Tamara A. Baker, Ph.D

Tamara A. Baker

Tamara Baker

Dr. Baker's research agenda has been to establish an original, meaningful and coherent program of research in pain management, health outcomes and behaviors, and domains of health disparities and social determinants of health among diverse race and marginalized populations. Specifically, it is her intent to continue a line of research that provides a knowledge base to understand and explain the experience and management of chronic pain among older minority populations, with an interest in further understanding the influence of social determinants of health. This will be accomplished with continued productivity in developing and testing models identifying clinical and psychosocial factors that influence the pain experience, health behaviors, and outcomes, and by developing and implementing intervention programs leading to optimal pain management in clinic- and community-based settings. She believes this research will have a significant impact on health policy and health care, while addressing the needs and potentially reducing, and possibly eliminating health disparities among underrepresented and marginalized populations.

Research contends that symptoms associated with many chronic illnesses impact the individual’s physical and psychological health, social existence, and emotional well-being. However, factors associated with the experience and management of these health outcomes, particularly among diverse race populations, are poorly understood. This conceptual issue has evolved into a threefold research agenda:

  1.  Examine intra (within) race group variability in symptom and chronic disease (pain, cancer, arthritis, etc.) self-management among community- and clinic based populations, while identifying psychosocial and physical health indicators influencing the experience and management of these conditions. Applying an a priori within group approach allows me to rigorously examine the unique characteristics specific to that population (older adults, Black men), while providing a mechanism by which to draw more valid conclusions when comparing race groups. This is an important approach considering potential differences that occur between race groups within their historical, cultural, and socialized patterns.
  2. Assess factors that contribute to health disparities and inequities in the management of disease, and receipt of and access to healthcare resources and services. This involves understanding the influence social determinants have at the patient, provider, and institutional levels.
  3. Design and implement intervention programs addressing barriers to optimal symptom management among diverse race and marginalized populations. I have received federal funding to specifically investigate social, psychological, and cultural factors that influence health outcomes, but specifically understand how these factors influence the design and participation in community (and clinic)-base intervention programs and research.

Investigator,
Director, Gerontology Center

Doctor of Philosophy, Biobehavioral Health, 2001 The Pennsylvania State University
Master of Arts, Community/Clinical Psychology, 1995 Norfolk State University
Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, Psychology, 1993 North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC

Contact Information

Address

1415 Jayhawk Blvd.
454 Fraser Hall
Lawrence, KS 66045

Phone:
(785) 864-6528

Research Interests

  • Health disparities
  • Social determinants of health
  • Pain
  • Chronic disease self-management
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Aging

Professional Service

Lead Guest Editor, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine (Sage Publishing), Special Issue on Aging and Diverse Race and Ethnic Populations. Fall 2017-Fall 2018

Editorial Board, Innovation in Aging (Oxford), 2017-present

Editor Emeritus, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 2017-present

Editor-in-Chief, Ethnicity and Health (Taylor & Francis), 2016-present

Editor, Ethnicity and Health (Taylor & Francis), 2015-2016

National Coordinating Center Advisory Board, Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR), Spring 2015-present

Executive Board, Senior Service America, Inc. (SSAI), Spring 2015-present

National External Advisory Board- Cornell-Columbia Roybal Center (Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life-TRIPLL), 2010-present
 

Positions in Professional Organizations

Chair-Elect, Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSS), The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), 2017-present

Secretary, The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), 2014-2017

Committee Member, The Gerontological Society of America’s Behavioral and Social Sciences Section Program Committee, Fall 2013-Fall 2014

Chair, The Gerontological Society of America’s Task Force on Minority Issues in Gerontology, Fall 2009-2013

Professional Administrative Services

Lead Guest Editor, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine (Sage Publishing), Special Issue on Aging and Diverse Race and Ethnic Populations. Fall 2017-Fall 2018

Editorial Board, Innovation in Aging (Oxford), 2017-present

Editor Emeritus, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 2017-present

Editor-in-Chief, Ethnicity and Health (Taylor & Francis), 2016-present

Editor, Ethnicity and Health (Taylor & Francis), 2015-2016

National Coordinating Center Advisory Board, Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR), Spring 2015-present

Executive Board, Senior Service America, Inc. (SSAI), Spring 2015-present

National External Advisory Board- Cornell-Columbia Roybal Center (Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life-TRIPLL), 2010-present

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

Atakere, K.D. & Baker, T.A. (in press). Early cancer detection behaviors among Black males. Journal of Men’s Health.

Krok-Schoen, J.L., Brasky, T.M., Hunt, R.P., Rohan, T.E., Baker, T.A., Li, W… Neuhouser, M.L. (in press). Long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake and arthritis risk in the Women’s Health Initiative. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Marshall, G.L., Baker, T.A., Song, C., & Miller, D. (2018). Pain and financial hardship among older men: Examining the buffering effect of medicare insurance coverage. Journal of Men’s Health.

