Department Of Nursing
Rebecca Schnall, PhD, RN

My research targets understanding the health information needs of individuals in order to improve the access to easy-to-use health-related information for persons living with and at-risk for HIV. My work supports the premise that the development of information resources tailored to individuals’ needs is fundamental for health promotion and disease prevention. This perspective on consumer health informatics supports the health of individuals and has the potential to provide a sustainable public health impact. My program of research is characterized by its solid theoretical foundations and rigorous and innovative mixed methods. These mixed methods studies have resulted in a greater understanding of the information needs of consumers/patients, clinicians, and case managers as the foundation for design of web-based and mobile applications with demonstrated impact. I have disseminated findings from my work in top journals in my field, as well as at leading interdisciplinary conferences. My work has also been reported on by outlets such as Politico, as well as national nursing trade press (i.e., Through service at CUSON and across the research and professional community, I am advancing the field of consumer informatics nationally. Through my extensive mentoring activities, I am helping to develop the next generation of nursing research leaders.

Health information technologies are promising tools for engaging patients in their own healthcare. This is especially true of mobile devices, as most people own and regularly use these devices. Specifically, mHealth technologies can be employed as a powerful health behavior change tool for health prevention and self-management, because they are ubiquitous, carried on the person, and capable of advanced computational capacity. With the proliferation of patient-facing health information technologies, the design of these tools becomes increasingly important. Many patient-facing tools are modeled on the basis of existing healthcare system constructs and may not be as effective as those that involve end-users in the design process. This is particularly relevant for my health disparate study population, who are at high risk for acquiring disease and have chronic barriers to accessing healthcare services. In a healthcare system already burdened with suboptimal outcomes and excessive costs, premature adoption of untested technologies may limit positive health behavior change.

"The fundamental question underlying my program of research is “How do we capture information and deliver it to consumers from underserved communities so that they can access it and make informed decisions about their health?” "

Clinical Studies Managed By This Investigator:
Condition Study Title
HIV [ CLOSED ] Understanding How Gender Affects Care Management For People Living With HIV/AIDS
HIV [ CLOSED ] Wellness Study for People Living with HIV Residing in NYC Area
Healthy Volunteers [ CLOSED ] Online Men's Health Survey
HIV [ CLOSED ] The mLab Study: Help Us Research HIV Testing & Earn Up to $170!
Healthy Volunteers [ CLOSED ] Interested in Improving HIV Prevention & Linkage to Care? Join mLab Study! Help Us Research an HIV Testing App from Home
HIV CHAMPS Study for People Living with HIV