The Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory is dedicated to promoting the participation of older adults with functional limitations through the provision of intensive, tailored home modification interventions designed to enhance the performance of daily activities in the home.

Led by principal investigator Susan Stark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, we are committed to conducting clinical, translational research that will promote successful aging in place at home. The two important functions of the Lab are to:

  1. Teach best practice of home modification interventions to a wide variety of learners
  2.  Advance the practice of occupational therapy through the conduct of clinical trials and the development of evidence based guidelines followed by translating the findings into everyday clinical practice by identifying and resolving barriers to implementation

Through a series of funded research projects, we continue to examine the outcome of the intervention and develop a series of valid and reliable assessments that measure performance at home and the magnitude of environmental barriers in the home.

Ongoing research projects in the lab include home modification studies that focus on the outcome of an intervention to remove environmental barriers.

Community engagement

Group photo


We have a Community Advisory Board of older adults who regularly meet with members of the lab and we also work with the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging, which provides services for the elderly, including transportation and home-delivered meals.

We are able to put on this work with funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington University Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and the National Institutes on Aging.