Faculty Profile: Denise Tyler, Ph.D.

Denise Tyler
Denise Tyler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Health Services, Policy & Practice (Research)
Health Services Policy & Practice
Work: +1 401-863-3894
Dr. Tyler's research focuses on long-term care, especially the work of nursing employees in nursing homes. Her research has examined job satisfaction and motivation among these workers, ways to improve teamwork among frontline nursing employees, cultural competency in nursing homes, and the training of direct-care workers.


Dr. Denise Tyler has been conducting research on long-term care facilities and their employees for several years. Her research is focused primarily on nursing workers in long-term care facilities, including ways to improve work experiences, training, and teamwork. She has completed studies on the ways in which nursing home organizational structure can be enhanced to increase teamwork among direct-care workers, the reasons for declining availability of nursing home based pre-employment training for nursing assistants, and participatory action research that addressed cultural competence among nursing staff. Her current research focuses on enhancing the supervisory skills of nurses in ways that empower nursing assistants to apply their own skills and knowledge. Dr. Tyler received her Ph.D. in Social Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Research Description

Dr. Tyler's research has examined the organizational factors related to teamwork among direct-care workers in nursing homes. She has also studied the job and organizational factors that affect the satisfaction and motivation of nursing employees in long-term care facilities, cultural competence among nursing staff, training for direct-care workers and factors related to implementation of innovative new practices in nursing homes. Dr. Tyler's most recent research is focused on training for direct-care workers and their supervisors, especially on how supervisory practices may influence the ability of direct-care workers to apply knew knowledge.


Gerontological Society of America

Funded Research

Principal Investigator, VA IIR 11-353, Training and Coaching to Promote High Performance in VA Community Living Centers, 8/1/13 -7/31/16, $953,455

Principal Investigator, Commonwealth Fund #20130200, Innovation in High Medicaid Nursing Homes, 6/1/13 – 1/31/14, $32,449

Principal Investigator, American Health Care Association contract, Development of an MDS-based Measure of Community Discharge, 4/1/13 – 12/31/13, $42,321

Selected Publications

  • Shield RR, Rosenthal M, Tyler DA, Wetle T, Clark MA, Intrator OK. 2014. Medical staff in nursing homes: Development of a conceptual model and research agenda. Journal of Applied Gerontology, epub ahead of print November 28, 2012. (2014)
  • Miller SC, Looze J, Shield RR, Clark MA, Lepore M, Tyler DA, Sterns S, Mor V. 2014. Culture change practices in U.S. nursing homes: Prevalence and variation by state Medicaid reimbursement policies. The Gerontologist, epub ahead of print March 20, 2013. (2014)
  • Shield RR, Looze J, Tyler DA, Lepore M, Miller, SC. 2014. Why and how do nursing homes implement culture change practices? Insights from qualitative interviews in a mixed methods study. Journal of Applied Gerontology, epub ahead of print July 19, 2013. (2014)
  • Tyler DA, Lepore M, Shield RR, Looze J, Miller SC. 2014. Overcoming resistance to culture change initiatives: Nursing home administrators' use of education and communication. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, epub ahead of print Nov 22, 2013. (2014)
  • Miller EA, Tyler DA, Mor V. 2013. National newspaper portrayal of nursing homes: Tone of coverage and its correlates. Medical Care, 51(1): 78–83. (2013)
  • Teno JM, Gozalo P, Mitchell SM, Tyler DA, Mor V. 2013. Survival after multiple hospitalizations for infections and dehydration in nursing home residents with advanced cognitive impairment. JAMA, 310(3): 319-120. (2013)
  • Tyler DA, Feng Z, Leland NE, Gozalo PL, Intrator I, Mor V. 2013. Trends in post-acute care and staffing in US nursing homes, 2001-2010. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 14(11): 817-820. (2013)
  • Thomas KS, Mor V, Tyler DA, Hyer K. 2013. The relationships among licensed nurse turnover, retention, and rehospitalization of nursing home residents. The Gerontologist, 53(2): 211-221. (2013)
  • Miller EA, Tyler DA, Rozanova J, Mor V. 2012. National newspaper portrayal of nursing homes: Periodic treatment of topic and tone. Milbank Quarterly, 90(4): 725–761. (2012)
  • Gozalo PL, Teno JM, Mitchell S, Skinner J, Bynum J, Tyler DA, Mor V. 2011. Health care transitions among nursing home residents dying with advanced cognitive impairment. New England Journal of Medicine, 365(13): 40-49. (2011)
  • Feng Z, Fennell MF, Tyler DA, Clark MA, Mor V. 2011. Growth of racial and ethnic minorities in US nursing homes driven by demographics and possible disparities in care options. Health Affairs, 30(7): 1358-1365. (2011)
  • Feng Z, Lepore M, Clark M, Tyler DA, Smith DB, Mor V, Fennell MF. 2011. Geographic concentration and correlates of nursing home closures: 1999-2008. Archives of Internal Medicine, 171(9): 806-813. (2011)
  • Tyler DA, Parker VA. 2011. Staff teamwork in long-term care facilities: the influence of management style, training, and feedback. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 4(2): 135-146. (2011)
  • Tyler DA, Parker VA. 2011. Nursing home culture, teamwork, and culture change. Journal of Research in Nursing, 16(1): 37-49. (2011)
  • Tyler DA, Shield RR, Rosenthal M, Miller SC, Wetle T, Clark MA. 2011. How valid are the responses to nursing home survey questions? Some issues and concerns. The Gerontologist, 51(2): 201-211. (2011)
  • Tyler DA, Leland N, Lepore M, Miller SC. 2011. Effect of increased nursing home hospice use on nursing assistant staffing. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 14(11): 1236-1239. (2011)
  • Tyler DA, Jung H, Feng Z, Mor,V. 2010. Prevalence of nursing assistant training and certification programs within nursing homes, 1997-2007. The Gerontologist, 50(4): 550-5. (2010)
  • Tyler DA, Parker VA, Engle RL, Brandeis GH, Hickey EC, Rosen AK, Wang F, Berlowitz DR. 2006. An exploration of job design in long-term care facilities and its effect on nursing employee satisfaction. Health Care Management Review 31(2):137-144. (2006)
  • Pukstas KA, Parker VA, Brandeis GH, Hardt E, Geron SM, Engle RL, Tyler DA, Leigh J. 2006. Improving intercultural staff communication in the long-term care setting. Annals of Long-Term Care: Clinical Care and Aging 14(8): 34-37. (2006)