Susan L. Hughes, DSW

Professor of Community Health Sciences

Dr. Susan L. Hughes is a gerontologist and health policy analyst who has conducted numerous studies in the field of aging over the past 20 years with support from the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute on Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease, the Veterans Health Administration and numerous private foundations. She has considerable experience conducting multi-site randomized trials. She conducted the national evaluation of the 20-site Living at Home Program that was funded by the Commonwealth Fund and Pew Charitable Trusts and conducted a cooperative study of the effectiveness of team-managed home-based primary care at 16 VA hospitals across the country (see Hughes et al., 2000).

Dr. Hughes is principal investigator of the UIC Midwest Roybal Center for Health Maintenance, which has completed four longitudinal intervention studies about exercise adherence in older adults. She designed the evidence-based Fit and Strong! physical activity/behavior change program for older adults with arthritis. She is also collaborating with the National Council on Aging on a study of “Best Practice Physical Activity Programs for Older Adults,” funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Hughes will direct a multi-site randomized trial of physical activity outcomes among participants at each of three community-based best-practice sites across the country.

Research Interests

Long-term care policy, cost, quality, and effectiveness of community-based services, prevention of disability, adoption of and adherence to wellness behavior and translation research

Recent and Noteworthy Publications

Marquez DX, Wilbur J, Hughes S, Berbaum ML, Wilson R, Buchner DM, McAuley E. B.A.I.L.A. - A Latin dance randomized controlled trial for older Spanish-speaking Latinos: Rationale, design, and methods. Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 Jul;38(2):397-408. [See abstract.]

Smith-Ray RL, Fitzgibbon ML, Tussing-Humphreys L, Schiffer L, Shah A, Huber GM, Braunschweig C, Campbell RT, Hughes SL. Fit and Strong! Plus: Design of a Comparative Effectiveness Evaluation of a Weight Management Program for Older Adults with Osteoarthritis. Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 Mar;37(2):178-88. [See abstract.]

Smith-Ray RL, Hughes SL, Prohaska TR, Little DM, Jurivich DA, Hedeker D. Impact of cognitive training on balance and gait in older adults. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2013 Nov 5. [Epub ahead of print] [See abstract.]

Der Ananian CA, Desai P, Smith-Ray R, Seymour RB, Hughes SL. Perceived versus actual factors associated with adoption and maintenance of an evidence-based physical activity program. Transl Behav Med. 2012;2(2):209-217. [See abstract.]

Hughes SL, Leith KH, Marquez DX, Moni G, Nguyen HQ, Desai P, Jones DL. Physical activity and older adults: expert consensus for a new research agenda. Gerontologist. 2011 Dec;51(6):822-32. [See abstract.]

Prohaska TR, Anderson LA, Hooker SP, Hughes SL, Belza B. Mobility and aging: transference to transportation. J Aging Res. 2011;2011:392751. [See paper.]

Hughes S, Seymour R, Campbell R, Shaw J, Sokas R, Fabiyi C. Comparison of two health-promotion programs for older workers. Am J Public Health. 2011 May;101(5):883-890. [See abstract.]

Hughes SL, Seymour RB, Campbell RT, Desai P, Huber G, Chang HJ. Fit and Strong!: bolstering maintenance of physical activity among older adults with lower-extremity osteoarthritis. Am J Health Behav. 2010 Nov-Dec;34(6):750-63. [See abstract.]

Seymour RB, Hughes SL, Ory MG, Elliot DL, Kirby KC, Migneault J, Patrick H, Roll JM, Williams G. A lexicon for measuring maintenance of behavior change. Am J Health Behav. 2010 Nov-Dec;34(6):660-8.

Seymour RB, Hughes SL, Campbell RT, Huber GM, Desai P. Comparison of two methods of conducting the Fit and Strong! program. Arthritis Rheum. 2009 Jun 29;61(7):876-884. [See abstract.]

Hughes SL, Seymour RB, Campbell RT, Whitelaw N, Bazzarre T. Best-practice physical activity programs for older adults: findings from the national impact study. Am J Public Health. 2009 Feb;99(2):362-8. [See abstract.]

Etkin CD, Prohaska TR, Connell CM, Edelman P, Hughes SL. Antecedents of physical activity among family caregivers. J Appl Gerontol. 2008;27:350–367.

Hong S, Hughes SL, and Prohaska T.  Factors affecting exercise attendance and completion in sedentary older adults: a meta-analytic approach. J Phys Act Health. 2008;5(3):385-397.

Hughes SL, Seymour RB, Campbell RT, Huber G, Pollak N, Sharma L, Desai P. Long-term impact of Fit and Strong! on older adults with osteoarthritis. Gerontologist. 2006 Dec;46(6):801-814.

Hughes SL, Williams B, Molina LC, Bayles C, Bryant LL, Harris JR, et al. Characteristics of physical activity programs for older adults: results of a multisite survey. Gerontologist. 2005 Oct;45(5):667-75.

Hughes SL, Seymour RB, Campbell R, Pollak N, Huber G, Sharma L. Impact of the Fit and Strong intervention on older adults with osteoarthritis. Gerontologist. 2004 Apr;44(2):217-28.

Weaver FM, Hughes SL, Almagor O, Wixson R, Manheim L, Fulton B, Singer R. Comparison of two home care protocols for total joint replacement. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Apr;51(4):523-8.

Hughes SL, Finkel S, Harter K, Fulton B, Edelman P, Waters T. Evaluation of the managed community care demonstration project. J Aging Health. 2003 Feb;15(1):246-68.

Honors and Awards

UIC Researcher of the Year in Social Sciences and the Humanities, 2011
Fellow, Gerontological Society of America
Leadership Award, Gerontological Health Section, American Public Health Association