Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Occupational Therapy

Piersol, Catherine

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Catherine Verrier Piersol, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Contact Dr. Piersol

130 South 9th Street
6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-9509
(215) 923-2475 fax


PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
MS, Boston University, Boston, MA
BS, Tufts University, Medford, MA

Board Certification

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
Licensed Occupational Therapist, Pennsylvania and New Jersey

University Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of OT
Interim Chair, Department of OT 
Director, Jefferson Elder Care        

Professional Societies

American Occupational Therapy Association
Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association
Gerontological Society of America

Research & Clinical Interests

Intervention research in neurocognitive disorders and caregiving.

Translation and delivery of evidence-based interventions into realworld settings for persons with neurocognitive disorders and their caregivers.

Caregiver appraisal of functional capacity in persons with neurocognitive disorders and its impact on safety, participation and care. 

Person-environment-occupation fit and the impact on function and aging in place.

Awards & Honors

2015 Fellow of American Occupational Therapy Association

2013 Stephen Heater Award of Outstanding Achievement, Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association

2013 Jeanette Blair Writer’s Award, American Occupational Therapy Association

2009 Award of Appreciation, Philadelphia University Occupational Therapy Program, Class of 2006

2006 Award of Appreciation, Philadelphia University Occupational Therapy Program, Class of 2003

2006 Certificate of Appreciation, U.S. Department of Labor, National Occupational Information Network

1999 Occupational Therapist Award of Recognition, Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association

2003, 2006, 2011 American Occupational Therapy Association Service Commendation

1998, 2004, 2005, 2011 Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association Service Award


Most Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Targeting Behavioral Symptoms and Functional Decline in Dementia: A Randomized Clinical Trial
  2. Effectiveness of Interventions for Caregivers of People With Alzheimer's Disease and Related Major Neurocognitive Disorders: A Systematic Review
  3. Functional outcomes of the low vision depression prevention trial in age-related macular degeneration
  4. Translation of the Care of Persons with Dementia in their Environments (COPE) intervention in a publicly-funded home care context: Rationale and research design
  5. Reducing neuropsychiatric symptoms in persons with dementia and associated burden in family caregivers using tailored activities: Design and methods of a randomized clinical trial
  6. A Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Veterans' In-home Program for Military Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury and Their Families: Report on Impact for Family Members
  7. Efficacy and acceptability of a home-based, family-inclusive intervention for veterans with TBI: A randomized controlled trial
  8. Psychometric properties of the Functional Capacity Card Sort for caregivers of people with dementia
  9. Scholarship of Practice in the Care of People with Dementia: Creating the Future Through Collaborative Efforts
  10. Home: An evolving context for health care
  11. Nonpharmacological interventions to reduce behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia: A systematic review
  12. Exploration of Individual and Family Factors Related to Community Reintegration in Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury
  13. The Let's Go Program for Community Participation: A Feasibility Study
  14. Effectiveness and acceptability within a skilled nursing facility setting
  15. Correlates of quality of life for individuals with dementia living at home: The role of home environment, caregiver, and patient-related characteristics
  16. Meeting the needs of caregivers of persons with dementia: An important role for occupational therapy
  17. Enhancing quality of life in functionally vulnerable older adults: From randomized trial to standard care
  18. The tailored activity program to reduce behavioral symptoms in individuals with Dementia: Feasibility, acceptability, and replication potential
  19. Level I fieldwork today: A study of contexts and perceptions
  20. Adaptive equipment: A study of utilization after hospital discharge