Thomas R. Prohaska, PhD

Formerly, Professor of Community Health Sciences

Dr. Prohaska is dean of the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University. Until June 2012, he was a professor of community health sciences in the UIC School of Public Health and co-directed IHRP's Center for Research on Health and Aging.

He has more than 20 years’ experience in gerontological research. He has been the principal investigator of several federally funded research studies and co-investigator on many others. He is the principal investigator of a National Institute on Aging Gerontological Public Health Training Program for pre- and post-doctoral fellows.

Over the past decade, Dr. Prohaska's research has focused on community-based health promotion interventions with minority older adult populations. He has been principal investigator of the UIC Center for Health Interventions in Minority Elderly (CHIME) and co-principal investigator of the Midwest Roybal Center for Health Maintenance, both funded by the National Institute on Aging.  He is currently a member of the National Advisory Committee to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Health and Physical Activity in Adults 50 years and older.

He has published several papers examining barriers and facilitators to physical activity adherence and is interested in the dissemination of evidence-based interventions for older populations.

Research Interests

Psychology of aging, health and illness behavior in the elderly, health promotion, coping with chronic illness, self-care in older adults, doctor/older patient interaction, community interventions with older adults, translation and community dissemination of evidence-based programs for older adults

Recent and Noteworthy Publications

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.]

Lavela SL, Prohaska TR, Furner S, Weaver FM. Preventive healthcare use among males with multiple sclerosis. Public Health. 2012 Oct;126(10):896-903.

Satariano WA, Guralnik JM, Jackson RJ, Marottoli RA, Phelan EA, Prohaska TR. Mobility and aging: new directions for public health action. Am J Public Health. 2012 Aug;102(8):1508-1515. [See abstract.]

Mullen SP, McAuley E, Satariano WA, Kealey M, Prohaska TR. Physical activity and functional limitations in older adults: the influence of self-efficacy and functional performance. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2012 May;67(3):354-61. [See abstract.]

Lavela SL, Prohaska TR, Furner S, Weaver FM. Chronic diseases in male veterans with multiple sclerosis. Prev Chronic Dis. 2012 Feb;9:E55. [See abstract.]

Lavela SL, Evans CT, Prohaska TR, Miskevics S, Ganesh SP, Weaver FM. Males aging with a spinal cord injury: prevalence of cardiovascular and metabolic conditions. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Jan;93(1):90-5. [See abstract.]

Snowden M, Steinman L, Mochan K, Grodstein F, Prohaska TR, Thurman DJ, Brown DR, Laditka JN, Soares J, Zweiback DJ, Little D, Anderson LA. Effect of exercise on cognitive performance in community-dwelling older adults: Review of intervention trials and recommendations for public health practice and research. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Apr;59(4):704-716. [See abstract.]

Eisenstein AR, Prohaska TR, Kruger J, Satariano WA, Hooker S, Buchner D, Kealey M, Hunter RH. Environmental correlates of overweight and obesity in community residing older adults. J Aging Health. 2011 Sep;23(6):994-1009. [See abstract.]

Gordon EJ, Prohaska TR, Gallant MP, Sehgal AR, Strogatz D, Conti D, Siminoff LA. Prevalence and determinants of physical activity and fluid intake in kidney transplant recipients. Clin Transplant. 2010 May;24(3):E69-81. [See abstract.]

Satariano WA, Ivey SL, Kurtovich E, Kealey M, Hubbard AE, Bayles CM, Bryant LL, Hunter RH, Prohaska TR. Lower-body function, neighborhoods, and walking in an older population. Am J Prev Med. 2010 Apr;38(4):419-28. [See abstract.]

Prohaska TR, Eisenstein AR, Satariano WA, Hunter R, Bayles CM, Kurtovich E, Kealey M, Ivey SL. Walking and the preservation of cognitive function in older populations. Gerontologist. 2009 Jun;49(S1):S86-S93. [See abstract.]

Gordon EJ, Prohaska TR, Gallant M, Siminoff LA. Self-care strategies and barriers among kidney transplant recipients: a qualitative study. Chronic Illn. 2009 Jun;5(2):75-91. [See abstract.]

Kruger J, Buchner DM, Prohaska TR. The prescribed amount of physical activity in randomized clinical trials in older adults. Gerontologist. 2009 Jun;49(S1):S100-S107. [See abstract.]

Kruger J, Ham SA, Prohaska TR. Behavioral risk factors associated with overweight and obesity among older adults: the 2005 National Health Interview Survey. Prev Chronic Dis. 2009 Jan;6(1):A14. [See abstract.]

Gordon EJ, Prohaska TR, Sehgal AR. The financial impact of immunosuppressant expenses on new kidney transplant recipients. Clin Transplant. 2008 Nov-Dec;22(6):738-48.

Désy PM, Prohaska TR. The Geriatric Emergency Nursing Education (GENE) course: an evaluation. J Emerg Nurs. 2008 Oct;34(5):396-402.

Warren-Findlow J, Prohaska TR. Families, social support, and self-care among older African-American women with chronic illness. Am J Health Promot. 2008 May-Jun;22(5):342-9.

Hong SY, Hughes S, Prohaska T. Factors affecting exercise attendance and completion in sedentary older adults: a meta-analytic approach. J Phys Act Health. 2008 May;5(3):385-97.

Etkin CD, Prohaska TR, Connell CM, Edelman P, Hughes SL. Antecedents of Physical Activity Among Family Caregivers. J Appl Gerontol. 2008;27:350–367.

Gordon EJ, Prohaska TR, Gallant MP, Siminoff LA. Adherence to immunosuppression: a prospective diary study. Transplant Proc. 2007 Dec;39(10):3081-5.

Sarkisian CA, Prohaska TR, Davis C, Weiner B. Pilot test of an attribution retraining intervention to raise walking levels in sedentary older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Nov;55(11):1842-6.

Steinman LE, Frederick JT, Prohaska T, Satariano WA, Dornberg-Lee S, Fisher R, Graub PB, Leith K, Presby K, Sharkey J, Snyder S, Turner D, Wilson N, Yagoda L, Unutzer J, Snowden M; Late Life Depression Special Interest Project (SIP) Panelists. Recommendations for treating depression in community-based older adults. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Sep;33(3):175-81.

Frederick JT, Steinman LE, Prohaska T, Satariano WA, Bruce M, Bryant L, Ciechanowski P, Devellis B, Leith K, Leyden KM, Sharkey J, Simon GE, Wilson N, Unutzer J, Snowden M; Late Life Depression Special Interest Project Panelists. Community-based treatment of late life depression an expert panel-informed literature review. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Sep;33(3):222-49.

Kruger J, Prohaska TR, Furner SE. Preferences for health inquiry among adults aged 50 and over. Res Aging. 2007;29(4):283-296.

Prohaska T, Peters K. Physical activity and cognitive functioning: translating research to practice with a public health approach. Alzheimers Demen. 2007;3(2):S58-S64.

Prohaska T, Belansky E, Belza B, Buchner D, Marshall V, McTigue K, Satariano W, Wilcox S. Physical activity, public health, and aging: critical issues and research priorities. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2006 Sep;61(5):S267-73.

Honors and Awards

Distinguished Professor Gerontology/Geriatrics Award, University of California Los Angeles Academic Geriatric Resource Center
Fellow, Gerontological Society of America