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Debra Lerner, MS, PhD


Training + Education Boston University; University of Cincinnati; State University of New York - Buffalo
Gender Female
Language(s) English, Spanish
Accepted Insurances View Accepted Insurances at Tufts MC + Tufts Children's Hospital

1985 National Dissertation Grant Award, National Center for Health Services Research

2008 President's Award, Institute for Health and Productivity Management

1. Lerner D, Rodday AM, Cohen JT and Rogers WH. A Systematic Review of the Evidence Concerning the Economic Impact of Employee-Focused Health Promotion and Wellness Programs. J Occup Environ Med 2013 Feb; 55 (2): 209-222. PMID:23287723.

2. Lerner D, Adler D, Hermann RC, Chang H, Ludman EJ, Greenhill A, Perch K, McPeck WC, Rogers WH. Impact of a work-focused intervention on the productivity and symptoms of employees with depression. J Occup Environ Med 2012; 54(2): 128-35. PMID: 22252528.

3. Lerner DJ, Henke RM. What does research tell us about depression, job performance and work productivity? J Occup Environ Med 2008; 50(4): 401-10. PMID: 18404013

4. Adler DA, McLaughlin TJ, Rogers WH, Chang H, Lapitsky L, Lerner D. Job performance deficits due to depression. Am J Psych 2006; 163(9): 1569-1576. PMID: 16946182.

5. Lerner D, Allaire SH, Reisine ST. Work disability due to chronic health conditions. J Occup Environ Med 2005; 47(3): 253-264. PMID: 15761321.

6. Lerner D, Rogers WH, Adler DA, Chang H, Lapitsky L, Hood MY, Perissinotto C, Reed J, McLaughlin TJ, Berndt ER. Unemployment, Job Retention and Productivity Loss Among Employees with Depression. Psychiatric Services 2004; 55(12): 1371-1378. PMID: 15572564.

7. Lerner D, Adler, DA, Chang H, Berndt ER, Irish JT, Lapitsky L, Hood MY, Reed J, Rogers WH. The Clinical and Occupational Correlates of Work Productivity Loss Among Employed Patients With Depression. J Occup Environ Med June 2004; 46(6) Supplement: S46-S55. PMID: 15194895.

8. Lerner D, Amick III BC, Lee J, Rooney T, Rogers WH, Chang H, Berndt E. Relationship of Employee-Reported Work Limitations to Work Productivity. Med Care 2003; 41(5):649-659. PMID: 12719689.

9. Lerner D, Reed J, Massarotti E, Wester LM, Burke TA. The Work Limitation Questionnaire's Validity and Reliability Among Patients with Osteoarthritis (OA) J Clin Epidemiol. 2002; 55(2): 197-208. PMID: 11809359.

10. Lerner DJ, Amick III BC, Rogers WH, Malspeis S, Bungay K. The Work Limitations Questionnaire: A Self-Administered Instrument for Assessing On-The-Job Work Disability. Med Care 2001; 39(1): 72-85. PMID: 11176545

Dr. Debra Lerner is Associate Director of Organizational Impact for the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Director and founder of the Program on Health, Work and Productivity, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts Medical Center, and Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry of Tufts School of Medicine and Tufts Graduate School of Biomedical Science. She has dedicated her career to reducing the human and economic burden of illness and disability, and translating research results into evidence-based workplace policies and practices that enable all adults to remain productive throughout their lives. She is a national thought leader on health and work productivity improvement as well as workplace mental health. Her major accomplishments include developing both a cost-effective Be Well at Work program to improve the functional performance and mental health of employees with depression and the well-known Work Limitations Questionnaire, which is used worldwide. She is currently engaged in several innovative projects aimed at improving policies and programs to support family caregivers including research for the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers.

Dr. Lerner has authored over 80 refereed publications, has been the recipient of numerous research grants and contracts, and received the prestigious Mark Dundon Research Award from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) and President’s Award from the Institute of Health and Productivity Management (IHPM). She has consulted on employee health and productivity improvement for many organizations including the US Veterans Benefits Administration, Social Security Administration Disability Programs, the Assistant Secretary’s Office for Planning and Evaluation within the Department of Health and Human Services, One Mind, the World Economic Forum, and many private-sector health insurers and employers and government agencies.

Administrator at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

A new Tufts Medical Center study shows that a phone intervention helps workers with depression.

Intervention Helps Workers with Depression

No Number Mavandadi (PI)
06/01/20-05/31/23
3.00 calendar
US Veterans Administration
$195,267
Caregiver SOS: An Intervention for Employed Caregivers
This study represents a large advance in the development of interventions for informal caregivers of veterans. Currently, there is a large unmet need for services that reduce the burden of caregiving on working people, their families and their employers. Our proposed program is unique in its emphasis on addressing both the mental health and vocational dimensions of this problem using a brief telephonic counseling intervention.
Role:  Co-Investigator

1UL1TR002544-01
05/1/18-04/30/23
2.40 calendar
NIH/NCATS
$8,315,805
Through research resources, services, and education, Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute supports the entire spectrum of clinical and translational research to help meet the promise and the public’s needs of biomedical science. This spectrum includes the translation of bench research into bedside care (“T1”), into effective clinical practice (“T2”), into wide care delivery and public health (“T3”), and into health policy (“T4”). By doing this, we hope to support research that will have impact on healthcare and the public’s health.

Role: Associate Director and Director of Organizational Impact

Program on Health, Work and Productivity
800 Washington Street, Box 345
Boston, MA 02111

Phone: 617-636-8640

Fax: 617-636-8351

Email: Debra Lerner