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Susan McCurry PhD

Research Professor Emerita
Vice Chair of Research
Adjunct Research Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Health
Affiliate Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

I am a clinical psychologist specializing in gerontology and geriatrics, and have been involved in research and clinical practice with older adults for over 30 years. I received my PhD at University of Nevada Reno, where I was trained in contextual behavioral science. As part of the School of Nursing Northwest Research Group on Aging team, I have since 1991 worked to help develop, systematically evaluate, and translate nonpharmacological interventions to improve quality of life for persons with cognitive impairment. My ongoing research includes: (1) assessment and treatment of sleep disturbances in aging adults with co-morbid medical conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, kidney disease, and menopausal vasomotor symptoms; (2) development and evaluation of training programs for family and professional staff caring for persons with dementia; and (3) examination of the environmental, behavioral, and psychosocial factors associated with successful aging and cognitive decline.



  • BA, Pomona College, 1974
  • MS, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 1977
  • MS, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 1984
  • PhD, University of Nevada-Reno, 1991
  • Postdoctoral Geropsychology Fellowship, University of Washington, 1993

Awards and accolades

  • Fellow, Gerontological Society of America

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The School of Nursing is a community of students and faculty characterized by intellectual rigor, commitment to global health, and a passion for support of diversity and innovation in training, research, and community service. If you care about making the world a better place, the School of Nursing is the place for you.

Scholarly work

  • McCurry, S.M. (2006). When a family member has dementia: Steps to becoming a resilient caregiver. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
  • McCurry, S.M., & Drossel, C. (2011). Treating dementia in context: A step by step guide to working with individuals and families. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.


Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing

Research Areas

  • Lifespan Health

Research Centers

Picture of  Susan McCurry
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University of Washington School of Nursing
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Office: T506c