Sandra F. Simmons, Ph.D.


Visit Lab Site

Faculty Appointments
Professor of Medicine Professor of PsychologyPaul V. Hamilton, M.D. Chair in Geriatrics
Ph.D., Gerontology & Clinical Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PennsylvaniaM.A., Clinical Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TennesseeB.A., Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Office Address
2525 West End Ave, Suite #350
Nashville, TN 37203
Research Description
Sandra F. Simmons, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She also holds a secondary appointment as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Vanderbilt University. Her background and training is in clinical psychology and gerontology. She serves as the Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Quality Aging ( and Deputy Assistant Director of Research at the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Veterans Administration. She is also a Senior Scholar for the VA Quality Scholars Program. Dr. Simmons has been the recipient of numerous grants to examine issues in gerontology from the National Institutes of Health and Aging, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, Veterans Healthcare Administration and the National Alzheimer’s Association. Specifically, her research foci include clinical interventions to improve quality of care and quality of life for older adults in a variety of care settings including acute care, post-acute care, long-term care and dementia care within assisted-living. Her current research examines interventions to reduce polypharmacy and improve geriatric syndromes among hospitalized older adults transitioning to post-acute care.
Clinical Research Keywords
Long term care, quality of care, quality of life, staffing resources, best practices, nutrition, assessment, satisfaction and preference
Jacobsen JM, Schnelle JF, Saraf AA, Long EA, Vasilevskis EE, Kripalani S, Simmons SF. Preventability of Hospital Readmissions From Skilled Nursing Facilities: A Consumer Perspective. Gerontologist [print-electronic]. 2016 Dec 12/7/2016; PMID: 27927728, PII: gnw132, DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnw132, ISSN: 1758-5341.

Simmons SF, Schnelle JF, Saraf AA, Simon Coelho C, Jacobsen JM, Kripalani S, Bell S, Mixon A, Vasilevskis EE. Pain and Satisfaction With Pain Management Among Older Patients During the Transition From Acute to Skilled Nursing Care. Gerontologist [print-electronic]. 2016 Dec; 56(6): 1138-45. PMID: 26185153, PII: gnv058, DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnv058, ISSN: 1758-5341.

Schnelle JF, Schroyer LD, Saraf AA, Simmons SF. Determining Nurse Aide Staffing Requirements to Provide Care Based on Resident Workload: A Discrete Event Simulation Model. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2016 Nov 11/1/2016; 17(11): 970-7. PMID: 27780572, PII: S1525-8610(16)30358-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2016.08.006, ISSN: 1538-9375.

Saraf AA, Petersen AW, Simmons SF, Schnelle JF, Bell SP, Kripalani S, Myers AP, Mixon AS, Long EA, Jacobsen JM, Vasilevskis EE. Medications associated with geriatric syndromes and their prevalence in older hospitalized adults discharged to skilled nursing facilities. J Hosp Med [print-electronic]. 2016 Oct; 11(10): 694-700. PMID: 27255830, PMCID: PMC5048583, DOI: 10.1002/jhm.2614, ISSN: 1553-5606.

Simmons SF, Bell S, Saraf AA, Coelho CS, Long EA, Jacobsen JM, Schnelle JF, Vasilevskis EE. Stability of Geriatric Syndromes in Hospitalized Medicare Beneficiaries Discharged to Skilled Nursing Facilities. J Am Geriatr Soc [print-electronic]. 2016 Oct; 64(10): 2027-34. PMID: 27590032, PMCID: PMC5072988, DOI: 10.1111/jgs.14320, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Hollingsworth EK, Long EA, Simmons SF. Comparison Between Quality of Care Provided by Trained Feeding Assistants and Certified Nursing Assistants During Between-Meal Supplementation in Long-Term Care Settings. J Appl Gerontol [print-electronic]. 2016 Sep 9/22/2016; PMID: 27664171, PII: 0733464816669806, DOI: 10.1177/0733464816669806, ISSN: 1552-4523.

Simmons SF, Schnelle JF, Sathe NA, Slagle JM, Stevenson DG, Carlo ME, McPheeters ML. Defining Safety in the Nursing Home Setting: Implications for Future Research. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2016 Jun 6/1/2016; 17(6): 473-81. PMID: 27235760, PII: S1525-8610(16)30035-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2016.03.005, ISSN: 1538-9375.

