Brenda L. Luther, PhD, RN portrait
  • Associate Professor (Clinical), College Of Nursing
  • Director Care Management Programs, Con Nursing
  • Fellow Academy of Health Science Educators, Office Of Sr Vp Health Sci

Research Summary

Dr. Luther's research started with investigating how families of children with disabilities develop health promotion beliefs. Recently, Dr. Luther participated in research focused on interdisciplinary team communication necessary to support quality health planning for clients and their clinicians. Now Dr. Luther has expanded her research interests into examining how nursing and care management can assess and refer for social support needs vital to optimal self-care management.


  • Master's of Science, Nursing, University of Utah. Project: Successful Transition to Adulthood for Children with Physical Disabilities
  • PhD, Nursing, University of Utah. Project: Food and Physical Activity for School-Age Children with Spina Bifida


Brenda Luther, PhD, RN is an Associate Professor at the College of Nursing and within the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program at the University of Utah.  Dr. Luther teaches courses in primary care, care management, evidence-based practice and health promotion.

Dr. Luther's clinical speciality is disability care and care management, working clients and families in community settings.  She started her career in care coordination at Shriners working with public, private and non-profit agencies to bring about coordinated and connected services for children in teh Intermountain West. Her research interests are primary care, care management, successful transition to adulthood for children with disabilities, and most recently researching how healthcare systems measure and refer for social support services.

Luther has researched and published in the areas specific to children with physical disabilities including: promoting successful transition to adulthood, family caregiving, health promotion and self-care. Most recently, she is a member of an interdisciplinary research team investigating interprofessional education and care planning across disciplines and the lifespan as well as a community research team investigating how to measure social support in all clinical settings for all types of client and family groups.

She is active in professional organizations including American Association of Ambulatory Care Nurses, the American Case Management Association where she was a founding member of the Utah Chapter, and the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses where she has served on the national editorial board since 1999 and acted as guest editor for a special edition related to the how nursing is vital to Affordable Care Act.

She earned her master of science in community health and family nursing and a doctor of philosophy in Nursing from the University of Utah where her research was focused on preventing overweight and obesity for school-age children with spina bifida by investigating family capacity to include health promotion as well as disease care in a complex health environment.  She was an American Nurses Foundation 2009 Sanofi-Pasteur PhD Fellow.

Career Highlights

Dr. Luther started her career in care coordination at Shriners and has continued to investigate her clinical interests of care management, primary care, community health care, chronic illness and factors of social support affecting successful self-care skills for vulnerable clients and their families. A recent career highlight was as an invited speaker to the American Association of Care Managers to speak on her recent research about what leaders in healthcare are calling out as the vital roles of care managers in new helping our clients and families attain optimal self-care management.