Catana Brown, Ph.D., OTR

Glendale, AZ

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Dr. Brown received her B.S. in occupational therapy from Colorado State University in 1981, her M.A. in occupational therapy from New York University in 1984 and her PhD in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Research, Measurement and Statistics from the University of Kansas in 1999. Her clinical and research experience has focused on supporting successful and satisfying community living for individuals with serious mental illness. Dr. Brown is an author of the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile, Occupational Therapy in Mental Health: A Vision for Participation, and The Evidence Based Practitioner. She first began teaching in 1987 and joined the faculty at Midwestern University in 2010 as an Associate Professor. She was promoted to Professor in 2016. 


Glendale, AZ

College of Health Sciences - AZ

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

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University of Kansas | 1999 | Ph.D.
New York University | 1984 | M.A.
Colorado State University | 1981 | B.S.

Courses Taught

OTHEG 544 Psychosocial Practice I

OTHEG 654 Psychosocial Practice II

OTHEG 523 Evidence Based Practice I

OTHEG 653 Evidence Based Practice III

OTHEG 663 Evidence Based Practice IV


My practice and research has focused on understanding barriers to successful community living for people with serious mental illness and designing interventions to address those barriers with a more recent emphasis on physical health and weight loss. In particular I am a primary contributor to the development of two weight loss programs – RENEW and NEW-R designed for people with serious mental illness. The efficacy of the RENEW program was studied using a RCT funded by NIMH. Analyses indicate that the intervention was effective in achieving modest weight loss. I have taken the findings of the RENEW program, along with feedback from experts in the field, people in recovery, and colleagues in occupational therapy, nursing and dietetics and nutrition to develop NEW-R, an 8 week curriculum for use in real-world community mental health settings. The curriculum includes a facilitator’s manual, a participant’s manual, and a series of exercise videos. I am a consultant on a randomized control trial funded by NIDLRR to exam the efficacy of the NEW-R program. Data collection will be completed by the end of 2019. I have also served as the principal investigator for grants from NIDRR (field-initiated), HRSA and NARSAD .

In addition, I have conducted research related to the development of two measures: The Test of Grocery Shopping Skills and the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (A/ASP) (with W. Dunn PhD, OTR/L). I am currently working with Dr. Dunn to develop an Interoception Scale designed to be consistent with the four quadrant model of sensory processing used with the A/ASP.


Brown, C., Steuter, M. & Karim, R. (in press).  A retrospective analysis of studies examining sensory processing preferences in individuals with psychiatric conditions. American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Brown, C., Munoz, J. & Stoffel, G. (2019). Occupational therapy in mental health: A vision for participation 2nd Edition. Philadelphia: FA Davis. 

Brown, C. (2019). Ecological models in occupational therapy. In B.A.B. Schell & G. Gillin (Eds.) Willard and Spackman’s Occupational Therapy (13th Edition) (pp. 622-632). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

Brown, C. (2019). The Test of Grocery Shopping Skills. In B. J. Hemphill-Pearson & C. K. Urish (Eds.) Assessments in occupational therapy mental health: An integrative approach (Third Edition) (pp. 435 – 444). Thorofare, NJ: Slack Inc.

Brown, C. (2019). Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile. In B. J. Hemphill-Pearson & C. K. Urish (Eds.) Assessments in occupational therapy mental health: An integrative approach (Third Edition) (pp. 447-458). Thorofare, NJ: Slack Inc.

Brown, C., Geiszler, L.C., Lewis, K.J., Arbesman, M. (2018). Effectiveness of interventions for weight loss for people with serious mental illness: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72, 7205190030p17205190030p9.  

Rempfer, M.V., McDowd, J.M. & Brown, C.E. (2017). Measuring learning potential in people with schizophrenia: A comparison of two tasks. Psychiatry Research, 258, 316321.

Brown, C., (2017). The evidence based practitioner: Using research to meet client needs. Philadelphia, FA Davis.

Brown, C., Read, H., Stanton, M., Zeeb, M., Jonikas, J. & Cook, J. (2015). A pilot study of the nutrition and exercise for weight loss and recovery (NEW-R): A weight loss program for individuals with serious mental illness. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 38, 371-373.

Brown, C. & Stoffel, G. (2015). Psychological factors (pp. 217-232). In C. H. Christiansen, C. M. Baum & J.D. Bass (Eds.) Occupational Therapy: Enabling Performance, Participation & Well Being 4th Edition. Thorofare, NJ: Slack Inc. 

 Brown, C., Goetz, J., Hamera, E. & Gajewski, B. (2014). Treatment response to the RENEW weight loss intervention: Impact of intervention setting. Schizophrenia Research, 159, 421-425.

Almomani, F.M., Brown, C., Dahab, S.A., Almomani, M., & Nadar, M. (2014). Cross cultural adaptation of the adolescent/adult sensory profile: Establishing linguistic equivalency and psychometric properties of the Arabic version. Disability Rehabilitation, 36, 765-770.


American Occupational Therapy Association

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association

Team Based Learning Collaborative


Consultant – National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Center for Psychiatric Research University of Illinois – Chicago, PI – Judith Cook PhD – “Weight management and wellness for people with psychiatric disabilities” (2016 – 2019)

 Project Director – National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Center for Psychiatric Research University of Illinois - Chicago, PI – Judith Cook PhD - “Training peers and providers to manage weight and wellbeing through a nutrition and physical activity curriculum” (2010-2012)

 PI - Touro University Nevada, “Piloting a meal assembly intervention to enhance the RENEW weight loss program” (2008) $7,800

 PI – National Institute of Mental Health, “A psychiatric rehabilitation approach to weight loss” (2007) $645,195, Consultant (2007-2009).  Change in PI due to move to new institution.

PI – National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, “Matching learning potential and rehabilitation approach for people with schizophrenia” (20032005) $100,000

PI – National Institute of Mental Health, “Dynamic assessment of cognition in schizophrenia” (2003-2005) $147,000

 PI – University of Kansas Research Institute’s Clinical Pilot Grant, “Preventing obesity in people with schizophrenia” (2003-2004) $25,000

 Program Director – Health Resources and Services Administration “Partnerships for health promotion” (2002 – 2005) $306,465

 PI – National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research “Independent living for people with psychiatric disabilities: Using contextual cues to remove environmental barriers” (2000 – 2003) $433,543

 Co-PI – American Occupational Therapy Foundation Research Symposium “Predicting grocery shopping skills using cognition and arousal in individuals with schizophrenia” (1998-1999) $12,500



1990   Outstanding Practice Award, Maryland Occupational Therapy Association

1998   Dissertation Award, American Occupational Therapy Association

1999   Joyce Jones Teaching Award, University of Kansas Medical Center

2000   Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association

2001   Innovative Program Award for Empowerment University, Kansas Consumer Advisory Council

2003   Early Career Research Award, International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services

2003   Faculty Investigator Research Award, University of Kansas Medical Center

2005 Community Partnership Award, Wyandot Mental Health Center

2007   AOTA Service Commendation, Chairperson Mental Health Ad Hoc Committee

2012   AOTF Leadership Service Commendation