Bell SP, Vasilevskis EE, Saraf AA, Jacobsen JM, Kripalani S, Mixon AS, Schnelle JF, Simmons SF. Geriatric Syndromes in Hospitalized Older Adults Discharged to Skilled Nursing Facilities. J Am Geriatr Soc [print-electronic]. 2016 Apr; 64(4): 715-22. PMID: 27059831, PMCID: PMC4840035, DOI: 10.1111/jgs.14035, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Schnelle JF, Simmons SF. Managing Agitation and Aggression in Congregate Living Settings: Efficacy and Implementation Challenges [editorial]. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Mar; 64(3): 489-91. PMID: 27000322, DOI: 10.1111/jgs.13947, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Harrington C, Schnelle JF, McGregor M, Simmons SF. The Need for Higher Minimum Staffing Standards in U.S. Nursing Homes. Health Serv Insights. 2016; 9: 13-9. PMID: 27103819, PMCID: PMC4833431, PII: hsi-9-2016-013, DOI: 10.4137/HSI.S38994.

Simmons SF, Keeler E, An R, Liu X, Shotwell MS, Kuertz B, Silver HJ, Schnelle JF. Cost-Effectiveness of Nutrition Intervention in Long-Term Care. J Am Geriatr Soc [print-electronic]. 2015 Nov; 63(11): 2308-16. PMID: 26503137, PMCID: PMC5131725, DOI: 10.1111/jgs.13709, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Monroe TB, Misra S, Habermann RC, Dietrich MS, Bruehl SP, Cowan RL, Newhouse PA, Simmons SF. Specific Physician Orders Improve Pain Detection and Pain Reports in Nursing Home Residents: Preliminary Data. Pain Manag Nurs [print-electronic]. 2015 Oct; 16(5): 770-80. PMID: 26259882, PMCID: PMC4548860, PII: S1524-9042(15)00081-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.pmn.2015.06.002, ISSN: 1532-8635.

Vasilevskis EE, Simmons SF. Simple solutions may not work for complex patients: A need for new paradigms in geriatric hospital medicine [editorial]. J Hosp Med [print-electronic]. 2015 May; 10(5): 343-4. PMID: 25641782, PMCID: PMC4412786, DOI: 10.1002/jhm.2327, ISSN: 1553-5606.

Simmons SF, Durkin DW, Rahman AN, Schnelle JF, Beuscher LM. The value of resident choice during daily care: do staff and families differ?. J Appl Gerontol [print-electronic]. 2014 Sep; 33(6): 655-71. PMID: 25143465, PMCID: PMC4142524, PII: 0733464812454010, DOI: 10.1177/0733464812454010, ISSN: 1552-4523.

Simmons SF, Rahman AN. Next steps for achieving person-centered care in nursing homes [editorial]. J Am Med Dir Assoc [print-electronic]. 2014 Sep; 15(9): 615-9. PMID: 25023832, PII: S1525-8610(14)00366-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2014.06.008, ISSN: 1538-9375.

Durkin DW, Shotwell MS, Simmons SF. The impact of family visitation on feeding assistance quality in nursing homes. J Appl Gerontol [print-electronic]. 2014 Aug; 33(5): 586-602. PMID: 24652932, PII: 0733464814522126, DOI: 10.1177/0733464814522126, ISSN: 1552-4523.

Monroe TB, Misra SK, Habermann RC, Dietrich MS, Cowan RL, Simmons SF. Pain reports and pain medication treatment in nursing home residents with and without dementia. Geriatr Gerontol Int [print-electronic]. 2014 Jul; 14(3): 541-8. PMID: 24020433, PMCID: PMC4850825, DOI: 10.1111/ggi.12130, ISSN: 1447-0594.

Simmons SF, Sims N, Durkin DW, Shotwell MS, Erwin S, Schnelle JF. The quality of feeding assistance care practices for long-term care veterans: implications for quality improvement efforts. J Appl Gerontol [print-electronic]. 2013 Sep; 32(6): 669-86. PMID: 25474793, PII: 0733464811433487, DOI: 10.1177/0733464811433487, ISSN: 1552-4523.

Simmons SF, Durkin DW, Shotwell MS, Erwin S, Schnelle JF. A staff training and management intervention in VA long-term care: impact on feeding assistance care quality. Transl Behav Med. 2013 Jun; 3(2): 189-99. PMID: 24073169, PMCID: PMC3717980, PII: 194, DOI: 10.1007/s13142-013-0194-3, ISSN: 1869-6716.