Baker, T.A., Clay, O.J., Johnson-Lawrence, V., Minahan, J.A., Mingo, C.A., Thorpe, R.J., Crowe, M.G., Ovalle, F. (2017). Association of multiple chronic conditions and pain among older Black and White adults. BMC Geriatrics. doi: 10.1186/s12877-017-6652-8

Koss, C.S. & Baker, T.A., (2017). A Question of Trust: Does Mistrust or Perceived Discrimination Account for Race Disparities in Advance Directive Completion?. Innovations in Aging. doi:10.1093/geroni/igx017

Atakere, K.D., & Baker, T.A. (2017). Predictors of perceived vulnerability to cancer diagnoses among adult Black males. Journal of Health Psychology, (Epublished ahead of print). doi:10.1177/1359105317695426

Koss, C. S., & Baker, T. A. (2017). When there’s a will: The link between estate planning and disparities in advance care planning by White and African American older adults. Research on Aging, (Epublished ahead of print). doi:10.1177/0164027517697116

Baker, T.A., Krok-Schoen, J., O’Connor, M.L., & Brooks, A.K. (2016). The influence of pain severity and interference on satisfaction with pain management in middle-aged and older adults. Pain Research and Management. doi.org/10.1155/2016/9561024

Walker, J.L., Thorpe Jr., R.J., Harrison, T.C., Baker, T.A., Cary, M., Szanton, S.L., Allaire, J.C., & Whitfield, K.E. (2016). The relationship between pain, disability, and sex in African Americans. Pain Management Nursing, 17(5), 294-301. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2016.05.007

Baker, T.A., Krok-Schoen, J., & McMillan, S. (2016). Identifying factors of psychological distress on the experience of pain and symptom management among cancer patients. BMC Psychology, (4)52. doi: 10.1186/s40359-016-0160-1

Atakere, D.K., & Baker, T.A., (2016). Immuned by race: Ethnic identity, masculinity, and attachment predictors of cancer screening among Black men. Psychology, 7, 1023-1033. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/psych.2016.77103

Koss, C. A. & Baker, T.A., (2016). Race differences in advance directive completion: The arrowing gap between White and African American older adults. Journal of Aging and Health, 29(2), 324-342. doi: 10.1177/0898264316635568

Baker, T.A., Roker, R., Collins, H.R., Johnson-Lawrence, V., Thorpe, R. J., Mingo, C., & Vasquez, E. (2016). Beyond race and gender: Measuring behavioral and social indicators of pain treatment satisfaction in older Black and White cancer patients. Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, 1-8. doi:10.1177/2333721415625688

Baker, T.A., O’Connor, M.L., & Krok-Schoen, J.L. (2016). Influence of social and health indicators on pain interference with everyday activities among older Black and White cancer patients. Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, 1-11. doi: 10.1177/2333721415624989
 

Books, chapters, and other publications

Baker, T.A., Atakere, D.K., Minahan, J.A., Kuofie, A,A., & Dirth, T.P. (2018). Issues of Diversity in the Aging Community. The Praeger Handbook of Community Mental Health Practice.

Baker, T.A., Atakere, K., D., & Minahan, J.A. (2018). Chronic Illnesses. In M.H. Bornstein (ed). Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development. Sage Publishing.

 

Encyclopedia Entries


Baker, T. A., Atakere, D., & Minahan, J. (in revision). Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development (Chronic Illnesses)

Baker, T. A., & Mingo, C. (2016). Encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging (Arthritis)

Presentations

Reviewed/Refereed

International

Atakere, D., Baker, T., et al. (2016). Chronic disease intervention program for Black men: What works? Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy’s 9th Annual Health Disparities conference, New Orleans, LA.

Kramer, N., Baker, T. A., et al. (2016). Depression, active coping, and health management among Black men. Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy’s 9th Annual Health Disparities conference, New Orleans, LA.

Minahan, J., Baker, T. A., et al. (2016). Pain and physical activity among a diverse racial sample of older adult males: Are they more alike than different? Society of Behavioral Medicine, Washington, DC.

Marshall, G.L., Baker, T.A., Song, C., & Miller, D. Pain and Hardship among Older Men: Examining the Buffering Effect of Medicare Insurance Coverage. Presented at the 16th International Conference on Social Stress Research, Athens, Greece (2018)

Regional

Kuofie, A., Baker, T.A. Mental Health Literacy Among West African Immigrants in the United States. To be presented at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Conference, San Diego, LA (2018).​

Atakere, D.K., & Baker, T.A. Chronic illness and identity: Social identity in older Black males aging with chronic illness. To be presented at the 70th annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. Boston, MA (2018).

Minahan, J.A, & Baker, T.A. The Association of disease clusters and depression among older Black men. To be presented at the 70th annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. Boston, MA (2018).

Kuofie, A. & Baker, T.A. Mental health literacy and perceptions among west African immigrants: The role of acculturation. Presented at the Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy’s 11th Annual Health Disparities conference, New Orleans, LA (2018).

Minahan, J.A., & Baker, T.A.. Do disease clusters predict depressive symptomatology in older adults? Presented at the annual Society for Behavioral Medicine Conference, New Orleans, LA (2018).

