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
Dr. Bei Wu joined NYU 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.
BS, Shanghai UniversityMS, University of Massachusetts – Boston, Gerontology CenterPhD, University of Massachusetts – Boston, Gerontology Center
Honors and awards
Distinguished Scientist Award for Geriatric Oral Research, International Association for Dental Research (2017)Pauline Gratz Professorship, Duke University School of Nursing (2014)J. Morita Junior Investigator Award in Geriatric Oral Health, International Association for Dental Research (2007)
Fellow, Gerontological Society of AmericaFellow, Association for Gerontology in Higher EducationFellow, New York Academy of MedicineHonorary Member, The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International
Chinese Dementia Caregiver Intervention Research and its Future DevelopmentWu, B., Zhu, Z., Wang, J., & Xu, H. (2019). Chinese Nursing Management, 172-177.
Cognitive Function and Oral Health Among Ageing AdultsAbstractObjectivesThere is inconclusive evidence that cognitive function is associated with oral health in older adults. This study investigated the association between cognitive function and oral health among older adults in England.MethodsThis longitudinal cohort study included 4416 dentate participants aged 50 years or older in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing during 2002‐2014. Cognitive function was assessed at baseline in 2002/2003 using a battery of cognitive function tests. The self‐reported number of teeth remaining and self‐rated general oral health status was reported in 2014/2015. Ordinal logistic regression was applied to model the association between cognitive function at baseline and tooth loss or self‐rated oral health.ResultsCognitive function at baseline was negatively associated with the risk of tooth loss (per each 1 standard deviation lower in cognitive function score, OR: 1.13, 95% CI: 1.05‐1.21). When cognitive function score was categorized into quintiles, there was a clear gradient association between cognitive function and tooth loss (P‐trend = 0.003); people in the lowest quintile of cognitive function had higher risk of tooth loss than those in the highest quintile (OR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.12‐1.74). A similar magnitude and direction of association were evident between cognitive function and self‐rated oral health.ConclusionThis longitudinal study in an English ageing population has demonstrated that poor cognitive function at early stage was associated with poorer oral health and higher risk of tooth loss in later life. The gradient relationship suggests that an improvement in cognitive function could potentially improve oral health and reduce the risk of tooth loss in the ageing population.
The Impact of Living Alone and Intergenerational Support on Depressive Symptoms Among Older Mexican Americans: Does Gender Matter?AbstractThe study examined gender differences in the impact of living alone and intergenerational support on depressive symptoms among Mexican American older adults. The sample included 335 parent–adult child pairs which are nested within 92 Mexican American respondents, because each respondent reported their specific relationships with each child. Clustered regression analysis showed gender differences in the impact of living alone and intergenerational support on depressive symptoms among Mexican American older adults. In general, older men provided and received less intergenerational support than older women, but their depressive symptoms were more susceptible to living alone and different types of intergenerational support. Factors such as living alone, receiving instrumental support were associated with more depressive symptoms in older men than inolder women, whereas older men benefited more from the emotional closeness with children than older women. The findings highlight the need for a gender-specific approach to future research on this topic.
Perceived discrimination and cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults living with HIV in China.AbstractMiddle-aged and older adults with HIV experience double discrimination and cognitive impairment due to both their HIV status and their age. However, the relationship between perceived discrimination and self-reported cognitive ability in middle-aged and older people living with HIV (PLWH) is less clear. We measured self-reported perceived discrimination and cognitive ability using the Expanded Everyday Discrimination Scale and the subscale of the AIDS Health Assessment Questionnaire (AIDS-HAQ). The study sample included 324 middle-aged and older PLWH (over 45 years old) from five designated HIV hospitals in three regions (east coast, middle, and southwest regions) of China. The descriptive analysis showed that 45.37% of the participants reported perceiving discrimination at least once in the past twelve months, and 47.22% reported having at least one type of cognitive impairment. Multiple linear regression results showed that higher levels of perceived discrimination (β = −0.121, P = 0.036) were significantly associated with lower levels of self-reported cognitive ability after controlling for several covariates, including sociodemographic variables, mental health status, health behaviors, and social support. A longer duration of HIV was also related to a lower level of self-reported cognitive ability. Our findings indicate that perceived discrimination is related to self-reported cognitive ability and suggest that counseling services and support systems should be developed to reduce age- and disease-associated discrimination. A reduction in perceived discrimination would improve not only overall wellbeing but also cognitive ability in later life.
