Prof. Gail Auslander


Academic Profile:

PhD. 1985, Columbia University; Lect. 1988; Sen. Lect. 1990; Assoc. Prof. 1997. Prof. 2005.


Research Interests:

Quality of life of patients with chronic illness and their families. Help-seeking behavior medical services and social services utilization. Discharge planning and continuity of care. Family caregivers of hospitalized patients (in acute care settings). Parents of children with serious or chronic illness - stress, coping and adaptation. Mobility patterns among people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.{C}


 Research Projects:

Families as caregivers of hospitalized patients - tasks, motivation, resources and psychosocial outcomes. Funding:Israel Academy of Sciences.{C}

The continuum of care of social work clients - from the community to the hospital and back. Funding: The Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research. 

Mood disturbances among hospitalized patients.

The use of advanced tracking technologies for analysis of mobility in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Cognitive Disorders Funding: German-Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP) program committee.

Factors related to utilization of dental health services by older adults in Israel and Europe: a comparative and longitudinal study. Funding: National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research. 


Abstracts of Current Research :

The continuum of care of social work clients - from the community to the hospital and back:  The objectives of this cross sectional and prospective study are to: 1. Describe the continuum of care for hospitalized patients seen by a social worker: pre-admission services received, discharge planning in hospital, and aftercare services received. 2. Examine various aspects of discharge plan: adequacy of the plan for the patient's needs, adequacy of information given patients and families regarding community services; extent of patient and family participation in decision making. 3. Assess patient satisfaction with discharge-planning services. 4. Examine follow-up care in the community: the degree to which the discharge plan is implemented & meets the patient's needs; personal and medical factors related receipt of needed services; and factors related to satisfaction with community services. 5. Examine implications of discharge planning problems, namely readmissions and E.R. visits. Hebrew, Arabic & Russian-speaking patients aged 25+ discharged from general and specialized internal medicine & surgical departments and seen by a social worker during hospitalization were interviewed (at 2 weeks & 3 months post-discharge). A stratified sample of 1400 patients from 9 general hospitals of 3 sizes (<300 beds; 300-800 beds; 800+ beds) during pre-determined weeks in each of 3 seasons was selected.


Families as caregivers of hospitalized patients - tasks, motivation, resources and psychosocial outcomes. Families in Israelare increasingly expected to provide care for their sick or injured relatives, even when the patient is hospitalized in an acute care facility. While there has been considerable research on the nature and outcomes of family caregiving in the community, much less is known about the extent, nature and outcomes of informal caregiving on the inpatient ward. The goals of the study include: 1. To determine the frequency, intensity of informal caregiving  activities on in-patient wards. 2. To determine the main motivations for informal caregiving. 3. To distinguish between the characteristics of patients who have informal caregivers and those who do not, and to describe the characteristics of the caregivers themselves. 4. To assess the outcomes of caregiving, including emotional, health, social and economic outcomes for the caregiver and to identify factors related to positive and negative outcomes. 


The Use of Advanced Tracking Technologies for the Analysis of Mobility in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Cognitive Disorders.As the world's population ages, dementia-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease are becoming more prevalent, and constitute a serious threat to the health and well-being of older adults. One of the more common behavioral manifestations of dementia-related disorders is severe problems with out-of-home mobility. It is not uncommon for people with dementia to go missing, or to be found seriously injured, or dead. Various efforts have been attempted to attain a better understanding of mobility behavior in case of dementia, but most studies are based on institutionalized patients. Also, the assessment of out-of-home mobility usually relies on reports of family caregivers and institutional staff, using observational approaches, activity monitoring, or behavioral checklists. This project will address the measurement of mobility in Alzheimer’s disease and related cognitive disorders in an innovative way, by taking advantage of advanced tracking technologies. Our focus will be on demented persons, mildly cognitively impaired persons, and unimpaired controls. The obtained data will be used to develop typologies of out-of-home behavior among these study groups. Additional statistical analyses will strive for the explanation of differences in mobility based on a wide range of socio-structural, personality-related as well as environment-related variables. We will also assess the impact of the use of advanced tracking technology on the quality of life of dementia patients and care givers, as well as its potential as a diagnostic tool. The explicit consideration of ethical aspects involved in the use of tracking technology will be a substantial component throughout the project. The proposed project is a collaborative effort between researchers in Israel(HebrewUniversity; TelAvivUniversity) and Germany(UniversityofHeidelberg). It is an interdisciplinary project involving researchers from Geography, Social Work, Gerontology, Psychology, and Medicine.

