Kenneth W. Hepburn
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
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