Allison Vorderstrasse headshot

Allison Vorderstrasse


Associate Professor, Nursing & Medicine
Director, Florence S. Downs PhD Program in Nursing Research and Theory

1 212 998 5786

433 First Avenue
Room 752
New York, NY 10010
United States

Accepting PhD students

expand all

collapse all

Professional overview

Allison Vorderstrasse, MSN, RN, APRN, DNSc, is director of the Florence S. Downs PhD Program in Nursing Research and Theory and an associate professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Her research in the development and implementation of behavioral interventions for diabetes and cardiovascular disease aims to expand preventive and self-management support for adults at risk for, or living with chronic diseases. Her contributions in chronic disease prevention have identified that genetic risk testing for chronic conditions may improve risk reduction in particular groups. She was also among the first to demonstrate that virtual environments are a feasible and effective way to provide self-management education and support to improve outcomes in diabetes and CVD.

She has been a thought leader for research, education, and policy in nursing and the implementation of novel technologies, such as genomics and virtual environments. Her research has been supported with competitive funding from the Air Force Medical Sciences; National Institute of Nursing Research; National Library of Medicine; and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. She has presented her work at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, the International Society of Nurses in Genetics, and the American College of Preventive Medicine. She was an invited panelist for the first ANCC Advance Genetics Nursing Certification portfolio.

Prior to joining the faculty at NYU, Vorderstrasse was an associate professor of Nursing and Faculty Lead for Precision Health research at the Duke University School of Nursing.

Vorderstrasse received a DNSc and MSN from Yale University School of Nursing and a BSN from Mount Saint Mary College.


Certificate - NIH/NINR Summer Genetics Institute
DNSc - Yale University School of Nursing
MSN - Yale University School of Nursing
BSN - Mount Saint Mary College



Professional membership

American Heart Association
International Society of Nursing in Genetics

Honors and awards

Faculty Honors Awards

Fellow, American Academy of Nursing



Developing Methods That Facilitate Coding and Analysis of Synchronous Conversations via Virtual Environments

Lewinski, A. A., Anderson, R. A., Vorderstrasse, A., & Johnson, C. M. (2019). International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18. 10.1177/1609406919842443
Programs via the Internet are uniquely positioned to capture qualitative data. One reason is because the Internet facilitates the creation of a community of similar individuals who can exchange information and support related to living with a chronic illness. Synchronous conversations via the Internet can provide insight into real-time social interaction and the exchange of social support. One way to analyze interactions among individuals is by using qualitative methods such as content, conversation, or discourse analysis. This manuscript describes how we used content analysis with aspects from conversation and discourse analysis to analyze synchronous conversations via the Internet to describe what individuals talk about and how individuals talk in an Internet-mediated interaction. With the increase in Internet interventions that facilitate collection of real-time conversational data, this article provides insight into how combining qualitative methods can facilitate the coding and analysis of these complex data.

Enhancing diabetes self-management through collection and visualization of data from multiple mobile health technologies: Protocol for a development and feasibility trial

Shaw, R. J., Barnes, A., Steinberg, D., Vaughn, J., Diane, A., Levine, E., Vorderstrasse, A., Crowley, M. J., Wood, E., Hatch, D., Lewinski, A., Jiang, M., Stevenson, J., & Yang, Q. (2019). Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(6). 10.2196/13517
Background: Self-management is integral for control of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Patient self-management is improved when they receive real-time information on their health status and behaviors and ongoing facilitation from health professionals. However, timely information for these behaviors is notably absent in the health care system. Providing real-time data could help improve patient understanding of the dynamics of their illness and assist clinicians in developing targeted approaches to improve health outcomes and in delivering personalized care when and where it is most needed. Mobile technologies (eg, wearables, apps, and connected scales) have the potential to make these patient-provider interactions a reality. What strategies might best help patients overcome self-management challenges using self-generated diabetes-related data? How might clinicians effectively guide patient self-management with the advantage of real-time data? Objective: This study aims to describe the protocol for an ongoing study (June 2016-May 2019) that examines trajectories of symptoms, health behaviors, and associated challenges among individuals with T2DM utilizing multiple mobile technologies, including a wireless body scale, wireless glucometer, and a wrist-worn accelerometer over a 6-month period. Methods: We are conducting an explanatory sequential mixed methods study of 60 patients with T2DM recruited from a primary care clinic. Patients were asked to track relevant clinical data for 6 months using a wireless body scale, wireless glucometer, a wrist-worn accelerometer, and a medication adherence text message (short message service, SMS) survey. Data generated from the devices were then analyzed and visualized. A subset of patients is currently being interviewed to discuss their challenges and successes in diabetes self-management, and they are being shown visualizations of their own data. Following the data collection period, we will conduct interviews with study clinicians to explore ways in which they might collaborate with patients. Results: This study has received regulatory approval. Patient enrollment ongoing with a sample size of 60 patients is complete, and up to 20 clinicians will be enrolled. At the patient level, data collection is complete, but data analysis is pending. At the clinician level, data collection is currently ongoing. Conclusions: This study seeks to expand the use of mobile technologies to generate real-time data to enhance self-management strategies. It also seeks to obtain both patient and provider perspectives on using real-time data to develop algorithms for software that will facilitate real-time self-management strategies. We expect that the findings of this study will offer important insight into how to support patients and providers using real-time data to manage a complex chronic illness.

