Research Scholars Program – BIRCWH Mentors

Lisa Fredman, PhD

Dr. Lisa Fredman is Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Her research agenda addresses 2 priority areas listed in BIRCWH proposal: 1) prevention research in cancer, with an emphasis on race and socioeconomic differences; and 2) the consequences of multiple caregiver roles, especially in addressing chronic care of elders.

Dr. Fredman’s main research focus is evaluation of the physical and psychological health outcomes of being an informal caregiver. She is conducting a prospective cohort study that is an ancillary study to the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF), a multisite cohort of elderly women. This study (Caregiver-SOF) will follow 400 SOF participants cohort who are caregivers and 800 SOF participants who are non-caregivers to assess whether caregivers have higher rates of fracture, decline in activities of daily living, and weight change over a 2-year period. She is also conducting methodological studies of caregivers. One study will evaluate whether the definition of “caregiver” affects associations with health outcomes. This study will use the Caregiver-SOF dataset, as well as the Assets and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old study (AHEAD), a public-use dataset. Studies are planned on other physical, psychological, and cognitive health outcomes, comparisons of white and African-American caregivers, and comparisons of caregivers to persons with different caregiving needs.

Dr. Fredman’s second research focus that relates to the priority areas is evaluating the inter-relationship of race and socioeconomic status on screening mammography use in older women. This study uses the national Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Study (BRFSS) dataset, another public use dataset. For several years, she has conducted studies and collaborated with colleagues and graduate students on studies of the BRFSS dataset.

Her third research focus is evaluation of outcomes of hip fracture, in collaboration with Jay Magaziner, Ph.D., an epidemiologist who has assembled several cohorts of hip fracture patients. She has identified datasets in the public domain (or with permission of the investigators) to merge with the datasets on hip fracture patients in order to compare rates of health outcomes in the hip fracture patients versus the comparison cohorts. She has used the Established Populations of Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE), and the Women’s Health and Aging (WHAS) dataset, to name a few. (see Appendix J). Dr. Fredman’s expertise in identifying datasets in the public domain for use in health services research will be a major asset to the Scholar’s program.