Schnelle JF, Rahman A, Durkin DW, Beuscher L, Choi L, Simmons SF. A controlled trial of an intervention to increase resident choice in long term care. J Am Med Dir Assoc [print-electronic]. 2013 May; 14(5): 345-51. PMID: 23294967, PMCID: PMC3637865, PII: S1525-8610(12)00426-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2012.11.013, ISSN: 1538-9375.

Buchowski MS, Simmons SF, Whitaker LE, Powers J, Beuscher L, Choi L, Ikizler TA, Chen K, Shnelle JF. Fatigability as a function of physical activity energy expenditure in older adults. Age (Dordr) [print-electronic]. 2013 Feb; 35(1): 179-87. PMID: 22113348, PMCID: PMC3543733, DOI: 10.1007/s11357-011-9338-x, ISSN: 1574-4647.

Simmons SF, Durkin DW, Rahman AN, Choi L, Beuscher L, Schnelle JF. Resident characteristics related to the lack of morning care provision in long-term care. Gerontologist [print-electronic]. 2013 Feb; 53(1): 151-61. PMID: 22565494, PMCID: PMC3551209, PII: gns065, DOI: 10.1093/geront/gns065, ISSN: 1758-5341.

Schnelle JF, Buchowski MS, Ikizler TA, Durkin DW, Beuscher L, Simmons SF. Evaluation of two fatigability severity measures in elderly adults. J Am Geriatr Soc [print-electronic]. 2012 Aug; 60(8): 1527-33. PMID: 22860899, PMCID: PMC3419324, DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04062.x, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Simmons SF, Rahman A, Beuscher L, Jani V, Durkin DW, Schnelle JF. Resident-directed long-term care: staff provision of choice during morning care. Gerontologist [print-electronic]. 2011 Dec; 51(6): 867-75. PMID: 21719629, PMCID: PMC3220665, PII: gnr066, DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnr066, ISSN: 1758-5341.

Simmons SF, Zhuo X, Keeler E. Cost-effectiveness of nutrition interventions in nursing home residents: a pilot intervention. J Nutr Health Aging. 2010 May; 14(5): 367-72. PMID: 20424804, PMCID: PMC3686278, ISSN: 1760-4788.

Schnelle JF, Bertrand R, Hurd D, White A, Squires D, Feuerberg M, Hickey K, Simmons SF. The importance of standardized observations to evaluate nutritional care quality in the survey process. J Am Med Dir Assoc [print-electronic]. 2009 Oct; 10(8): 568-74. PMID: 19808155, PII: S1525-8610(09)00177-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2009.05.004, ISSN: 1538-9375.

Schnelle JF, Bertrand R, Hurd D, White A, Squires D, Feuerberg M, Hickey K, Simmons SF. Resident choice and the survey process: the need for standardized observation and transparency. Gerontologist [print-electronic]. 2009 Aug; 49(4): 517-24. PMID: 19435928, PII: gnp050, DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnp050, ISSN: 1758-5341.

Simmons SF, Cleeton P, Porchak T. Resident complaints about the nursing home food service: relationship to cognitive status. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci [print-electronic]. 2009 May; 64(3): 324-7. PMID: 19251880, PMCID: PMC2670252, PII: gbp007, DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbp007, ISSN: 1758-5368.

Schnelle JF, Simmons SF, Beuscher L, Peterson EN, Habermann R, Leung F. Prevalence of constipation symptoms in fecally incontinent nursing home residents. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Apr; 57(4): 647-52. PMID: 19392956, PMCID: PMC2925174, PII: JGS2215, DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02215.x, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Simmons SF, Peterson EN, You C. The accuracy of monthly weight assessments in nursing homes: implications for the identification of weight loss. J Nutr Health Aging. 2009 Mar; 13(3): 284-8. PMID: 19262969, PMCID: PMC3913049, ISSN: 1279-7707.

Simmons SF, Keeler E, Zhuo X, Hickey KA, Sato HW, Schnelle JF. Prevention of unintentional weight loss in nursing home residents: a controlled trial of feeding assistance. J Am Geriatr Soc [print-electronic]. 2008 Aug; 56(8): 1466-73. PMID: 18637983, PMCID: PMC2897234, PII: JGS1801, DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.01801.x, ISSN: 1532-5415.

