Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Professor Barbara Riegel joins The MacKillop

Barbara Riegel

The Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research is delighted to welcome world-leading US nurse scientist Professor Barbara Riegel to our team of international Professorial Fellows. Professor Riegel is a leading authority on cardiovascular disease management and a recipient of multiple prestigious awards for her contributions to health science, including the American Heart Association Distinguished Scientist Award for “significant, original and sustained scientific contributions that have advanced the mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”

Throughout her distinguished career, Professor Riegel has led interdisciplinary research in chronic heart failure, an extremely common and debilitating syndrome. Approximately 550,000 new cases of heart failure occur each year in the United States and one year mortality rates for newly diagnosed cases average 35-45%. In her research, Professor Riegel has tested various disease management approaches and developed psychometrically sound methods of measuring the self-care of persons with heart failure.  Most recently she demonstrated that older adults with heart failure have significant sleep problems and these issues causes lapses in attention and poor medication adherence.  Professor Reigel’s interest in self-care grew out of her early years as a Clinical Nurse Researcher at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego, California, where she led several studies testing methods of transitioning chronically ill patients from hospital to home. Her work in self-care and disease management has been cited widely and used to support programs of care internationally.

In 2015, Professor Reigel’s outstanding record of achievement in chronic heart failure disease management research was recognised by her induction into the International Honor Society of Nursing’s Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. Professor Reigel’s appointments include Edith Clemmer Steinbright Professor of Gerontology at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing and she is also co-editor of the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.

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