Factors related to utilization of dental health services by older adults in Israel and Europe: a comparative and longitudinal study. Utilization rates of dental services among the elderly is comparitively low vis-a-vis adult populations in Israel and abroad. Beyond economic barriers, factors that explain this gap have not been examined comprehensively. The proposed study is based on Andersen’s Behavioral Model and examines a combination of predisposing, enabling and need factors. The study uses data from two waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Study goals include: 1. Examine utilization rates and reported reasons for non-utilization of dental services in Israel, compared to countries in Europe. 2. Examine changes in utilization levels and reported reasons for non-utilization between the two time periods in Israel.  3. Examine factors that explain utilization rates in Israel and in comparison with European countries.  4. Examine whether changes in predictor variables between Wave 1 and Wave 2 are related to utilization in Wave 2. 5. Compare the characteristics of people who have dental insurance and those who do note, and examine factors related to utilization, among those with dental insurance in Israel. We hypothesized that utilization rates are lower in Israel than in European countries where dental care is included in National Health Insurance. The strength of the relationships between predisposing and enabling variables and utilization will be stronger than those between need variables and utilization. The combination of variables that explain utilization in Israel will be different than that in other countries. The study will be based on a secondary analysis of interview data from the first two waves of data collection of SHARE. The study population includes only those aged 65 +, who were interviewed in both waves (about 950 in Israel, >13,000 in Europe), and employs a cross-sectional, comparative and longitudinal design.


Recent Publications:

Auslander, G. (2000). A friend in need: Use of personal connections by social work clients. Administration in Social Work, 24(1), 39-56.

Auslander, G. (2000). Social work research and evaluation in Israel. Social Work Research and Evaluation: An International Journal, 1(1), 17-34.

Auslander, G. (2000). Using large classes to positive advantage: involving students as research subjects and active learners. Social Work Education, 19(4), 375-385.

Auslander, G., Dobrof, J. and Epstein, I.(in press). Comparing social work's role in renal dialysis in Israeland theUnited States: The practice-based research potential of available clinical information. Social Work in Health Care.

Auslander, G. (2000). Outcomes of social work interventions in health settings. Social Work in Health Care, 31(2), 31-46.

Auslander, G.  & Buchs, A. (2002). Evaluating an activity intervention with hemodialysis patients in Israel. Social Work in Health Care, 35(1/2), 407-423.

Auslander, G., Netzer, D. & Arad, I.(2003). Parental anxiety following discharge of their Very Low Birth Weight infants.Family Relations, 52, 12-21.

Auslander, G., Netzer, D. & Arad, I.(2003). Parents' satisfaction with care in the neonatal intensive care unit: the role of sociocultural factors. Children's Health Care, 32(1), 17-36.

Amir, V. & Auslander, G. (2003).  Inter-organizational cooperation among social workers:  The case of community mental health centers and municipal social service departments in Israel.  British Journal of Social Work, 33, 557-566. 

Auslander, G., Soffer, M., Auslander, B. (2003). The supportive community: Accepting and utilizing help among old people in Jerusalem. Social Work Research, 27 (209-221).

Frank, T., Auslander, G., Weissgarten, Y. (2003). Quality of life of patients with end-stage renal disease at various stages of the illness. Social Work in Health Care, 2, 1-27.

Shechter, M., Auslander, G., Weinmann, E.E., Bass, A. (2003). Quality of life and social support following distal arterial bypass in elderly patients. IsraelMedical Association Journal, 5, 322-325.

Auslander, G. with Abramovitch, A., Ben-Shachar, I., Feigin, R., Frank, T., Rabin, B., Soskolne, V. (2005). Social work in the health system: International issues and their relevance for Israel. Society and Welfare. (Hebrew).

Auslander, G., Soskolne, V., Ben-Shachar, I.(2005). Utilization of health-based social work services among immigrant and veteran older persons in Israel. Health and Social Work, 30, 241-251.

Green, V., & Auslander, G. (2005). The relationship between formal social networks and quality of life among frail elders, and the special contribution of the physician. Gerontologia. (Hebrew).

Soskolne, V., Auslander, G. K., Ben Shahar, I.(2006). Help seeking and barriers to utilization of medical and social work services among ageing immigrants to Israelfrom the former Soviet Union. Health and Social Care in the Community, 14, 74-84.

Soffer, M. & Auslander, G. (2006). The role of stress in the relationship between gender and stress. Society and Welfare. (Hebrew).

Soskolne, V. & Auslander, G. K. (2006,) Help-seeking for health-related problems among aging immigrants. In Sara Carmel, Carol A. Morse, and Fernando M. Torres-Gil (Eds.) Lessons on Aging from Three Nations. New York: Baywood Press.