Simmons SF, Bertrand R, Shier V, Sweetland R, Moore TJ, Hurd DT, Schnelle JF. A preliminary evaluation of the paid feeding assistant regulation: impact on feeding assistance care process quality in nursing homes. Gerontologist. 2007 Apr; 47(2): 184-92. PMID: 17440123, PII: 47/2/184, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Simmons SF. Quality improvement for feeding assistance care in nursing homes. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2007 Mar; 8(3 Suppl): S12-7. PMID: 17336870, PII: S1525-8610(06)00588-3, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2006.12.003, ISSN: 1538-9375.

Levy-Storms L, Schnelle JF, Simmons SF. What do family members notice following an intervention to improve mobility and incontinence care for nursing home residents? An analysis of open-ended comments. Gerontologist. 2007 Feb; 47(1): 14-20. PMID: 17327536, PII: 47/1/14, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Schnelle JF, Ouslander JG, Simmons SF. Direct observations of nursing home care quality: Does care change when observed?. J Am Med Dir Assoc [print-electronic]. 2006 Nov; 7(9): 541-4. PMID: 17095417, PII: S1525-8610(06)00179-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2006.03.009, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Simmons SF, Schnelle JF. A continuous quality improvement pilot study: impact on nutritional care quality. J Am Med Dir Assoc [print-electronic]. 2006 Oct; 7(8): 480-5. PMID: 17027624, PII: S1525-8610(06)00171-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2006.03.002, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Simmons SF, Patel AV. Nursing home staff delivery of oral liquid nutritional supplements to residents at risk for unintentional weight loss. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Sep; 54(9): 1372-6. PMID: 16970644, PII: JGS688, DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2006.00688.x, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Simmons SF, Schnelle JF. Feeding assistance needs of long-stay nursing home residents and staff time to provide care. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Jun; 54(6): 919-24. PMID: 16776786, PII: JGS812, DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2006.00812.x, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Simmons SF, Levy-Storms L. The effect of staff care practices on nursing home residents' preferences: implications for individualizing care. J Nutr Health Aging. 2006 May; 10(3): 216-21. PMID: 16622583, ISSN: 1279-7707.

Cadogan MP, Schnelle JF, Al-Sammarrai NR, Yamamoto-Mitani N, Cabrera G, Osterweil D, Simmons SF. A standardized quality assessment system to evaluate pain detection and management in the nursing home. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2006 Mar; 7(3 Suppl): S11-9, S10. PMID: 16500269, PII: S1525-8610(05)00685-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2005.12.011, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Simmons SF. Continuous quality improvement for nutritional care services in nursing homes: the importance of direct observation [editorial]. J Am Med Dir Assoc [print-electronic]. 2006 Jan; 7(1): 61-2. PMID: 16413437, PII: S1525-8610(05)00486-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2005.08.001, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Bates-Jensen BM, Simmons SF, Schnelle JF, Alessi C. Evaluating the accuracy of minimum data set bed-mobility ratings against independent performance assessments: systematic error and directions for improvement. Gerontologist. 2005 Dec; 45(6): 731-8. PMID: 16326654, PII: 45/6/731, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Simmons SF, Levy-Storms L. The effect of dining location on nutritional care quality in nursing homes. J Nutr Health Aging. 2005 Nov; 9(6): 434-9. PMID: 16395515, ISSN: 1279-7707.

Levy-Storms L, Simmons SF, Gutierrez VF, Miller-Martinez D, Hickey K, Schnelle JF. A refined protocol for coding nursing home residents' comments during satisfaction interviews. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2005 Nov; 60(6): S326-S330. PMID: 16260715, PII: 60/6/S326, ISSN: 1079-5014.

Schnelle JF, Osterweil D, Simmons SF. Improving the quality of nursing home care and medical-record accuracy with direct observational technologies. Gerontologist. 2005 Oct; 45(5): 576-82. PMID: 16199391, PII: 45/5/576, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Simmons SF, Ouslander JG. Resident and family satisfaction with incontinence and mobility care: sensitivity to intervention effects?. Gerontologist. 2005 Jun; 45(3): 318-26. PMID: 15933272, PII: 45/3/318, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Rahman AN, Simmons SF. Individualizing nutritional care with between-meal snacks for nursing home residents. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2005 May; 6(3): 215-8. PMID: 15894253, PII: S1525-8610(05)00198-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2005.03.009, ISSN: 1538-9375.

