Dr. Carolyn T. Thorpe, PhD, MPH is Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy & Therapeutics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. She holds a joint appointment as a Health Scientist at the Center For Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) within the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS).
Dr. Thorpe is a health services researcher with interests in quality medication prescribing, comparative effectiveness and safety of medications, and patient adherence in adults with chronic illness. She is particularly interested in understanding how to optimize the use of medications in older, complex patients with multiple co-morbidities. She is also interested in understanding how to better support coping, and psychological well-being in chronically ill adults and their family caregivers. She has worked with a variety of patient populations, including individuals with common chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and dementia, as well as more rare autoimmune conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic vasculitis. Her work in these areas has been supported by federal agencies, including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as private foundations, including the Vasculitis Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation.
Dr. Thorpe’s currently leads projects on the following topics: 1) improving prescribing decisions for glycemic control in older adults with type 2 diabetes and multiple comorbidities; 2) understanding how to better support medication adherence in older adults, especially patients with cognitive impairment who are dependent on informal caregivers to help manage their daily medications; 3) understanding the national burden of formal and informal care for systemic vasculitis in the United States.
Methodologically, Dr. Thorpe is experienced in a wide range of both quantitative and qualitative methods. She has extensive expertise in analyses of administrative healthcare data, including Medicare claims and VA utilization data, survey research, scale development, and psychometrics, and the development and evaluation of complex behavioral and health systems interventions.
Dr. Thorpe completed a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan, a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the George Washington University, and a PhD in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina. She also completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Center for Health Services Research, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Prior to arriving at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Thorpe worked as a Scientist with the Health Innovation Program in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where she directed and collaborated on a variety of studies focused on improving the quality of chronic illness care.