Pat Parmalee

Director of Alabama Research Institute on Aging


  • PhD, University of Utah

Research Areas

  • the interrelations of physical and mental health
  • quality of long-term care, and particularly staffing issues in residential care settings
  • interventions to support family caregivers


Patricia Parmelee, PhD (1980, University of Utah), is Professor of Clinical Geropsychology and Director, Center for Mental Health and Aging. Dr. Parmelee is an applied social psychologist whose research focuses on late-life depression, the interaction of mental and physical health in older adults, and the quality of formal and informal long-term care. She has published widely on depression among frail elderly institution residents; the associations among pain, disability, and depression; and on interventions to improve the quality of long-term care. Her current work focuses on the daily experience of osteoarthritis pain and disability among diverse older adults, and on staff interventions to improve nursing home quality. Dr. Parmelee is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America. She currently teaches seminars in grant writing and in aging and health.

Recent Grants

  • Everyday Quality of Life among Blacks and Whites with Osteoarthritis. National Institute on Aging, TDC $2,143,169. P. Parmelee and D. Smith, Principal Investigators.
  • (Pending Grant Award) Pain Management and Tracking System for Osteoarthritis (Pain MATS-OA).  National Institute on Aging. C. Knott and W. Rogers, Principal Investigators; P. Parmelee, Co-Investigator. 2012-2017.
  • Two CLCs Implementing the Green House Model: A Mixed-Methods Baseline Assessment.  Department of Veterans Affairs TDC: $100,000. C. Hartmann, Principal Investigator; P. Parmelee, Co-investigator. 2010-2011.
  • Identifying and Characterizing High Performing VHA Nursing Homes. Department of Veterans Affairs IIR 06-260-3. M. Shwartz, Principal Investigator; P. Parmelee, Investigator. 2011-2008.
  • Enhancing Work Efficacy of Skilled Nursing Assistants. National Institute on Aging TDC:  $217,150. P. Parmelee, Principal Investigator. 2006-2009.


  • Alabama Research Institute on Aging
  • Selected Publications

    • Allen, R. S., Guadagno, R. E., Parmelee, P., Minney, J. A., Hilgeman, M. M., Tabb, K., McNeal, S. F., Houston, T., Kertesz, S., & Davis, L. (in press). Internet connectivity among rural Alabama veterans: Baseline findings from the Alabama Veterans Rural Health Initiative project.
    • Parmelee, P. A., Harralson, T. L., McPherron, J. A.,* & Schumacher, H. R. (in press). The structure of affective symptomatology in older adults with osteoarthritis. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
    • Parmelee, P. A., Harralson, T., DeCoster, J., McPherron*, J., & Schumacher, H. R. (2012). Depression, pain and disability in osteoarthritis: Race and sex make a difference. Journal of Aging and Health, 24(1), 168-187.
    • Kim, G., Bryant, A. N., & Parmelee, P. (2012). Racial/ethnic differences in serious psychological distress among older adults in California. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 27, 1070-1077. doi:10.1002/gps.2825
    • Kim, G., DeCoster, J., Chiriboga, D. A., Jang, Y., Allen, R. S., & Parmelee, P.A. (2011). Associations between self-rated mental health and psychiatric disorders among older adults: Do racial/ethnic disparities exist? American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19(5), 416-422.
    • Griffiths, P.C., Davis, N., Lin, J., Wachtel, D., Ward, S., Painter, J., Forrester, M., Nagamia, J., Patton, A., Jasien, C., Connell B.R., Parmelee, P., Johnson, TM. (2011).  Using telehealth technology to support family caregivers:  description of a pilot intervention and preliminary results. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 28(4), 307-320.
    • Kim, G., Chiriboga, D. A., Jang, Y., Lee, S., Huang, C.-H., & Parmelee, P. (2010). Health status of older Asian Americans in California. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58, 2003-2008.
    • Parmelee, P. A., Laszlo, M. C., & Taylor, J. A. (2009). Perceived barriers to effective job performance among nursing assistants in long-term care. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 10, 559-567.
    • Parmelee, P.A., Bowen, S. E., Ross, A., Brown, H., & Huff, J. (2009). “Sometimes people don’t fit in boxes”: attitudes toward the Minimum Data Set among clinical leadership in VA nursing homes.  Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 10(2), 98-106.
    • Parmelee, P. A., Harralson, T.L. Smith, L.H. & Schumacher, H. R. (2007). Necessary and discretionary activities in knee osteoarthritis: Do they mediate the pain – depression relationship? Pain Medicine, 8(5), 449-461.