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Dr. Cathleen Appelt's areas of specialization include research methodologies (both qualitative and quantitative) and inequalities in health and health care. Dr. Appelt completed her doctoral degree in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2002. In her dissertation work, Dr. Appelt applied a novel mixed methods approach to model the emergence of social structure through time and geographic space to explore the potential for higher levels of social organization beyond the immediate "kin" group among a population of non-human social actors (gray wolves recently reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park). Dr. Appelt also completed a three-year, National Institute of Mental Health-funded postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. Since 2003, Dr. Appelt has been engaged in applied research focused on improving general medical care services for underserved groups of veterans including older adults, African-American veterans, homeless veterans, and veterans with severe mental illness(es). Dr. Appelt has utilized a variety of methodological approaches including survey research, focus groups, in-dpeth and semi-structured interviews, and secondary data analysis to investigate patients' experiences and attitudes toward health care for arthritis, congestive heart failure, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and suicidality. Dr. Appelt's research affiliation with VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System is ongoing and her most recent work is focused on improving health care for chronic general medical conditions among individuals diagnosed with psychosis.


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Pittsburgh, 2002