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Michelle R Zechner, PHD

Department : Psychiatric Rehabilitation And Counseling Professions
Program/Division : Psychiatric Rehabilitation
Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Office Address:


Degree Degree Source Year Awarded
MSW University of Pittsburgh 1997
PHD Rutgers University 2015
Title Authors Where and When
Engaging older adults using Tai Chi at a psychiatric hospital. Zechner, M., McDonald, M, King, T., Jahnke, R., & Monroy-Miller, C. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 21, 344-354, 2019
Multi-Dimensional Wellness Interventions for Older Adults with Serious Mental Illness: A Systematic Literature Review. Zechner, M., Pratt, C., Barrett, N., Dreker, M. & Santos, S. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. Advance online publication, April 2019
Faculty Mentorship in Allied Health Schools: An Evaluation of a Mentorship Initiative. Barrett, N., Murphy, A., Zechner, M., & Malenczak, D. Journal of Allied Health Professions, 48, 134-139, 2019
Tools for Moving On: Adapting an evidenced based housing curriculum for Individuals Receiving Services in an Inpatient Psychiatric Setting to Prepare for Community Living. Sperduto, J., Zechner, M., Spagnolo, A. & Giacobbe, G. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 57,23-29, 2019
Fidelity to the structural and clinical aspects of the illness management and recovery program in an institutional setting: A six year study. Bartholomew, T., Zechner, M. R., Birkmann, J. C., Reinhardt-Wood, D. L., Kinter, K. T., Sperduto, J., Cook, R., & Giantini, M. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 21 (1-2). 102-114, 2019
Sensitizing inpatient mental health staff to the challenges of aging. Zechner, M., Birkmann, J. C., Sperduto, J., & Pratt, C. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services, 56(4), 12-16, 2018
Predictors of Physical Activity in Persons with Mental Illness: A Social Cognitive Model. Zechner, M. & Gill, K. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. 39(4), 321-335, 2016
Wellness for Life: A Pilot Inter-Professional Intervention to Address MetS Gill, K., Zechner, M., Anderson, E., Swarbrick, M. & Murphy, A. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 39, 147-153, 2016
The relationship of illness management and recovery to state hospital readmission. Bartholomew, T., & Zechner, M. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 2014202(9), 647-650.
Title Details
Zechner Brief BioSketch  January 8, 2020 Michelle Zechner, PhD, LSW, CPRP is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers-SHP, Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Programs and has focused her career on helping people recover from mental health conditions and their families for over 25 years, with special expertise in health promotion initiatives. She has worked in a variety of community and inpatient settings, including nursing homes, outpatient mental health services, state psychiatric hospitals and community services for older adults. In her current role she has focused on implementation of evidence-based psycho-social practices in psychiatric hospitals, developing and testing health and wellness promotion interventions in community settings, teaching students, training diverse mental health staff on best practice interventions for older persons with mental health conditions, and conducting research. Dr. Zechner’s research includes the development of programs focused on multi-domain wellness for people with mental health conditions, promotion of and adherence to physical activity in persons with mental illness, use of peer health coaching strategies, supporting caregivers of people with dementia and identifying best practices for use with older adults with mental health conditions. She has co-authored peer-reviewed and technical publications on health promotion for persons with mental illness, and has presented her work at local, national and international conferences. She is passionate about supporting older people with mental health conditions improve their mental and physical health.

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