Stephanie L. Fitzpatrick, PhD

Meet Stephanie Fitzpatrick

For Stephanie Fitzpatrick, research is a personal endeavor. When she began counseling people with obesity to make lifestyle and behavior changes, she realized that changes were needed in her own life, too. Her personal journey continues to inform her scientific work.


Stephanie Fitzpatrick, PhD, is a clinical health psychologist whose research centers on embedding behavioral interventions for obesity and chronic disease management in primary care practices. She has expertise in development, implementation, and analysis of behavioral interventions including use of advanced statistical modeling such as structural equation modeling and item response theory.

Dr. Fitzpatrick is currently the principal investigator on a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases-funded R21 that involves applying latent class analysis to PREMIER and Weight Loss Maintenance trial data to identify individuals who successfully maintained health behavior changes over a year or more and establish demographic and baseline psychosocial predictors of behavior change maintenance.

Before joining the Center for Health Research, Dr. Fitzpatrick was an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush University Medical Center. There, she served as both a clinical researcher and as a behavioral psychologist in a multidisciplinary clinic specializing in weight, diabetes, and hypertension management.

Dr. Fitzpatrick earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Rochester and her PhD in clinical psychology with a specialization in health psychology from the University of Miami. She also completed a one-year health psychology internship at Rush University Medical Center, Department of Behavioral Sciences and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Selected Publications

  • Fitzpatrick SL, Wischenka D, Appelhans BM, Pbert L, Wang M, Wilson DK, Pagoto SL; Society of Behavioral Medicine. An Evidence-based Guide for Obesity Treatment in Primary Care. Am J Med. 2016 Jan;129(1):115.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.07.015. Epub 2015 Jul 31. PubMed PMID: 26239092.
  • Fitzpatrick SL, Coughlin JW, Appel LJ, Tyson C, Stevens VJ, Jerome GJ, Dalcin A, Brantley PJ, Hill-Briggs F. Application of Latent Class Analysis to Identify Behavioral Patterns of Response to Behavioral Lifestyle Interventions in Overweight and Obese Adults. Int J Behav Med. 2015 ug;22(4):471-80. doi: 10.1007/s12529-014-9446-y. PubMed PMID: 25331853; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4957646.
  • Fitzpatrick SL, Hill-Briggs F. Measuring health-related problem solving among African Americans with multiple chronic conditions: application of Rasch analysis. J Behav Med. 2015 Oct;38(5):787-97. doi: 10.1007/s10865-014-9603-4. Epub 2014 Oct 16. PubMed PMID: 25319236.
  • Fitzpatrick SL, Bandeen-Roche K, Stevens VJ, Coughlin JW, Rubin RR, Brantley PJ, Funk KL, Svetkey LP, Jerome GJ, Dalcin A, Charleston J, Appel LJ. Examining behavioral processes through which lifestyle interventions promote weight loss: results from PREMIER. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Apr;22(4):1002-7. doi: 10.1002/oby.20636. Epub 2013 Dec 4. PubMed PMID: 24124061; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3968223.
  • Fitzpatrick SL, Jeffery R, Johnson KC, Roche CC, Van Dorsten B, Gee M, Johnson RA, Charleston J, Dotson K, Walkup MP, Hill-Briggs F, Brancati FL; Look AHEAD Research Group. Baseline predictors of missed visits in the Look AHEAD study. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Jan;22(1):131-40. doi: 10.1002/oby.20613. PubMed PMID: 23996977; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3943994.
  • Fitzpatrick SL, Schumann KP, Hill-Briggs F. Problem solving interventions for diabetes self-management and control: a systematic review of the literature. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2013 May;100(2):145-61. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2012.12.016.Epub 2013 Jan 9. Review. PubMed PMID: 23312614; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3633671.