Lan Yu, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Clinical and Translational Science

Lan Yu, PhD, is Associate Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Yu's research has focused on applying advanced psychometric theories such as item response theory and structural equation modeling to health related outcomes. She has been the lead psychometrician for the NIH Roadmap Initiative, Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Pittsburgh research site since 2007. Her research interests include large survey data, secondary data analysis, psychometrics, and item bank development for various patient reported outcomes.

Education & Training

  • BA, Renmin University of China, 1999
  • MS, Penn State University, 2006
  • PhD, Penn State University, 2007

Representative Publications

Yu L, Buysse DJ, Germain A, Moul DE, Stover A, Dodds NE, Johnston KL, Pilkonis PA. Development of short forms from the PROMIS™ sleep disturbance and Sleep-Related Impairment item banks. Behavioral Sleep Medicine. 2011;10(1):6-24.

The short forms had greater measurement precision than the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), as indicated by larger test information values across the continuum of severity, despite having fewer total items—a major advantage for both research and clinical settings.

Mazefsky CA, Yu L, Pilkonis PA. Psychometric properties of the emotion dysregulation inventory in a nationally representative sample of youth. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology. 2020:1-13.

The Emotion Dysregulation Inventory (EDI) is an informant questionnaire developed based on the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) Scientific Standards and refined through factor analyses and item response theory (IRT) analyses. The EDI is an efficient and precise measure of emotion dysregulation for use in general community and clinical samples as well as samples of youth with autism spectrum disorder.

Donovan LM, Yu L, Bertisch SM, Buysse DJ, Rueschman M, Patel SR. Responsiveness of patient reported outcomes to treatment among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and obstructive sleep apnea. Chest. 2019.

PROMIS sleep measures were more likely than the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to detect an improvement with positive airway pressure therapy.

Brindle RC, Yu L, Buysse DJ, Hall MH. Empirical derivation of cut-off values for the sleep health metric and its relationship to cardiometabolic morbidity: Results from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study. Sleep. 2019.

Empirically derived sleep health cutoff values aligned reasonably well to cutoff values previously published in the sleep health literature and remained robust across physical and mental health outcomes. Better sleep health was significantly associated with a lower odds of cardiometabolic morbidity.

Click here for a more complete bibliography of Dr. Yu’s works.

Research Interests

  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Survey data analysis
  • Psychometrics
  • Item bank development