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Faculty - Wen Liu

Wen Liu
Assistant Professor
432 CNB

PhD, University of Maryland
MSN, Shandong University, Jinan, China
BSN, Shandong University, Jinan, China

Research Focus/Clinical Interests: 
  • Mealtime difficulties, eating performance, function, and nutrition in dementia
  • Behavioral engagement, dyadic interaction, and dining environmental stimulation
  • Tool development and validation

Dr. Liu’s primary program of research focuses on 1) examining the role of the resident-, staff-, and environmental-level factors that influence eating performance, mealtime difficulties, and meal intake, and 2) developing and testing behavioral interventions to improve individual functional and nutritional outcomes for older adults, especially those with dementia in residential care settings. Her work has examined the role of individuals’ oral health, staff engagement, staff-resident interaction, and environmental stimulation on individual’ eating performance, mealtime difficulties, and food intake. Her other research interest focuses on measurement development and validation, which has greatly facilitated her program of research in dementia mealtime care, as well as on- and off- campus collaborations in dementia and aging research.

Dr. Liu joined the University of Iowa College of Nursing in 2015 as a faculty after she received her doctorate degree from University of Maryland. She is currently funded by American Nurses Foundation in developing and testing the Cue Utilization and Engagement in Dementia Mealtime video-coding scheme, an innovative and feasible tool to assess: 1) staff person-centered and task-centered behaviors and 2) residents’ mealtime difficulties and intake process using videotaped observations.

She is also leading a recently funded R03 study (NIH/NIA) in examining the temporal relationship between person-centered and task-centered care and mealtime difficulties and food intake for nursing home residents with dementia. Data from these studies will provide important information to inform her next step of the development and evaluation of a person-centered mealtime care intervention.