Dr. Shaughnessy’s research focuses on the care of older adults, particularly geriatric rehabilitation following stroke. Her dissertation research involved analysis of the trajectories of functional recovery over 12 months following stroke in an urban stroke population. She followed this work with a small pilot study that qualitatively examined the experience of recovery during the subacute stroke period.
Presently, she is the associate director of education and evaluation at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers (GRECC), and an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Dr. Shaughnessy utilized a Veterans Affairs (VA) Nursing Research Postdoctoral fellowship experience to become involved with ongoing studies in the Baltimore VA GRECC, investigating the impact of task-oriented treadmill training in chronic hemiparetic stroke survivors and the effect of cognitive/executive dysfunction on functional recovery. Dr. Shaughnessy has since developed and tested a behavioral motivation/education intervention to educate stroke survivors about the benefits of exercise following discharge from the inpatient rehabilitation. She is a co-principal investigator with Dr. Fred Ivey for a VA Merit study that translates treadmill and group exercise training programs for stroke survivors into the community.