Simmons SF, Walker KA, Osterweil D. The effect of megestrol acetate on oral food and fluid intake in nursing home residents: a pilot study. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2005 May; 6(3 Suppl): S5-11. PMID: 15890297, PII: S1525-8610(05)00219-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2005.03.014, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Simmons SF. Residents' care preferences as targeting criteria: measurement issues functional incidental training: applicability and feasibility in the Veterans Affairs nursing home patient population [editorial]. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2005 Mar; 6(2): 157-8. PMID: 15871895, PII: S1525-8610(04)00027-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2004.12.026, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Ganz DA, Simmons SF, Schnelle JF. Cost-effectiveness of recommended nurse staffing levels for short-stay skilled nursing facility patients. BMC Health Serv Res. 2005; 5: 35. PMID: 15885148, PMCID: PMC1145183, PII: 1472-6963-5-35, DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-5-35, ISSN: 1472-6963.

Cadogan MP, Schnelle JF, Al-Sammarrai NR, Yamamoto-Mitani N, Cabrera G, Osterweil D, Simmons SF. A standardized quality assessment system to evaluate pain detection and management in the nursing home. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2005 Jan; 6(1): 1-9. PMID: 15871864, PII: S1525-8610(04)00003-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2004.12.002, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Chu L, Schnelle JF, Cadogan MP, Simmons SF. Using the minimum data set to select nursing home residents for interview about pain. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004 Dec; 52(12): 2057-61. PMID: 15571542, PII: JGS52565, DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52565.x, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Simmons SF, Schnelle JF. Individualized feeding assistance care for nursing home residents: staffing requirements to implement two interventions. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 2004 Sep; 59(9): M966-73. PMID: 15472163, PII: 59/9/M966, ISSN: 1079-5006.

Simmons SF, Cadogan MP, Cabrera GR, Al-Samarrai NR, Jorge JS, Levy-Storms L, Osterweil D, Schnelle JF. The minimum data set depression quality indicator: does it reflect differences in care processes?. Gerontologist. 2004 Aug; 44(4): 554-64. PMID: 15331813, PII: 44/4/554, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Schnelle JF, Bates-Jensen BM, Chu L, Simmons SF. Accuracy of nursing home medical record information about care-process delivery: implications for staff management and improvement. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004 Aug; 52(8): 1378-83. PMID: 15271130, PII: JGS52372, DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52372.x, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Simmons SF. Selecting nursing home residents for interview [letter]. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2004 Jul; 5(4): 280. PMID: 15228641, PII: S1525-8610(04)70137-1, DOI: 10.1097/01.JAM.0000131584.12158.E0, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Schnelle JF, Bates-Jensen BM, Levy-Storms L, Grbic V, Yoshii J, Cadogan M, Simmons SF. The minimum data set prevalence of restraint quality indicator: does it reflect differences in care?. Gerontologist. 2004 Apr; 44(2): 245-55. PMID: 15075421, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Schnelle JF, Simmons SF, Harrington C, Cadogan M, Garcia E, M Bates-Jensen B. Relationship of nursing home staffing to quality of care. Health Serv Res. 2004 Apr; 39(2): 225-50. PMID: 15032952, PMCID: PMC1361005, PII: HESR225, DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2004.00225.x, ISSN: 0017-9124.

Cadogan MP, Schnelle JF, Yamamoto-Mitani N, Cabrera G, Simmons SF. A minimum data set prevalence of pain quality indicator: is it accurate and does it reflect differences in care processes?. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 2004 Mar; 59(3): 281-5. PMID: 15031314, ISSN: 1079-5006.

Simmons SF, Schnelle JF. Effects of an exercise and scheduled-toileting intervention on appetite and constipation in nursing home residents. J Nutr Health Aging. 2004; 8(2): 116-21. PMID: 14978607, ISSN: 1279-7707.

