Ken Hepburn is a tenured Professor. His work recognizes the central role that families,  friends, and communities play in caring for the increasing – and increasingly  diverse – number of persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and similar  dementia illnesses and helping them to remain as independent as possible in  their communities. He sees family caregivers as occupying what is, in effect,  a clinical role – or, really, an amalgam of a variety of clinical roles. As  such, caregivers need training and education to help them understand the  conditions with which they are dealing, to strengthen their own sense of  competence to enable them to approach the role with confidence, and to  develop strategies for caregiving that take the strengths and deficits of the  care recipient into account. He and colleagues from a very wide range of  disciplines have developed and tested programs designed to strengthen the  capacity of informal caregivers to function effectively in their caregiving  role in a manner that preserves their own health and well-being. They have  drawn from the work of Albert Bandura in designing psychoeducation programs  that strengthen caregivers' sense of self-efficacy for caregiving. Through a  series of projects that, with support from the National Institute on Aging  (NIA), the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), and the national  Alzheimer's Association, Hepburn and his colleagues have established the  evidence base for the Savvy Caregiver Program and Tele-Savvy (an online  version of Savvy), psychoeducation programs for caregivers of persons with  Alzheimer's disease and other dementia disorders. Hepburn is the co-Director  of the NIA-supported Emory Roybal Center for Dementia Caregiver Mastery (https://www.emorycaregiving.org/),  an NIA-sponsored program to provide support for projects that pilot interventions  designed to promote caregiving competence and confidence (mastery) in a  variety of dementia caregiving contexts and situations. He is also Director  of Research in the Woodruff Health Science Center for Health in Aging (https://aging.emory.edu/.)

Areas of Expertise

Caregiver Well Being
Gerontology And Elder Health
Health Disparities
Neurocognitive Neuroscience


Hepburn  K, Nocera J, Higgins M, Epps F, Brewster G, Lindauer A, Morhardt D, Shah R,  Bonds K, Nash R, Griffiths P (2021, in press. Results of a Randomized Trial  Testing the Efficacy of Tele-Savvy, an Online Synchronous/Asynchronous  Psychoeducation Program for Family Caregivers of Persons Living with  Dementia. Gerontologist Feb 26:gnab029. Doi: 10.1093/geront/gnab029.

Kovaleva, M. A., Jennings, B. M., Song, M.-K., Clevenger, C., Griffiths, P.  C., & Hepburn, K. (2021, in press). Caregivers’ experience at a multidisciplinary  nurse-led dementia medical home. Research in Gerontological Nursing. 2021 Jan  25:1-10 doi 10.3928/19404921-20210115-01. PMID: 33492401.

Brewster GS, Epps F, Dye CE, Hepburn K, Higgins MK, Parker ML The Effect of  the "Great Village" on Psychological Outcomes, Burden, and Mastery  in African American Caregivers of Persons Living With Dementia. J Appl  Gerontol. 2020 Oct;39(10):1059-1068. doi: 10.1177/0733464819874574. Epub 2019  Sep 19.PMID: 31535922

Hepburn K, Lewis ML, Tornatore J, Lindstrom Bremmer K, Center B. The Savvy  Caregiver Program: The Demonstrated Effectiveness of a Transportable Dementia  Caregiver Psychoeducation Program. Journal of Gerontological Nursing,  2007;33:3, 30-36.

Hepburn K, Lewis M, Narayan S, Center B, Tornatore, Lindstrom-Bremer K, Kirk  L. Partners in Caregiving: A Psychoeducation Program Affecting Dementia  Family Caregivers’ Distress and Caregiving Outlook. Clinical Gerontologist  2005;29(1):53-69.



My work focuses on the development and testing of interventions designed to enhance the competence and confidence of individuals to exercise greater agency within their life situations.


Fellow, Gerontological Society of America