Tatiana Sadak, PhD

Tatiana Sadak, PhD
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor
Psychosocial & Community Health
Box 357263
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195


Dr. Tatiana Sadak is a PhD-prepared gero-psychiatric nurse practitioner, dementia specialist and an Assistant Professor of Geriatric Mental Health at the University of Washington School of Nursing. She is the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Fellow and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar. Tatiana’s research, clinical work and teaching are focused on promoting engagement, knowledge and skills of family/friend caregivers of older adults living with chronic illnesses and cognitive impairment and on formalizing and strengthening the partnership between clinicians and patient/caregiver dyads. She is a co-creator of the “Partnering for Better Health – Living with Chronic Illness (PBH-LCI)" questionnaire, a novel index for measuring the process by which caregivers become ready and then progressively assume the multiple roles involved in managing the needs of a care recipient while caring for themselves. Tatiana's current work is focused on implementing comprehensive, culturally sensitive caregiver assessments and interventions in primary, specialty and hospice health care settings.


Dr. Sadak is currently teaching undergraduate psychiatric nursing didactics and skills lab and guest lecturing in graduate psychiatric nursing courses (content includes: neurobiology of aging from health to pathology, geriatric psycho-pharmacolcogy, comprehensive gero-psychiatric assessment).  She is a principle faculty for the Interprofessional Education Program at UW.  She regularly lectures in Continuing Medical Education courses presenting gero-psychiatric content to clinicians specializing in psychiatry, neurology and primary care.

Practice, Service, Community Involvement 

Dr. Sadak is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Snohomish County Advisory Board, the de Tornyay Center for Health Aging Executive Committee and the WA State Alzheimer’s Plan work-group Medicine/Health Services subcommittee.  She serves on the John A. Hartford Foundation Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence Peer Mentoring Committee. Dr. Sadak maintains a gero-psychiatric private practice in Lynnwood, WA where she provides consultation and care for older adults living with psychiatric illnesses, and/or dementias.  The majority of her patients have complex dementias and multiple psychiatric and medical comorbidities. Tatiana also specializes in improving mental health and wellbeing of family/friend dementia caregivers. 

Current Publications

  • Sadak, T. I., Katon, J., Beck, C., Cochrane, B. B., & Borson, S. (2013). Key Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Common Dementias: Prevalence and Implications for Caregivers, Clinicians, and Health Systems. Res Gerontol Nurs, 7(1):44-52doi: 10.3928/19404921-20130918-01
  • Borson, S., Scanlan, J. M., Sadak, T., Lessig, M., & Vitaliano, P. (2014). Dementia Services Mini-Screen: A Simple Method to Identify Patients and Caregivers in Need of Enhanced Dementia Care Services. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2014.11.001
  • Sadak, T., Korpack, A., & Borson, S. (2015). Measuring Dementia Caregiver Activation for Healthcare: Validation of the Partnering for Better Health – Living with Chronic Illness: Dementia Questionnaire. Geriatric Nursing, Supplement. (in press).
  • Sadak, T., Souza, A., Borson, S. (2015). Toward Assessment of Dementia Caregiver Activation for Health Care: A Systematic Review of Related Constructs and Measures. Research in Gerontological Nursing. (submitted)
  • Sadak, T., Wright J., Borson S. (2015). Partnering for Better Health – Living with Chronic Illness: Dementia: Development of a New Measure of Caregiver Activation for Health Care. The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management. (submitted).

Current Research Projects

Dementia Caregiver Activation. Partnering for Better Health, Living with Chronic Illness (PBH-LCI)
Principal Investigator: Tatiana Sadak    Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation #71246    9/1/2013 - 8/31/2016
Background: This research focuses on activation of dementia family caregivers and fostering clinician/ caregiver partnership to improve health outcomes of patients with dementia. Ultimately, caregiver activation tools that support and individualize the partnership between dementia caregivers and clinicians will help to define and manage the complex and complementary roles both play in caring for patients. If widely implemented in practice, this approach can improve patient- and caregiver-centered health care outcomes measured in clarity of care goals, quality of life, appropriate timing of both medical and psychosocial service use, and collaborative decision making. We already validated and culturally tailored PBH-LCI questionnaire. Current work is focused on designing and field testing a Dementia Caregiver Activation Interventions for primary, specialty and hospice health care settings.

Cultural Tailoring of PBH-LCI for Use with Ethnic Minority Caregivers of Older Adults Living with Chronic Illnesses and or Dementias
Principal Investigator: Tatiana Sadak    Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation #71246    9/1/2013 - 8/31/2016   
ckground: The purpose of this methodological study is to improve the generalizability of a questionnaire that measures the ability of the family/friend caregivers to ‘activate’ or actively engage in their loved-one’s medical/nursing care. We are examining the applicability of PBH-LCI for assessing cultural/ethnic minority (African American and Hispanic) caregivers and improving language and concepts of the questionnaire based on the feedback from diverse caregivers and clinicians. Implications: This study will advance research on evidence-based culturally sensitive assessment of family/friend caregivers. The instrument is fundamental to the design of novel and effective interventions needed to improve chronic disease care through caregiver activation.

Hospice Caregiver Activation
Principal Investigator: Tatiana Sadak    Sponsor: UW RIFP,  de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging    11/1/2015-11/1/2016
Background: This pragmatic research trail is focused on the implementation of systematic family/friend caregiver assessments and interventions in 6 national and local hospice locations.

Research Interests: 
Study of geriatric multimorbidity and neurodegenerative disorders, developing models of comprehensive dementia health services, defining leadership roles of nurses in providing dementia care.
UW Graduate Faculty: