Kelsi Carolan, PhD (Affiliate)

Assistant Professor

School of Social Work

Research Overview

My research investigates how systemic inequities degrade quality of life in the context of chronic and/or progressive disease and disability. Among the many factors that can affect quality of life for those living with chronic diseases and/or physical disability, my research is most focused on access to health-supportive employment, social support, disability-related stigma and discrimination, and patient-provider relationships. My overarching research goals are to: 1) examine how systemic inequities intersect with health and disability to affect quality of life; and 2) develop interdisciplinary interventions to improve quality of life in chronic disease/disability. I am a qualitative and mixed methods researcher, and highly value community-based participatory approaches to research and interprofessional collaboration.

My previous research has included projects examining work-related perceptions, readiness for self-advocacy, and experiences of discrimination and stigma among individuals with Parkinson’s disease, as well as work-related discussions between patients and health care providers. Additional key projects I’ve been involved on include: a patient-centered outcomes research study aimed at identifying barriers to cancer research participation among people of color; a qualitative study of the employment experiences of a racially diverse sample of low-income women with chronic health conditions; and mixed methods projects examining integrated health interventions.


PhD, Boston University, 2020
MSW, Boston College, 2011

Recent Publications

Keefe, B., Carolan, K., Wint, A. J., Goudreau, M., Cluett, S., & Iezzoni, L.I. (2020). Behavioral health emergencies encountered by community paramedics: Lessons from the field and opportunities for skills advancement. Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research.

Carolan, K., Charlot, M., Gawuga, C., Freeman, E., Kim, J.H., & Sprague Martinez, L. (2019). Assessing cancer center researcher and provider perspectives on patient engagement. Translational Behavioral Medicine.

Carolan, K., Gonzales, E., Lee, K., & Harootyan, R. (2018). Institutional and individual factors affecting health and employment for low-income women with chronic health conditions. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B. doi:10.1093/geronb/gby149

Sprague Martinez, L., Carolan, K., O’Donnell, A., Diaz, Y., & Freeman, E. (2018). Community engagement in patient-centered outcomes research: Benefits, barriers, and measurement. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 2(6).

Carolan, K. (2016). Find your beat: Therapeutic drumming for Parkinson’s disease. Clinical Social Work Journal, 44(2), 179-185.

Contact Information
Mailing Address38 Prospect Street, Room 224, HSSW Hartford, CT 06103