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Rebekah J. Walker, PhD

RebekahWalker_Academic Profile

Rebekah J. Walker, PhD

Assistant Professor


  • General Internal Medicine

Contact Information

Research Interests

Dr. Walker's research focuses on racial and social determinants of health, in an effort to eliminate disparities in patients with chronic disease, with a special emphasis on diabetes. Her work concentrates on understanding the impact of social determinants of health in individuals with chronic diseases, and she is particularly interested in the psychosocial influences on health outcomes, the racial/ethnic and socioeconomic differences in health outcomes, and how to develop interventions that address the impact of social determinants in low-income populations. In addition, she is interested in global health efforts and developing programs that ameliorate the impact of social determinants of health on individuals from low- and middle-income countries. She has a particular interest in indigenous health and the use of both technology and community engagement to support empowerment and improved outcomes.

Dr. Walker has conducted quantitative analyses investigating the influence of factors such as depression, empowerment, coping, fatalism, self-efficacy, discrimination, and meaning of illness, leading to over 40 publications. She has devoted particular emphasis to understanding depression and diabetes distress, as these psychosocial factors consistently show significant impact on diabetes outcomes. She has expertise in analytical techniques focused on understanding mechanisms and pathways, including confirmatory factor analysis, path analysis, and structured equation modeling. Her ongoing work is focused on using the understanding of mechanisms explaining these relationships to develop effective behavioral and community interventions to directly address the social determinants of health and improve health outcomes for low-income patients with Type 2 diabetes.