Dr. Jung-Ah Lee is a nurse scientist and faculty with expertise in gerontology. Her research focuses primarily on translational approaches to improve care delivery and quality of life for patients and caregivers. Within this focus, a recurring theme of her work is to explore racial and ethnic disparities in quality of care. Culturally sensitive approaches to care delivery in chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia are a primary consideration of her research. As the principal investigator, Dr. Lee has conducted community-based participatory research starting with a needs assessment of ethnic minority elders and dementia family caregivers. She designed dementia care education for older adults and families in partnership with local community organizations (e.g., Alzheimer’s Orange county, Korean Community Education Center, Vietnamese Community Center, Family Caregiver Resources Center) supported by several funding mechanisms. Based on those results, Dr. Lee developed a culturally- and language-appropriate dementia caregiver home visit program and pilot-tested it in Latino, Vietnamese, Korean family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD).
Dr. Lee is the primary principal investigator of a federally funded study entitled “A home-based, culturally and language specific intervention for dementia family caregivers: stress reduction and education with wearable technology for health” from the National Institutes of Health/the National Institute of Aging. Through this study, Dr. Lee and her interdisciplinary investigators including Medicine, Computer science, and Nursing with strong partnerships with community organizations in Orange County will conduct a randomized controlled trial testing a community health worker delivered home visit intervention for ethnic and underserved dementia family caregivers using wearable technology for real time monitoring of caregivers’ stress and sleep. The home visit intervention includes stress reduction techniques by mindful deep breathing and compassionate support/listening and caregiving education to improve caregiver’s health, wellbeing, and positive interactions with the person with dementia. This study using wearable technology has the potential to significantly lessen health disparities in dementia care, assisting underserved caregivers in self-management and increasing their quality of life.
Dr. Lee conducted several funded research projects as the Principal Investigator to improve older adults’ self-management of multiple chronic conditions by implementing age-friendly, culturally-sensitive mobile-health interventions. Her research included low-income and ethnic minorities to improve health disparities utilizing a multidisciplinary team including Medicine and Engineering at UCI.
Additional info on the UCI Faculty Profile System