Faculty & Staff


Gum, Amber, PhD

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Title: Professor
Phone: (813) 974-1980
Office: MHC 2632A
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Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Gum is a Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, with appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, USF Health; and the College of Public Health, USF Health. Dr. Gum conducts research on mental health services for older adults and medical patients; teaches classes in behavioral health services and public health; and engages in community and professional service. Dr. Gum maintains an active license in clinical psychology in the state of Florida (since 2004).


2002 - PhD - Clinical Psychology - University of Kansas
1997 - MA - Psychology - Wake Forest University
1995 - BA - Psychology, Honors College - Southwest Missouri State University (renamed Missouri State University in 2005)
Research Interests

Dr. Gum aims to improve well-being for older adults and medical patients, through applied research in behavioral health services and trauma-informed care in medical and aging service settings.

Do More Feel Better: Behavioral activation for depressed senior center clients

Dr. Gum has a 5-year grant (1R01MH124956-01) from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), to conduct a randomized controlled trial of behavioral activation for depressed senior center clients delivered by a volunteer coach or master’s level clinician. This project is part of a multi-site trial with University of Washington (PI: Raue) and Cornell University (PI: Sirey). Individuals interested in joining this project can email domorefeelbetter@usf.edu.

 myPATH, a patient-centered Partnership Addressing Trauma and Healing

 Dr. Gum also has a 2-year grant from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), to build capacity toward developing research to improve care for primary care patients with trauma histories. myPATH includes 20 individuals, who collectively have diverse professional and lived experiences related to trauma; the Partnership began thanks to a prior grant from PCORI. The Partnership is building relationships with larger networks, training stakeholders in patient-centered research and trauma-informed care, and gathering input from stakeholders to build a sustainable Collaborative and prepare to conduct research together. Our long-term goal is to conduct and disseminate research that evaluates patient-centered outcomes for evidence-based interventions for primary care patients with trauma. Our training curriculum is available online for free, and providers can earn up to 3 free CEUs. Individuals interested in getting involved with myPATH can email mypathcollaborative@usf.edu.

 Adverse outcomes for older adults in aging services

 Dr. Gum recently completed a 2-year grant from the RRF Foundation for Aging to study risks and protective factors leading to different outcomes (functional decline, long-term care placement, and death) between clients receiving services from the aging service provider network and clients on waiting lists for these services (Co-PI: Lawrence Schonfeld). Findings to date have been published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and Journal of Applied Gerontology.

 Guidance for primary care providers working with distressed patients

Dr. Gum and colleagues published a review paper in The BMJ that summarizes research evidence and concrete guidance for primary care providers working with distressed patients.

 Dr. Gum also collaborates with Dr. Kyaien Conner in MHLP on a PCORI-funded RCT of the Care Transitions Intervention with or without Peer Support for preventing rehospitalization in Black and Hispanic older adults. In the past, Dr. Gum has received funding as Principal Investigator from NIMH, PCORI, SAMHSA (subcontract), Retirement Research Foundation, Institute for Optimal Aging, and USF internal grants programs. Dr. Gum has collaborated on grants from NIMH, NSF, and SAMHSA. In 2015-2016, Dr. Gum was a U.S. Fulbright Core Scholar to Bar-Ilan University in Israel. She also was a trainee of an NIMH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, in mental health services research (2002-2004); NIMH Summer Research Institute in Geriatric Psychiatry (2004); NIH Summer Research Institute in Cross-Systems Health Services Research (2008); and NIMH Advanced Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health (2009-2011).

Recent Publications

For a complete list of journal articles, please see NCBI My Bibliography: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/collections/bibliography/46746827/

1.   Schonfeld, L., Bell, J., *Goldsworthy, M., Kip, K. Gum, A.M., Conner, K.O., Green, O., Wagoner, F., Parkinson, K., Melling, K.A., & Markwood, S. (2021.) Screening and priority-setting to determine home- and community-based aging services for older Floridians. Journal of Applied Gerontology. Advanced online publication, https://doi.org/10.1177/07334648211012508

2.   Green, O., Gum, A. M., Greene, J., Ayalon, L., Chiriboga, D., & Brown, L. M. (2020). Should I’ve stayed or should I’ve went? What residents of continuing care retirement communities and former candidates think and feel one year after their decision: A quantitative longitudinal comparison. Ageing and Society, 40,25-42. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X1800096X 

3.   Ayalon, L., & Gum, A. M. (2019, online). A typology of source of information about the continuing care retirement community and older adults’ living arrangement. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 1-12. doi: 10.1080/02763893.2019.1567641

4.   Gum, A. M., Epstein-Lubow, G., Gaudiano, B., Wittink, M., & Horvath, C. (2019). Brief behavioural strategies for distressed primary care patients. The BMJ (formerly The British Medical Journal), 366,l5360. doi: 10.1136/bmj.l5360

5.   Gum, A. M., Green, O., Schonfeld., L., Conner, K., Rigg, K., Wagoner, F., Melling, K., & Parkinson, K. (2019, online). Longitudinal analysis of mortality for older adults receiving or waiting for aging network services. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. doi: 10.1111/jgs.16232

6.   Shinan-Altman, S., Gum, A. M., & Ayalon, L. (2019, online). Moving to a continuing care retirement community or staying in the community? A comparison between American and Israeli older adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology. doi: 10.1177/0733464819879015

7.    Conner, K. O., Gum, A. M., Johnson, A., Cadet, T., & Brown, C. (2018). Peer education: Productive engagement of older African Americans in recovery from depression. The Gerontologist, 58, 813-824. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnx068

8.   Conner, K. O., Gum, A. M., Schonfeld, L., Baker-Douglan, J. L., Beckstead, J., Meng, H., Brown, C., & Reynolds III, C. F. (2018). Peer support as a strategy for reducing hospital readmissions among older adults with chronic medical illness and depression. Journal of Mental Health and Aging, 2, 40-46. doi: 10.35841

9.   Gum, A. M., & Ayalon, L. (2018). Self-perceptions of aging mediate the longitudinal relationship of hopelessness and depressive symptoms. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 33, 591-597. doi: 10.1002/gps.4826

10.  Gum, A. M., Segal-Karpas, D., Avidor, S., Ayalon, L., Bodner, E., & Palgi, Y. (2018). Grip strength and quality of life in the second half of life: Hope as a moderator. Aging & Mental Health, 22,1600-1605. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2017.1383972

11.  Gum, A.M., Shiovitz-Ezra, S., & Ayalon, L. (2017). Longitudinal associations of hopelessness and loneliness in olderadults: Results from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. International Psychogeriatrics, 29, 1451-1459. 1-9, doi:10.1017.S1041610217000904

12.  Gum, A. M., Schonfeld, L., Tyler, S., Fishleder, S., & Guerra, L. (2016). One-visit behavioral intervention for older primary care patients with mild-moderate depressive symptoms: A pilot study. Southern Medical Journal, 109, 442-447. doi: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000000497