Schnelle JF, Simmons SF. Developing innovative models to translate guidelines into practice [editorial]. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2004 Jan; 5(1): 55-6. PMID: 14706130, PII: S1525-8610(04)70045-6, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Simmons SF, Walker KA, Osterweil D. The effect of megestrol acetate on oral food and fluid intake in nursing home residents: a pilot study. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2004 Jan; 5(1): 24-30. PMID: 14706125, PII: S1525-8610(04)70040-7, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Schnelle JF, Cadogan MP, Grbic D, Bates-Jensen BM, Osterweil D, Yoshii J, Simmons SF. A standardized quality assessment system to evaluate incontinence care in the nursing home. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Dec; 51(12): 1754-61. PMID: 14687354, PII: 51560, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Simmons SF, Garcia ET, Cadogan MP, Al-Samarrai NR, Levy-Storms LF, Osterweil D, Schnelle JF. The minimum data set weight-loss quality indicator: does it reflect differences in care processes related to weight loss?. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Oct; 51(10): 1410-8. PMID: 14511161, PII: 51459, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Schnelle JF, Cadogan MP, Yoshii J, Al-Samarrai NR, Osterweil D, Bates-Jensen BM, Simmons SF. The minimum data set urinary incontinence quality indicators: do they reflect differences in care processes related to incontinence?. Med Care. 2003 Aug; 41(8): 909-22. PMID: 12886171, DOI: 10.1097/01.MLR.0000078146.88391.64, ISSN: 0025-7079.

Simmons SF. Should reimbursement rates be increased for feeding assistance in nursing homes? [editorial]. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2003 Jan; 4(1): 52-3. PMID: 12807600, PII: S1525-8610(04)70267-4, DOI: 10.1097/01.JAM.0000043424.41989.D2, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Simmons SF, Lam HY, Rao G, Schnelle JF. Family members' preferences for nutrition interventions to improve nursing home residents' oral food and fluid intake. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Jan; 51(1): 69-74. PMID: 12534848, PII: jgs51012, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Simmons SF, Ferrell BA, Schnelle JF. Effects of a controlled exercise trial on pain in nursing home residents. Clin J Pain. 2002 Nov; 18(6): 380-5. PMID: 12441832, ISSN: 0749-8047.

Simmons SF, Babineau S, Garcia E, Schnelle JF. Quality assessment in nursing homes by systematic direct observation: feeding assistance. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 2002 Oct; 57(10): M665-71. PMID: 12242322, ISSN: 1079-5006.

Schnelle JF, Alessi CA, Simmons SF, Al-Samarrai NR, Beck JC, Ouslander JG. Translating clinical research into practice: a randomized controlled trial of exercise and incontinence care with nursing home residents. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 Sep; 50(9): 1476-83. PMID: 12383143, PII: jgs50401, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Levy-Storms L, Schnelle JF, Simmons SF. A comparison of methods to assess nursing home residents' unmet needs. Gerontologist. 2002 Aug; 42(4): 454-61. PMID: 12145373, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Simmons SF, Lim B, Schnelle JF. Accuracy of minimum data set in identifying residents at risk for undernutrition: oral intake and food complaints. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2002 May; 3(3): 140-5. PMID: 12807657, ISSN: 1525-8610.

Simmons SF, Osterweil D, Schnelle JF. Improving food intake in nursing home residents with feeding assistance: a staffing analysis. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 2001 Dec; 56(12): M790-4. PMID: 11723156, ISSN: 1079-5006.

Simmons SF, Schnelle JF. The identification of residents capable of accurately describing daily care: implications for evaluating nursing home care quality. Gerontologist. 2001 Oct; 41(5): 605-11. PMID: 11574705, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Simmons SF, Alessi C, Schnelle JF. An intervention to increase fluid intake in nursing home residents: prompting and preference compliance. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001 Jul; 49(7): 926-33. PMID: 11527484, PII: jgs49183, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Schnelle JF, Wood S, Schnelle ER, Simmons SF. Measurement sensitivity and the Minimum Data Set depression quality indicator. Gerontologist. 2001 Jun; 41(3): 401-5. PMID: 11405438, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Simmons SF, Reuben D. Nutritional intake monitoring for nursing home residents: a comparison of staff documentation, direct observation, and photography methods. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2000 Feb; 48(2): 209-13. PMID: 10682952, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Simmons SF, Schnelle JF. Strategies to measure nursing home residents' satisfaction and preferences related to incontinence and mobility care: implications for evaluating intervention effects. Gerontologist. 1999 Jun; 39(3): 345-55. PMID: 10396892, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Cruise PA, Schnelle JF, Alessi CA, Simmons SF, Ouslander JG. The nighttime environment and incontinence care practices in nursing homes. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1998 Feb; 46(2): 181-6. PMID: 9475446, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Simmons SF, Johansson B, Zarit SH, Ljungquist B, Plomin R, McClearn GE. Selection bias in samples of older twins? A comparison between octogenarian twins and singletons in Sweden. J Aging Health. 1997 Nov; 9(4): 553-67. PMID: 10182393, ISSN: 0898-2643.

