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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
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.


Are Expectations for Community Mental Health Increasing Among Older Adults in China?

Olesiuk, W.J., & Wu, B. (2017). Psychological Services 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.

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 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.

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.