Katarina Friberg Felsted, PhD portrait
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Health-Kinesiology
  • Associate Professor (Clinical), College Of Nursing

Research Summary

As a gerontological researcher I address chronic conditions in older adults by using complementary and integrative treatments and strategies. I have examined mindfulness-based stress reduction as a treatment for urge urinary incontinence. I am also studying using mindfulness to enhance rehabilitation goals of patients in skilled nursing facilities. I seek to promote optimal aging across the life course. I work to advance education in aging studies.


  • PhD, Nursing Research, Cancer, Aging, End of Life cohort, University of Utah. Project: Comparing mindfulness-based stress reduction with the health enhancement program in the treatment of urge urinary incontinence in older adult women: A pilot feasibility and randomized controlled trial.
  • Higher Education Teaching Specialist, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, University of Utah
  • Masters of Science, Gerontology, University of Utah. Project: An Integrated Wellness Program Designed for a Senior Living Community
  • Bachelor of Arts, English Literature and Composition, Brigham Young University


Dr. Katarina Friberg Felsted is an Associate Professor in the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah, and holds a PhD in Nursing Research as well as an MS in Gerontology.

Dr. Felsted is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Health-Kinesiology-Recreation in the College of Health at the University of Utah.

In 2019, Dr. Felsted was awarded the Rising Star Early Career Faculty Award from the Gerontological Society of America's Academy of Gerontology in Higher Education. She was also named one of the Nursing Alumni Scholar '19 List of People Shaping the Nursing Profession by the College of Nursing Alumni Association and Jonas/Veteran Healthcare Scholars.

In 2018, Katarina was appointed the Faculty Fellow of the Utah Geriatric Education Network (UGEC), of the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP).

As a gerontological researcher, Dr. Felsted's current research interest is the use of complementary and integrative therapies to treat chronic conditions in older adults. Her research focus is mindfulness-based stress reduction as a treatment for urinary urge incontinence in older adult women as well as a complement to physical rehabilitation of older adults in skilled nursing facilities. 

Her book, co-authored with Dr. Scott Wright, Toward Post Ageing: Technology in an Ageing Society, was published by Springer. Katarina has published 18 articles in various scholarly and academic journals. She has presented over 45 times at national and international conferences as well as invited lectures and speeches. 

Katarina teaches both core and elective gerontology undergraduate and graduate courses: Introduction to Aging; Health and Optimal Aging; Diversity in Aging; International Dimensions of Lifelong Learning; and Caregiving & Aging Families. Katarina has a strong commitment to excellence in teaching in higher education, and has earned her Higher Education Teaching Specialist designation through the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at the University of Utah.

Dr. Felsted currently serves on student supervisory committees and scholarly project committees for the GIP MS, College of Health MS, and Nursing DNP programs in chair, committee member, and content expert roles. She also serves as an honors undergraduate nursing student mentor. She serves on the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program Advisory Committee, the Career Line Formal Review Team, and is the co-founder and co-chair of the Wellness Committee in the College. She is a member of the Alpha Chi chapter of Sigma Phi Omega and the Gamma Rho chapter of Sigma Global Nursing Excellence. 

At the university level she serves as the Wellness and Integrative Health Ambassador. She is a member of the Center on Aging, the University of Utah Academy of Health Science Educators, The Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention and Development, The Consortium for Families and Health Research, the Aging Population Project in the David Eccles School of Business.

Dr. Felsted serves on the Executive Board of the Utah Aging Alliance. 

Nationally, she is the incoming president of Sigma Phi Omega, the Academic Honor and Professional Society in Gerontology. She is a member of the Academic Consortium of Integrative Medicine and Health, the Academy of Gerontology in Higher Education, the Gerontological Society of America, and the Society for Behavioral Medicine.


Career Highlights

Dr. Felsted has received several internal grants to study mindfulness in older adults, in incontinence and physical rehabilitiation populations.

In the past five years, Katarina has been named a:

  • Utah Geriatric Education Consortium Faculty Fellow
  • a Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing Interprofessional Summer Research Scholar
  • a Center for Families and Health Research Fellow
  • a Noorda-Hartford Fellow
  • a Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar
  • and a Marriner S. Eccles Graduate Fellow

Dr. Felsted has published 18 articles in various peer-reviewed academic journals as well as in other forms of publications. In November of 2014, Springer Verlag published her first book, Toward Post Ageing, co-authored with Dr. Scott Wright. She has given over 45 presentations at national and international conferences as well as invited lectures and speeches. 

During her doctoral work she received the Outstanding PhD Student and the Outstanding Dissertation awards consecutively.

Dr. Katarina Friberg Felsted was appointed as the director of the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program in June of 2012. She collaborated with her colleagues and tripled the number of incoming MS students by the next fall. 

Dr. Felsted worked diligently to bring a Minor to the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program and this went through the entire process, including approval by the Board of Regents, and was put into place by Fall 2013.