Thelma J. Mielenz, PhD, MS

Contact Information


Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health  

Dr. Mielenz research focuses on redesigning healthcare to deliver preventative services, forming clinical and community linkages, creating community- and evidence-based programs to prevent disability and falls and promote self-management of pain, and the psychometrics of outcomes instruments to measure pain, function and physical activity.

Currently, Dr. Mielenz is a co-I of a NIA Roybal Center Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life with Cornell and Columbia. She is collaborating with Johns Hopkins as a co-I on the National Study of Disability Trends and Dynamics to investigate over the course of later life the decline in functional ability leading to loss of independence and disability. In addition, she is a co-PI of a fall prevention program pilot in an assisted living group to identify barriers to adapting and sustaining an evidenced-based program.


Education & Training:
PhD, 2002, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 
MS, 1997, Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions
BS, 1989, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 


Fellow Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Heal


Honors and Awards:
2000-2003, Postdoctoral and Predoctoral Fellow, National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Traineeship from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Selected Publications:

Mielenz TJ, Edwards MC, Callahan LF. Item Response Theory Analysis of 2 Self-efficacy for Arthritis Scales from Community-based Physical Activity Programs in People with Arthritis. Arthritis ID 416796 8 2010

Mielenz TJ, Edwards MC, Callahan LF. Item Response Theory Analysis of the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (Fear of Movement) in People with Arthritis. J Clin Epidemiol 63(3) 315-20 2010

Freburger JK, Callahan LF, Shreffler JH, Mielenz TJ. The Effects of a Physical Activity Program on Sleep and Health-Related Quality of Life in Older Persons with Arthritis. JAG Epub Aug 3 2009

Callahan LF, Mielenz T, Freburger J, Shreffler J, Hootman J, Brady T, Buysse K, Schwartz T. A randomized controlled trial of the people with arthritis can exercise program: symptoms, function, physical activity, and psychosocial outcomes. Arthritis Rheum 59(1) 92-101 2008

Callahan LF, Shreffler J, Mielenz T, Schoster B, Kaufman JS, Xiao C, Randolph R, Sloane PD. Arthritis in the family practice setting: associations with education and community poverty. Arthritis Rheum. 59(7) 1002-8 2008


For more information, please see her Mailman School of Public Health page.