Professor Barbara Riegel

Professorial Fellow

Areas of expertise: self-care; chronic illness; heart failure


Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0970-136X

Professor Barbara Riegel, PhD, RN, FPCNA, FHFSA, FAHA, FAAN is the Edith Clemmer Steinbright Professor of Gerontology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Co-Director of the International Center for Self-Care Research. Her research interests are in self-care broadly defined to include treatment adherence, condition monitoring, and self-management of symptoms.

Professor Riegel began studying these issues early in her career while a Clinical Researcher in an acute care setting when hospitals were just beginning to recognize that heart failure was a primary reason for hospital readmissions. Since those early years, she has developed theory and self-report measures of self-care that are used worldwide. Her research has expanded from a focus on heart failure to adults with chronic illness and their caregivers.

Professor Riegel has received numerous honours and awards including the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, and the Barbara J. Lowery Award from the Doctoral Student Organization at the University of Pennsylvania.

Two major studies are on-going. The first, funded by the National Institutes of Health in the United States, is a clinical trial testing the efficacy of a health coaching intervention for caregivers of adults with heart failure. We hypothesize that health coaching to improve self-care will decrease stress in these caregivers. The second, funded by ACU, is an international effort involving four countries – the US, Italy, Sweden, and the Netherlands. We are using ecological momentary assessment to identify what patients do to control their symptoms of a chronic illness.

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Select publications

  • Knafl, G. J., Moser, D. K., Wu, J.-R., & Riegel, B. (2019). Discontinuation of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and beta-blockers and the impact on heart failure hospitalization rates. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 18, 667-678. DOI: 10.1177/14745119860321.
  • Riegel B, Daus M, Lozano AJ, Malone SK, Patterson F, Hanlon AL. Shift workers have higher blood pressure medicine use, but only when they are short sleepers: A longitudinal UK Biobank Study. Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA). 2019 Oct 15;8(20):e013269. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.013269. Epub 2019 Oct 4.
  • Riegel B, Jaarsma T, Lee CS, Stromberg A. Integrating Symptoms into the Middle-Range Theory of Self-Care of Chronic Illness. Advances in Nursing Science, 2019, 42(3), 206-215. Featured as Editor’s pick.
  • Hadler R, Goldstein N, Bekelman D, Riegel B, Allen L, Arnold R, Harinstein M, Kavalieratos D. “Why Would I Choose Death?”: A Qualitative Study of Patient Understanding of the Roles and Limitations of Cardiac Devices. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 2019, 34(3), 275-282. doi: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000565. PMID: 30789490.
  • Chen L, Chan YK, Busija L, Norekval T, Riegel B, Stewart S. Malignant and benign phenotypes of multimorbidity in heart failure: Implications for clinical practice. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 2019, 34(3), 258-266. doi: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000557.
  • Caruso R, Rebora P, Dellafiore F, Fabrizi D, Riegel B, Ausili D, Di Mauro. Clinical and socio-demographic determinants of inadequate self-care in adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus: the leading role of self-care confidence. Acta Diabetologica, 2019, 56:151–161.
  • Pak VM, Strouss L, Yaggi HK, Redeker NS, Mohsenin V, Riegel B. Mechanisms of Reduced Sleepiness Symptoms in Heart Failure and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Journal of Sleep Research, 2018, 28: e12778.
  • Sevilla-Cazes J, Ahmad FS, Bowles KH, Jaskowiak A, Gallagher T, Goldberg LR, Kangovi S, Alexander M, Riegel B, Barg FK, Kimmel SE. Heart Failure Home Management Challenges and Reasons for Readmission: a Qualitative Study to Understand the Patient's Perspective. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2018, 33(10), 1700-1707. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-018-4542-3. PMID: 29992429.
  • Streur M, Ratcliffe S, Callans D, Shoemaker MB, Riegel B. Atrial Fibrillation Symptom Clusters and Associated Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes: A Cross-Sectional Secondary Data Analysis. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 2018. 17(8), 707-716. DOI: 10.1177/1474515118778445 *
  • Ausili D, Rossi E, Rebora P, Luciani M, Tonoli L, Ballerini E, Androni S, Vellone E, Riegel B, Di Mauro S. Socio-demographic and clinical determinants of self-care in adults with type 2 diabetes: a multicentre observational study. Acta Diabetologica, 2018, 55(7), 691-702. PMID: 29623431


Presently Funded Research Grants

  • 2019-2020 Co-Investigator (Sawyer A, PI) Sawyer AM, Riegel B, Schutte-Rodin S, King TS, Gawrysiak MJ, Libonati J, Baime M. Positive Airway Pressure Associated Claustrophobia in Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: ONR Precision Health Challenge Grant ($15,000).
  • 2018-2023 Primary Investigator (Riegel B, PI) Improving Self-Care of Informal Caregivers of Adults with Heart Failure (NIH/NINR, 1R01NR018196-01, $2,978,351)
  • 2018-2019 Co-Investigator (Brawner B, PI) Feasibility of a Protocol to Understand Biological, Behavioral, and Environmental Factors Associated with Cardiovascular Disease Risk among Black Emerging Adult Men (Medical University of South Carolina TCC; NIH/NIMHD 1U54MD010706; C. Hughes-Halbert, PI), $35,000)
  • 2018-2020 Mentor (Malone S, PI) Personalizing sleep interventions to prevent type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in community dwelling adults with pre-diabetes (K99NR017416-01, $635,179)
  • 2016-2021 Co-Investigator (Hodgson N, PI) The Role of Palliative Care Interventions to Reduce Circadian Rhythm Disorders in Persons with Dementia(NINR, R01NR015226-03, $2,687,586)

Presently Funded Educational Grants

  • 2016-2021 Training faculty (Pack A, PI)
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, Training in Sleep and Sleep Disorders (NHLBI, T32HL007953-19)
  • 2014-2019 Training faculty (Mary Naylor & Kathryn Bowles, Co-PD)
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, Individualized Care for At Risk Older Adults (NINR, T32NR009356-10)

Accolades and awards

  • 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 

Appointments and affiliations

  • Edith Clemmer Steinbright Professor of Gerontology, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
  • Co-Director, International Center for Self-Care Research
  • Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2004-Present American Association of Heart Failure Nurses
  • 2003-Present Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association
  • 2002-Present Pennsylvania Nurses Association
  • 1997-Present Heart Failure Society of North America
  • 1993-Present American Academy of Nursing
  • 1986-Present Council on Cardiovascular Nursing, American Heart Association
  • 1981-Present American Nurses Association
  • 1980-Present Sigma Theta Tau, Gamma Gamma Chapter
  • 1978-Present American Heart Association
  • 1978-Present American Association of Critical Care Nurses

Editorial roles

  • 2019 - 2020 Guest Editor, International Journal of Nursing Studies
  • 2015 - Editorial Board, Journal of Biomedicine and Prevention
  • 2013 - Editorial Board, European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
  • 2012 -2017 Editorial Board, JACC: Heart Failure
  • 2008- 2017 Editorial Review Board, Circulation: Heart Failure
  • 2008- 2012 Consulting Editor, Circulation
  • 2008- 2013 Editorial Review Board, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
  • 2001- 2005 Editorial Review Board, Journal of Cardiac Failure

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