Auslander, G., Soskolne, V., Stanger, V., Ben-Shahar, I. & Kaplan, G. (2008). Discharge planning in acute care hospitals in Israel: Services planned and levels of implementation and adequacy. Health and Social Work.33(3), 178-188

Olshtain-Mann, O. & Auslander, G. (2008). Parents of preterm infants, two months after discharge from the hospital: Are they still at (parental) risk? Health and Social Work. 33, 299-308.

Green, V. & Auslander, G. (2008). Social Network and Social Support among Functionally Impaired Older People Living in the Community.  Gerontologia, 35, 111-126 (Hebrew)/

Shoval, N., Auslander, G. K, Freytag, T., Landau, R., Oswald, F., Seidl, U., Wahl, H. W., Werner, S. & Heinik, J. (2008). The use of advanced tracking technologies for the analysis of mobility in Alzheimer's disease and related cognitive diseases. BMC Geriatrics (electronic journal).

Landau, R., Werner, S., Auslander, G. K., Shoval, N. & Heinik, J. (2009). Attitudes of Family and Professional Care-Givers towards the Use of GPS for Tracking Patients with Dementia: An Exploratory Study. British Journal of Social Work. 39(9), 670-693.

Auslander, G. K., Werner,S., Shoval, N., Isaacson, M.,  Landau, R., Heinik, J. (2010). Cooperation with Complex Research Protocols: The Use of Global Positioning Systems with Cognitively Impaired Elders – A Preliminary Report. The Open Longevity Science Journal, 4, 1-8.

Cohen, H., Auslander, G. & Chen, Y. (2010). Family caregiving to hospitalized end-of-life and acutely ill geriatric patients. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 36 (8).

Landau, R., Werner, S., Auslander, G. K., Shoval, N. & Heinik, J. (2010). Family and professional caregivers' views of using advanced technology to track people with dementia. Qualitative Health Research. 20: 409-419

Landau, R, Werner, S. Auslander, G., Shoval, N., & Heinik, J. (2010). What do cognitively intact older people think about the use of electronic tracking devices for people with dementia: A preliminary analysis. International Psychogeriatrics., 22(8), 1303-1309

Oswald, F. Wahl, H-W., Voss, E, Schilling, O, Freytag, T., Auslander, G., Shoval, N., Heinik, J., Landau R. (2010). The use of tracking technologies for the analysis of outdoor mobility in the face of dementia: First steps into a project and some illustrative findings from Germany. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 24, 1, 55-73.

Shoval, N., Auslander, G., Cohen-Shalom, K., Isaacson, M., Landau, R., Heinik, J. & (2010). What can we learn about the mobility of the elderly in the GPS era? Journal of Transport Geography, 18(5), 603-612.

Soskolne, V., Auslander, G.K., Ben Shahar, I., Stanger, V., Kaplan, G. (2010). Social work discharge planning in acute care hospitals in Israel:  Clients’ evaluation of the discharge planning process and adequacy. Research on Social Work Practice, 20. 368-379.

Auslander, G. (2011). Family Caregivers of Hospitalized Adults in Israel: A Point-Prevalence Survey and Exploration of Tasks and Motives. Research in Nursing and Health, 34(3), 204-217.

Barzilay, Y., Shoval, N., Liebergall, M., Birenboim, A., Isaacson, M., Vaccaro, A.R., Kaplan, L. (2011). Assessing the outcomes of spine surgery using global positioning systems. Spine, 35. E263-267.

Landau, R., Werner, S., Auslander, G., Shoval, N. & Heinik, J. (2011). Who should make the decision on the use of GPS for people with dementia? Aging and Mental Health, 15, 78-84.

Shoval, N., Wahl, H.-W., Auslander, G., Isaacson, M., Oswald, F., Edry, T., Landau, R. & Heinik, J.(2011). Use of geographical positioning systems to measure the out-of-home mobility of older adults with differing cognitive functioning, Aging and Society, 31, 849-869.

Auslander, G. (2012). Depressive symptoms among hospitalized patients in Israel. Social Work in Health Care, 51, 107-123.

Werner, S., Auslander, G., Shoval, N., Gitlitz, T., Landau, R. & Heinik, J. (2012). Caregiving burden and out-of-home mobility of cognitively impaired care-recipients based on GPS tracking.  International Psychogeriatrics .

Lalayants, M., Epstein, I., Auslander, G., Chan, W., Fouche, C., Giles, R., Joubert, L., Rosenne, H. & Vertigan, A. (accepted for publication). Clinical data-mining: Learning from practice in international settings. International Social Work.

Wettstein, M., Wahl, H.W., Shoval, N., Oswald, F., Voss, E., Seidl, U., Frölich, L., Auslander, G., Heinik, J., Landau, R. (accepted for publication). Out-of-home Behavior and Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: Findings of the SenTra Project. Journal of Applied Gerontology.