Amber E. Barnato is a board-certified preventive medicine and public health physician with advanced training in decision science. Her research focuses on variation in end-of-life intensive care unit (ICU) and life-sustaining treatment use.
Barnato's research is the source of the frequently cited statistic that “one in five Americans will die with ICU services” and the key finding that black patients’ higher use of intensive care at the end of life is largely attributable to their use of higher-intensity hospitals. Her work has focused both on refining measures of hospital end-of-life treatment intensity and exploring the mechanisms underlying variations in these measures using mixed qualitative and quantitative approaches, including participant observation, simulation, and mental-models interviewing. This research has led to a conceptual model regarding the interplay among provider social norms, patient and family expectations, and physician decision making heuristics, which she summarized in a recent invited overview in Health Affairs.
More recently she has begun developing and testing interventions to modify patient and provider behavior related to advance care planning and end-of-life decision making using behavioral decision theory with the goal of better aligning patient values with medical decisions and reducing the burden of surrogate decision making.
In 2017, Barnato was named the inaugural Susan J. and Richard M. Levy 1960 Distinguished Professor in Health Care Delivery. She was previously associate professor of medicine, clinical and translational science, and health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Graduate School of Public Health. Throughout her career she has published more than 100 research articles, advised more than 60 medical students committed to clinical research careers, and mentored seven faculty through their transition to independence.
Barnato earned a BA from the University of California at Berkeley, an MD from Harvard Medical School, an MPH from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MS from Stanford University.
Health Aff (Millwood)|2017 Jul 1
Barnato AE, Moore R, Moore CG, Kohatsu ND, Sudore RL
J Pain Symptom Manage|2017 Jul
Jacobs BL, Yabes JG, Lopa SH, Heron DE, Chang CH, Schroeck FR, Bekelman JE, Kahn JM, Nelson JB, Barnato AE
Cancer|2017 Aug 1