Minahan, J.A., Valdivieso, E., & Baker, T.A. Regional health disparities among older adults in the United States. Presented at the annual Society for Behavioral Medicine Conference, New Orleans, LA. (2018).

Gamaldo, A. A., Allaire, J. C., Sardina, A. L., Baker, T. A., Gamaldo, C. E., & Whitfield, K. E. Daily Reports of Pain are Associated with Duration and Quality of Sleep in Older African Americans. Presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), Baltimore, MD (2018).

Minahan, J.A., Baker, T.A. & Vasquez, E. Race, pain, and physical functioning: are these more alike than different? Inclusion and Social Justice Conference, Lawrence, KS (2017).

Kuofie, A., Booker, A., Baker, T.A., Berkley-Patton, J., Bowe-Thompson, C., Berman, M. Risky sexual behavior, perceived severity, and knowledge of HIV/AIDS among younger and older African American church members. Presented at the Heartland Conference on Health Equity and Patient Centered Care, Overland Park, KS (2017).

Atakere, D.K., & Baker, T.A. Promoting the effectiveness of chronic disease self-management programs among Black males. Presented at the Heartland Conference on Health Equity and Patient Centered Care, Overland Park, KS (2017).

Kuofie, A., Booker, A., Baker, T.A., Berkley-Patton, J., Bowe-Thompson, C., Berman, M. HIV Knowledge, Beliefs, and Sexual Behaviors Among Younger and Older African Americans. Presented at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA (2017).

Baker, T.A. & Fernández, B.R. The Association of multi-ethnicity and health among older adults: The case of Costa Rica. Presented at the 21st International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics World Congress (IAGG), San Francisco, CA (2017).

Mingo, C.A., Craft-Morgan, J., & Baker, T.A., Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: The Importance of Intervention Delivery Modality among Aging African Americans. Presented at the Presented at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA (2017).

Kuofie, A.A., Booker, A., Baker, T.A., Berkley-Patton, J., Bowe-Thompson, C & Berman, M. HIV knowledge and beliefs among African Americans: Does age matter?. Presented at Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy’s 10th Annual Health Disparities conference, New Orleans, LA (2017).

Atakere, D.K., & Baker, T.A. Dying to be men: Perceived vulnerability to cancer diagnosis among adult Black males. Presented at the 29th annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science. Boston, MA (2017).

Atakere, D.K. & Baker, T.A. Psychosocial factors that influence motivation to screen for cancer for adult Black males. Presented at the 21st International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics World Congress, San Francisco, CA (2017).

Minahan, J.A., Valdivieso, E.M., Baker, T.A., & Johnson, D.K. Health Disparities: Are They Regional? A Descriptive Analysis of Older Adults in the United States. Presented at the 21st International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics World Congress (IAGG), San Francisco, CA (2017).

Atakere, D., Baker, T. A., et al. (2016). Intersection of perceived health status and mode of program delivery on participation in disease self-management programs among Black men. SEE/SAW Festival, Lawrence, KS.

Local

Kuofie, A., Booker, A., Baker, T.A., Berkley-Patton, J., Bowe-Thompson, C., Berman, M. HIV knowledge and behaviors among younger and older African Americans. University of Kansas Graduate Student Research, Lawrence, KS (2017).

Atakere, D., & Baker, T. (2016). But, was it for me?: Disease intervention programs and participation by Black men. Annual University of Kansas' Graduate Research Symposium.

Atakere, D., & Baker, T. (2016). Dying to be a man: Normative beliefs and cancer screening among Nigerian men. 6th Annual KASC Graduate Research Workshop.

Non-Reviewed/Refereed

Local

Nordhem, L., Hess, R., & Baker, T. (2016, Spring). Developing a self-management program: Why are Black men at risk of Chronic Illness? Undergraduate Psychology Engagement and Research (SUPER), Lawrence, KS.

Turnbow, I., & Baker, T. (2016, Spring). Alcohol, anxiety, and Hispanic males: Patterns of alcohol consumption. Undergraduate Psychology Engagement and Research (SUPER), Lawrence, KS.

Presentations/Lectures

Local

Hess, R., & Baker, T. (2016, Spring). Understanding what Black men want in a chronic disease self-management Program. Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lawrence, KS.
 

Invited Presentations


Baker, T, T.A., Presidential Opening and 2018 Barbara Pittard Payne Lectureship in Gerontology. If we are all created equally, then why am I treated differently? Conceptualizing diversity, disparities, and health determinants collectively. Presented at the Joint Southern Gerontological Society and the Georgia Gerontology Society Scientific Meeting, Buford, GA (2018).

Baker, T.A., University of Kansas Medical Center. What if we were equal: Contextual factors to understanding (and explaining) pain disparities. Presented at the KUMC’s Annual Black History Month Research Day. Kansas City, MO (2018).

Baker, T.A., IAGG Pre-Conference Workshop, Pain & Aging. Disparities in pain. Presented at the 21st International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics World Congress (IAGG), San Francisco, CA (2017).  

 

Projects

News

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