Simmons SF, Schnelle JF, Uman GC, Kulvicki AD, Lee KO, Ouslander JG. Selecting nursing home residents for satisfaction surveys. Gerontologist. 1997 Aug; 37(4): 543-50. PMID: 9279044, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Schnelle JF, MacRae PG, Giacobassi K, MacRae HS, Simmons SF, Ouslander JG. Exercise with physically restrained nursing home residents: maximizing benefits of restraint reduction. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1996 May; 44(5): 507-12. PMID: 8617897, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Schnelle JF, MacRae PG, Ouslander JG, Simmons SF, Nitta M. Functional Incidental Training, mobility performance, and incontinence care with nursing home residents. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Dec; 43(12): 1356-62. PMID: 7490386, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Alessi CA, Schnelle JF, MacRae PG, Ouslander JG, al-Samarrai N, Simmons SF, Traub S. Does physical activity improve sleep in impaired nursing home residents?. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Oct; 43(10): 1098-102. PMID: 7560698, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Simmons SF, Schnelle JF, MacRae PG, Ouslander JG. Wheelchairs as mobility restraints: predictors of wheelchair activity in nonambulatory nursing home residents. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Apr; 43(4): 384-8. PMID: 7706628, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Schnelle JF, Mac Rae PG, Simmons SF, Uman G, Ouslander JG, Rosenquist LL, Chang B. Safety assessment for the frail elderly: a comparison of restrained and unrestrained nursing home residents. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1994 Jun; 42(6): 586-92. PMID: 8201142, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Schnelle JF, Ouslander JG, Simmons SF, Alessi CA, Gravel MD. The nighttime environment, incontinence care, and sleep disruption in nursing homes. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1993 Sep; 41(9): 910-4. PMID: 8409176, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Schnelle JF, Ouslander JG, Simmons SF, Alessi CA, Gravel MD. Nighttime sleep and bed mobility among incontinent nursing home residents. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1993 Sep; 41(9): 903-9. PMID: 8409175, ISSN: 0002-8614.

Schnelle JF, Simmons SF, Ory MG. Risk factors that predict staff failure to release nursing home residents from restraints. Gerontologist. 1992 Dec; 32(6): 767-70. PMID: 1478495, ISSN: 0016-9013.

Available Postdoctoral Position Details
Posted: 11/1/2019

The Nashville VA Quality Scholars Program ( is accepting applications for the position of post-doctoral scholars in clinical psychology. The Nashville program is part of the National VA Quality Scholars (VAQS) Program (, which develops leaders and scholars to improve healthcare. VAQS provides an interprofessional fellowship in healthcare quality improvement for physicians, doctoral-trained nurses, pharmacists, clinical psychologists and other health professionals.

Post-Doctoral Training: In this dedicated two-year fellowship, the VAQS program offers scholars opportunities to become leaders with knowledge and skills to:

• Improve health care delivery, health systems organization and management, and health professions education through interventions that exert positive influences in each domain

• Apply the knowledge and methods of health care quality improvement to the care of individual patients and populations

• Teach health professionals about healthcare improvement

• Perform research and develop new knowledge for the ongoing improvement of the quality and value of healthcare services.

The Nashville VAQS Program is known for its robust research and quality improvement programs and close collaborations with Vanderbilt University and its vast array of resources. We leverage resources within our VA, across the VA nationally, and those available through our academic affiliate (Vanderbilt), including the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, the Center for Health Services Research, the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research, the Center for Health Behavior and Health Education, the Department of Biomedical Informatics, the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, the Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research, the Center for Quality Aging, the Schools of Management and Education, and the nationally recognized Precision Medicine Initiative and Population Health Initiative, among many others.

Faculty at the Nashville VA Quality Scholars site are sought after for their breadth and depth of experience in quality improvement, implementation science, health services research, clinical epidemiology and outcomes research, health behavior, and clinical informatics. Our faculty strive to generate the evidence-basis for the content, processes and structures of clinical care, and designing and implementing transformational change across a wide variety of clinical specialties. There is integration and collaboration across other disciplines to advance population health. In addition, faculty within the Vanderbilt Psychology Department and licensed PhD Clinical Psychologists working clinically either at the VA or Vanderbilt are available to mentor and supervise clinical psychology fellows.

To Apply: Please refer to website ( and email or any of the other Senior Scholars.