photo of Stacey Schepens Niemiec, PhD

Stacey Schepens Niemiec, PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Research  

Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
University of Southern California

Phone: (323) 442-2069

Lead Mentor
G. Baranek, PhD, OTR/L

Research Areas

Underlying mechanisms that facilitate or inhibit healthy aging, as well as methodologies, especially ones that incorporate cutting-edge technology, that emphasize activity participation; and development of lifestyle-based interventions designed to counterbalance chronic health conditions in the older adult population.


  • 2003 Wayne State University, Occupational Psychology BS
  • 2005 Wayne State University, Occupational Therapy MS
  • 2009 Wayne State University, Instructional Technology PhD
  • 2012 University of Michigan, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Post doc
  • 2013 University of Southern California, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy Post doc

Current Research Funding

USC OS/OT Initiatives Program (Schepens-Niemiec) 07/01/18 – 08/15/18 Transforming Sitting from Sedentariness to Movement and Exercise in Older Adults. This pilot study includes examination of the feasibility and acceptability of FitSeat—a seated solution to reduce prolonged sedentary time and developed by ActivSitting Inc.—for in-home use by older adults. Role: PI

R21 AG052838-01A1 (Schepens-Niemiec) 09/15/17 – 05/31/19 NIH/NIA A Smartphone Application to Improve Physical Activity in Underactive Older Adults. The goal of this R21 grant is to utilize the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) approach to refine and pilot test a smartphone application designed to improve physical activity (PA) in underactive adults. The app features automated, real-time PA tracking paired with three specialty features: 1) implicit and explicit messaging that promotes positive views of aging, 2) sedentary activity monitoring with peer-generated suggestions, and 3) activity coaching. This study will facilitate development of an optimized app that can be made compatible with other existing products (e.g., Fitbit), with findings translatable to other efforts in mHealth technology. Role: PI

UL1TR001855 (Pyatak) 07/01/17 – 06/30/18 NIH/NCATS Addressing Uncontrolled Diabetes in Primary Care: A Lifestyle Redesign Approach. The purpose of this study is to examine the feasibility of implementing an occupational therapy intervention addressing diabetes management in a primary care clinic within the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, as well as the impact of this intervention approach on clinical outcomes, efficiency and patient-centeredness of care. Role: Co-I

Recent Publications

Schepens Niemiec, S.L., Blanchard, J., Vigen, C., Martínez, J., Guzmán, L., Concha, A., Fluke, M. & Carlson, M. (in press). Evaluation of ¡Vivir Mi Vida! to improve health and wellness of rural-dwelling, late middle-aged Latino adults: Results of a feasibility and pilot study of a lifestyle intervention. Primary Health Care Research & Development.

Schepens Niemiec, S.L., Blanchard, J., Vigen, C., Martínez, J., Guzmán, L., Fluke, M., & Carlson, M. (in press). A pilot study of the ¡Vivir Mi Vida! lifestyle intervention for rural-dwelling, late-midlife Latinos: Study design and protocol. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health.

Juang, C., Carlson, M., Vigen, C., Schepens Niemiec, S.L., Knight, B, & Clark, F. (2018). Understanding the mechanisms of change in Lifestyle Redesign. The Gerontologist 58(2), 353-361.

Murphy, S., Kratz, A. & Schepens Niemiec, S.L. (2017). Assessing fatigability in the lab and in daily life in older adults with osteoarthritis using perceived, performance, and ecological measures. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences 72(1), 115–120.

Murphy, S., Robison, S. & Schepens Niemiec, S.L. (2016). Knee and hip osteoarthritis management: A review of current and emerging non-pharmacological approaches. Current Treatment Options in Rheumatology 2(4), 296-311.

Murphy, S., Schepens Niemiec, S.L., Lyden, A., & Krazt, A. (2016). Pain, fatigue, and physical activity in osteoarthritis: The moderating effects of pain- and fatigue-related activity interference. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 97(S3), S201-S209.

Schepens Niemiec, S.L., Carlson, M., Martínez, J., Guzmán, L., Mahajan, A., & Clark, F. (2015). Developing occupation-based preventive programs for late-middle-aged Latino patients in safety-net health systems. American Journal of Occupational Therapy 69(6), 1-11.

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography

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USC: University of Southern California logo
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