Psychological well-being of Chinese Immigrant adult-child caregivers: how do filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, and filial discrepancy matter?AbstractBackground: Given the importance of ethnic culture in family caregiving and recent Chinese immigrant population growth, this study explored effects of multiple filial piety traits—filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, and filial discrepancy—on psychological well-being of Chinese immigrants who care for older parents (adult-child caregivers) in the United States. Methods: This study used cross-sectional data from 393 Chinese immigrant adult-child caregivers in the Greater Chicago area from the 2012–2014 Piety study. Multivariate negative binomial and linear regression analyses tested effects of filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, overall filial discrepancy, and discrepancies in six filial domains (respect, bringing happiness, care, greeting, obedience, and financial support) on psychological well-being indicators: depressive symptoms and stress. Results: Adult-child caregivers reported high filial expectation and self-rated performance, and expectation was higher than performance. High filial expectation and self-rated performance were significantly associated with better psychological well-being; Overall filial discrepancy and two emotional-support domain discrepancies (respect, greeting) were associated with poor psychological well-being. Conclusions: Findings suggest that filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, and filial discrepancy are important in shaping Chinese adult-child caregivers’ psychological well-being. Researchers and practitioners should incorporate these aspects of filial piety in future research and intervention development for this population.
Risk and Resiliency in the Relationship Between Widowhood and Depressive Symptoms Among Older Mexican AmericansAbstractThis study examined the association between widowhood and depressive symptoms and the extent to which the association is contingent upon risk and resiliency, including immigration status, functional limitations, financial strains, and intergenerational support, among older Mexican Americans. The sample included 344 parent-child pairs reported by 83 respondents. Clustered regression analysis showed that widowhood elevated risks for depressive symptoms. We found that having some functional limitations, having more children and living in the same city with children exacerbated the adverse effects of widowhood on depressive symptoms. We also found that living in the same city with children increased the detrimental effects of widowhood on the depressive symptoms in men, whereas we did not find this pattern in women. The findings highlight the heterogeneity within the widowed Mexican American older adults. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Toward Common Data Elements for International Research in Long-term Care Homes: Advancing Person-Centered CareAbstractCorazzini, K., Anderson, R. A., Bowers, B., Chu, C., Edvardsson, D., Fagertun, A., Gordon, A. L., Leung, A. Y., McGilton, K. S., Meyer, J. E., Siegel, E. O., Thompson, R., Wang, J., Wei, S., Wu, B., & Lepore, M. J. (2019). Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 10.1016/j.jamda.2019.01.123To support person-centered, residential long-term care internationally, a consortium of researchers in medicine, nursing, behavioral, and social sciences from 21 geographically and economically diverse countries have launched the WE-THRIVE consortium to develop a common data infrastructure. WE-THRIVE aims to identify measurement domains that are internationally relevant, including in low-, middle-, and high-income countries, prioritize concepts to operationalize domains, and specify a set of data elements to measure concepts that can be used across studies for data sharing and comparisons. This article reports findings from consortium meetings at the 2016 meeting of the Gerontological Society of America and the 2017 meeting of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, to identify domains and prioritize concepts, following best practices to identify common data elements (CDEs) that were developed through the US National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research's CDEs initiative. Four domains were identified, including organizational context, workforce and staffing, person-centered care, and care outcomes. Using a nominal group process, WE-THRIVE prioritized 21 concepts across the 4 domains. Several concepts showed similarity to existing measurement structures, whereas others differed. Conceptual similarity (convergence; eg, concepts in the care outcomes domain of functional level and harm-free care) provides further support of the critical foundational work in LTC measurement endorsed and implemented by regulatory bodies. Different concepts (divergence; eg, concepts in the person-centered care domain of knowing the person and what matters most to the person) highlights current gaps in measurement efforts and is consistent with WE-THRIVE's focus on supporting resilience and thriving for residents, family, and staff. In alignment with the World Health Organization's call for comparative measurement work for health systems change, WE-THRIVE's work to date highlights the benefits of engaging with diverse LTC researchers, including those in low-, middle-, and high-income countries, to develop a measurement infrastructure that integrates the aspirations of person-centered LTC.
U.S. Nursing Role in Outpatient Clinics
Aging and Global HealthWu, B., & Feng, Y. (2018). People’s Medical Publishing House.
Aging and Long-term CareWu, B., & Peng, R. (2018). In Aging and Global Health (pp. 149-165). People’s Medical Publishing House.