Diane F. Mahoney PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN is Professor Emerita at MGH Institute of Health Professions, the academic affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.

She was the inaugural Jacque Mohr Professor in Geriatric Nursing Research and Director of Gerontechnology research and development during her 12 years at the Institute. In that role, she established and maintained a program of NIH and Alzheimer’s Foundation funding, a first for the Institute.

Dr. Mahoney has published over 85 original research studies as first author and over 100 including book chapters, reviews, and opinion pieces. She has served as an editorial board member for both the Gerontologist and Gerontechnology journals and a manuscript reviewer for the leading journals in aging, nursing, medicine, and informatics. 

She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America and the recipient of numerous academic and research awards for her scholarship and pioneering contributions to the fields of elder family caregiving, dementia interventions, the appropriateness of nurse practitioner’s geriatric prescribing, and the use of context-aware computerized supports to enable safety and autonomy for frail elders living alone. She received achievement awards from the ISG for her innovations and international consultations. 

  • Ph.D., Heller School for Social Policy and Management (Research concentration in health policy and gerontology), Brandeis University, 1989
  • M.S., Nursing (Gerontological Nursing, CNS / GNP), UMASS/Lowell College of Health Professions, 1980
  • B.S., School of Nursing, Boston College, 1969

Research Interests

Dr. Mahoney is developing a "smart dresser" that senses and interacts with persons with middle-stage dementia to guide them in real-time according to their responsiveness through the dressing process. DRESS ultimately aims to reduce the demand on family caregivers for constant cueing and guidance and provide a respite break period. The proof of concept research was funded by the Alzheimer’s Association ETAC program (2011-13) for the original design and alpha prototype development of DRESS – (Developing a Responsive Emotive Sensing System). DRESS won the 2014 International Society of Gerontechnology Leading Edge Award for the best innovative technology.

Through funding from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Nursing Research, the system is being refined to incorporate feedback from cross-cultural caregivers' focus groups to ensure adaptation to a variety of caregiving settings and users. She and her research team colleagues at NYU led by Dr. Winslow Burleson, PhD, and Arizona State University School of Nursing headed by Dr. David Coon, PhD are collaborating on this project.

Mahoney, DF.  Developing assistive technologies for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers: The ethics of doing good, not harm.  Book Chapter in Assistive Technology for Dementia (2018)  F Jotterand, T. Wangmo, & B.Simone Elger (Eds)  Oxford University Press.  In Press for Nov 2018.

Burleson, W., Lozano, C., V. Ravishanker, J. Lee & D. F Mahoney. (2018) An Assistive Technology System that Provides Dressing Support for People Living with Dementia: Capability Study.  JMIR (Journal of Medical Internet Research) Medical Informatics  6(2):e21    DOI:10.2196/medinform.5587  PMID29716885  

Mahoney, DF,  Burleson, W.,  Rowe, J., Mahoney, E., (2016) Accuracy and Stability Testing of a “Smart Dresser” for Persons with Dementia.  Gerontechnology 2016;15(suppl):88s. Doi:10.4617/gt.2016.15.s.912.00 PMCID: PMC5199139. NIHMSID: NIHMS 831843  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5199139

Mahoney, DF,  Burleson, W.,  Rowe, J., Mahoney, E., (2016) Prototype Development of a Responsive Emotive Sensing System (DRESS): System Operations Testing Outcomes,  iproc 2016 Dec 19;2(1):e12.    NIHMSID:831843 URL: http://www.iproc.org/2016/1/e12/    doi:10.2196/iproc.6030

See CV for compete list.

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