 Informa UK Limited.

Age Distribution and Risk Factors for the Onset of Severe Disability Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults With Functional Limitations

Ying Wu, Hai Huang, Bei Wu, McCrone, S., & Lai, H. (2007). Journal of Applied Gerontology 26, (258-273). 10.1177/0733464807300566 SAGE Publications.

Emerging services for community-based long-term care in urban China: a systematic analysis of Shanghai's community-based agencies.

Wu, B., Carter, M. W., Goins, R. T., & Cheng, C. (2005). Journal of aging & social policy 17, (37-60). 10.1300/J031v17n04_03

China's rapid economic reforms, coupled with the changes in age composition of the demographic structure, have greatly affected the traditional family support system. In response to these changes, efforts to develop new models of community-based long-term care (CBLTC) for elders in China have received growing attention. This paper provides a systematic analysis of the current status of emerging CBLTC systems in Shanghai, China. It covers several domains of the system: service delivery, workforce, financing, and quality of care management. Several main issues involved in the development of the emerging system are addressed, and relevant policy implications are presented in the paper.

Health care and social service use among Chinese immigrant elders.

Aroian, K. J., Wu, B., & Tran, T. V. (2005). Research in nursing & health 28, (95-105). 10.1002/nur.20069

We explored patterns and reasons for health and social service use among Chinese immigrant elders. Interviews were conducted with 27 Chinese immigrant elders, 11 adult care giving children, and 12 health and social service providers. Content analysis of these data indicated that participants across groups agreed that Chinese elders under-utilize services because of problems related to language, transportation, cost, long waits for appointments, and because of cultural norms/values related to need for care, preference for self-over professional care, fear, and distrust of western biomedicine, and the obligation to refrain from using formal services. These problems are complicated by geographical dispersion and dialect differences in the local Chinese immigrant community.

Teaching Chinese health care professionals about community-based long-term care (CBLTC) in China.

Wu, B. (2005). Gerontology & geriatrics education 26, (137-49). 10.1300/J021v26n01_09

Academic exchanges between the U.S. and other countries around the world are increasing and teaching students abroad is part of this trend. China is in its initial stage of developing gerontology education and is in great need of new concepts and ideas for dealing with its rapidly aging population. This paper discusses the challenges and rewards of teaching gerontology to health care professionals in China. To achieve the desired learning outcomes in another country requires culturally appropriate course materials and teaching methods; drawing on students' knowledge and expertise by using an interactive format and gaining students' respect.

Job characteristics and leisure physical activity.

Wu, B., & Porell, F. (2000). Journal of aging and health 12, (538-59). 10.1177/089826430001200405

This study employs a sample population of older workers to estimate an empirical model of leisure exercise activity. Alternative theories relating work and leisure attitudes relevant for understanding the exercise behavior of older workers are tested empirically.

Adaptive leadership framework for chronic illness: framing a research agenda for transforming care delivery.

Anderson, R. A., Bailey, D. E., Jr, Wu, B., Corazzini, K., McConnell, E. S., Thygeson, N. M., & Docherty, S. L. ANS. Advances in nursing science 38, (83-95). 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000063

We propose the Adaptive Leadership Framework for Chronic Illness as a novel framework for conceptualizing, studying, and providing care. This framework is an application of the Adaptive Leadership Framework developed by Heifetz and colleagues for business. Our framework views health care as a complex adaptive system and addresses the intersection at which people with chronic illness interface with the care system. We shift focus from symptoms to symptoms and the challenges they pose for patients/families. We describe how providers and patients/families might collaborate to create shared meaning of symptoms and challenges to coproduce appropriate approaches to care.

Association between Migration and Cognitive Status among Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A systematic review

Xu, H. Z., Zhang, Y. N. & Wu, B. 17:184. DOI 10.1186/s12877-017-0585-2

Intensity of grandparent caregiving and life satisfaction among rural Chinese older adults: a longitudinal study using latent difference score analysis.

Xu, L., Wu, B., Chi, I., & Hsiao, H. Y. Family & community health 35, (287-99). 10.1097/FCH.0b013e31826665d0

This study examined how life satisfaction and grandparent caregiving intensity changed over time among rural Chinese older adults, and whether there was a leading predictor between grandparent caregiving intensity and life satisfaction. Using 4 waves of data from the Well-being of Elderly in Anhui Province of China (N = 1704), we applied latent difference score analysis to explore this relationship. Results indicated that grandparent caregiving intensity decreased and life satisfaction increased over time. There was a lagged effect between grandparent caregiving intensity and life satisfaction, and life satisfaction demonstrated a leading prediction role between these 2 variables. This study confirmed the potentially rewarding aspect of grandparent caregiving, which may lead to greater life satisfaction. The results also revealed that psychological well-being among grandparents is very important for performing activities, such as caregiving.

Nursing Workforce in Hubei China: Implications for the Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine Education.

Cai, Y., Mao, Z., Corazzini, K., Petrini, M. A., & Wu, B. Holistic nursing practice 29, (370-6). 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000112

Research evidence suggests that educating nurses about traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) significantly improves their nursing care practice and the health care outcomes of community residents. The purpose of this study was to describe the current use of TCM by China's nursing workforce, as well as the typical nurse to physician ratio and types of TCM education that nurses receive in health care facilities. A large retrospective survey was conducted in Hubei Province, China, in 2010. The sample included 620 non-TCM hospitals, 120 TCM hospitals, and 1254 community health centers (CHCs). Descriptive analysis and 1-way analysis of variance were used to test statistical differences. There were 79 447 nurses employed, of which 1527 had a TCM degree and 5689 had on-the-job TCM education. Non-TCM hospitals employed more nurses than TCM hospitals and CHCs, and TCM hospitals employed more TCM nurses than non-TCM hospitals and CHCs. The median nurse to physician ratio varied by level of urbanization and type of health care facility, from 0.6 in rural CHCs to 1.3 in rural non-TCM hospitals. Differences in TCM education preparation of nurses were significantly different in the urban and rural settings and by type of health care facility. The study suggested a shortage of nurses educated in TCM in Hubei Province China, as well as uneven TCM workforce distribution. More opportunities for TCM education are needed for nurses, especially in CHCs where health promotion and chronic disease management are the most important and mandated functions.

Recruitment of rural and cognitively impaired older adults for dental research.

Wu, B., Goedereis, E. A., Crout, R. J., Plassman, B. L., DiNapoli, E. A., McNeil, D. W., … Bai, L. Special care in dentistry : official publication of the American Association of Hospital Dentists, the Academy of Dentistry for the Handicapped, and the American Society for Geriatric Dentistry 30, (193-9). 10.1111/j.1754-4505.2010.00150.x

The recruitment of community-dwelling older adults, particularly those with cognitive impairment and those residing in rural areas, has been consistently challenging for researchers, especially in the dental field. This study reports on recruitment experiences from an ongoing study investigating the association between oral health and cognitive status in later life. Multiple recruitment strategies, including educational presentations and traveling to participants' homes, were used to enroll rural elderly participants with various levels of cognitive function. In general, multipronged, proactive recruitment strategies were more effective than traditional, passive methods in reaching participants with varying degrees of cognitive impairment. The outcome of this study suggests that successful recruitment of such populations involves gaining the support of staff at relevant community organizations, informing community members (including older adults and their family members) of the project and the importance of oral health, and making data collection sites accessible for older adults.