Barbara Riegel, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Annually, one in every four deaths is due to heart disease. Through her extensive research into self-care practices of older adults with heart failure—their behaviors, their adherence to medication regimens, and their ability to understand and manage their symptoms— Barbara Riegel has learned that patients who don’t get involved in their care have extremely poor quality of life and die earlier than patients who manage their care.
Beginning when she was a clinical nurse researcher in an acute care setting and continuing since then, Dr. Riegel has created a rich body of evidence aimed at helping older adults with heart failure enjoy a high quality of life in their own homes. Her work includes development of the Self-Care of Heart Failure Index and numerous other psychometrically sound instruments. She has received support from her research from NIH, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and other funders.
“I study ways to help older adults with chronic cardiovascular disease to take better care of themselves. Much of my work has been in heart failure, but these patients rarely have only heart failure, so my recent work has extended to multiple chronic conditions. In addition, I have a strong commitment to mentoring.”
- PhD, University of California at Los Angeles, 1991
- MN, University of California at Los Angeles, 1983
- BSN, San Diego State University, 1981
Dr. Riegel teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate program. She teaches an undergraduate course on self-care and also teaches a course on evolving nursing science at the doctoral level. She engages students and trainees of all levels in her research; undergraduate students are involved in enrolling patients into studies, collecting data, and conducting basic analyses. Doctoral students review grants, code data, and write articles. Post-doctoral trainees participate in a variety of on-going studies. She is also actively involved in advising students in conducting their own research.
Dr. Riegel’s current projects address self-care, defined broadly to include treatment adherence (e.g. medication adherence), symptom monitoring and perception, and symptom management. Her newest project focuses on promoting self-care among caregivers of adults with chronic heart failure. She maintains numerous international collaborations with colleagues in Sweden, Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil, and beyond. These collaborations are facilitated through her International Center for Self-Care Research.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Dr. Riegel moved to Penn Nursing in 2002. Penn Nursing’s dedication to using research to affect policy and practice, and a physical layout that facilitates interdisciplinary teaching and research, were a big draw for Dr. Riegel. All schools are within easy walking distance of each other. Dr. Riegel collaborates primarily with colleagues in the School of Medicine (Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics; the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology; and the UPHS Heart Failure Program).
Dr. Riegel leads Penn Nursing’s Biobehavioral Research Collaborative, a multidisciplinary effort to share ideas about and seek funding for projects that explore the interaction of biological and behavioral factors in the promotion of health. The group engages nursing faculty with expertise in nutrition, sleep, and symptom management. Faculty affiliated with Penn School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia also participate.
Selected Career Highlights
- Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, Sigma Theta Tau International
- Distinguished Scientist Award, American Heart Association
- Kathleen A. Dracup Lecturer in Exemplary Early Career Mentoring Award, American Heart Association and the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing
- President’s Award for Research on Chronic Disease Management and Impact of Nursing in Promoting Self-Care, Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research
Riegel B, Barbaranelli C, Carlson B, Sethares KA, Daus M, Moser DK, Miller J, Osokpo OH, Lee S, Brown S, Vellone E. (in press). Psychometric Testing of the Revised Self-Care of Heart Failure Index, Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.
Vellone E, Riegel B, Alvaro R. (in press). A situation-specific theory of caregiver contributions to heart failure self-care. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.
Riegel B, Jaarsma T, Lee CS, Stromberg A. (in press). Integrating Symptoms into the Middle-Range Theory of Self-Care of Chronic Illness. Advances in Nursing Science.
Riegel B, Huang L, Mikkelson M, Kutney Lee A, Hanlon A, Murtaugh C, Bowles K. (in press). Early Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) Among Older Adult Sepsis Survivors Receiving Home Care. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Matarese M, Lommi M, De Marinis MG, Riegel B. A systematic review and integration of concept analyses of self-care and related concepts. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 50(3), 1-10, 2018. DOI: 10.1111/jnu.12385.
Matura LA, Malone S, Jaime-Lara R, Riegel B. A Systematic Review of Biological Mechanisms of Fatigue in Chronic Illness. Biological Research for Nursing, 2018, 20(4), 410-421.
Pancani L, Ausili D, Greco A, Vellone E, Riegel B. Trajectories of self-care confidence and self-care maintenance in adults with heart failure: A latent class growth analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 2018, 25, 399-409.
Lee, S & Riegel B. State of the Science in Heart Failure Symptom Perception Research: An Integrative Review. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 2018, May/Jun;33(3):204-210. DOI: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000445.
Riegel B, Barbaranelli C, Kristen A. Sethares KA, Daus M, Moser DK, Miller JL, Haedtke C, Feinberg JL, Lee S, Stromberg A, Jaarsma T. Development and Initial Testing of the Self-Care of Chronic Illness Inventory. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2018, 74:2465-2476. DOI: 10.1111/jan.13775
Riegel B, Moser DK, Buck HG, Dickson VV, Dunbar SB, Lee CS, Lennie TA, Lindenfeld J, Mitchel JE, Treat-Jacobson DJ, Webber DE. Self-Care for the Prevention and Management of Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke (AHA Scientific Statement). Journal of the American Heart Association, 2017, 6(9). DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.117.006997.