A Framework for Using eHealth Interventions to Overcome Medical Mistrust Among Sexual Minority Men of Color Living with Chronic Conditions

Ramos, S. R., Warren, R., Shedlin, M., Melkus, G., Kershaw, T., & Vorderstrasse, A. (2019). Behavioral Medicine, 45(2), 166-176. 10.1080/08964289.2019.1570074
The purpose of this paper is to present a stepwise, multi-construct, innovative framework that supports the use of eHealth technology to reach sexual minority populations of color to establish trustworthiness and build trust. The salience of eHealth interventions can be leveraged to minimize the existing paradigm of medical mistrust among sexual minority populations of color living with chronic illnesses. These interventions include virtual environments and avatar-led eHealth videos, which address psychosocial and structural-level challenges related to mistrust. Our proposed framework addresses how eHealth interventions enable technology adoption and usage, anonymity, co-presence, self-disclosure, and social support and establish trustworthiness and build trust.

Integrative Review of Recruitment of Research Participants Through Facebook

Reagan, L., Nowlin, S. Y., Birdsall, S. B., Gabbay, J., Vorderstrasse, A., Johnson, C., & D’Eramo Melkus, G. (2019). Nursing Research, 68(6), 423-432. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000385
BACKGROUND: Facebook (FB) has been widely used recently to recruit participants for adult health research. However, little is known about its effectiveness, cost, and the characteristics of participants recruited via FB when compared to other recruitment methods. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this integrative review was to examine the published evidence concerning the use of FB in participant recruitment for adult health research, as compared to other social media, online, and traditional recruitment methods. METHODS: In this integrative review, we used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. PubMed, CINAHL, SCOPUS, and Web of Science were the electronic databases used to identify the published articles. In regard to language, the search was limited. RESULTS: The efficacy and cost-effectiveness of using FB for recruitment in healthcare research as compared to more traditional forms of recruitment remain unclear. Reporting of recruitment strategies is inconsistent, and costs are often not included. FB is being used for recruitment frequently with other methods and, although often effective, can be costly. DISCUSSION: FB is used to recruit participants for a variety of studies, with researchers using both free and paid ads to reach potential participants. Reporting of recruitment methods needs to be more rigorous, streamlined, and standardized in scientific papers.

Psychometric properties of the Norwegian version of the short form of the Problem Areas in Diabetes scale (PAID-5): A validation study

Vislapuu, M., Broström, A., Igland, J., Vorderstrasse, A., & Iversen, M. M. (2019). BMJ Open, 9(2). 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022903
Objectives To assess the psychometric properties of the short form of The Problem Areas in Diabetes scale (PAID-5) in Norwegian adult patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Design Cross-sectional survey design. Methods Participants (n=143) were included from three Western-Norway endocrinology outpatient clinics. Demographic and clinical data were collected in addition to questionnaires concerning diabetes-related distress, fear of hypoglycaemia, symptoms of depression, emotional well-being and perception of general health. Psychometric evaluation of the PAID-5 included confirming its postulated one-factor structure using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and assessing convergent validity, discriminant validity, internal consistency and test-retest reliability. The retest questionnaire was sent out 35±15 days after the initial assessment to those who agreed (n=117). Results The CFA for the PAID-5 scale showed excellent one-factor structure, and there was high internal consistency (α=0.89) and good test-retest reliability (Intraclass Correlation Coefficient, ICC=0.81). The PAID-5 correlated positively with fear of hypoglycaemia (r=0.598) and depression (r=0.380) and negatively with emotional well-being (r= °'0.363) and perception of general health (r= °'0.420), thus satisfying convergent validity. Patients who had experienced episodes of serious hypoglycaemia in the past 6 months had a significantly higher PAID-5 mean score (7.5, SD=4.95) than those who had not had these episodes (5.0, SD=4.2 (p=0.043)). Conclusion The Norwegian PAID-5 was shown to be a reliable and valid short questionnaire for assessing diabetes-related distress among people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However, its ability to discriminate between groups needs to be tested further in larger samples. The PAID-5 scale can be a particularly valuable screening instrument in outpatient clinics, as its brevity makes it easy to use as a tool in patient-provider encounters. This short questionnaire is useful in the national diabetes registry or population cohort studies as it enables increased knowledge regarding the prevalence of diabetes-related distress.

Relationships Among Parental Psychological Distress, Parental Feeding Practices, Child Diet, and Child Body Mass Index

Jang, M., Brandon, D., & Vorderstrasse, A. (2019). Nursing Research, 68(4), 296-306. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000344
Background Parents often play a main role in establishing the dietary patterns of preschool children, but there is no clear understanding about the relationship between parental psychological distress and child diet and body mass index (BMI). Objective The aim of this study was to examine the relationships among parental psychological distress, parental feeding practices, child diet, and child BMI in families with young children. Methods We conducted a mixed-methods study with families (parent-child dyad) of children aged 2-5 years. Measures included demographic data, parental general stress, parenting stress, parental sleep quality, parental depressive symptoms, social support for parents, mealtime environment, child feeding practice, child diet, and child BMI, with well-validated questionnaires completed by parents. Using structural equation models, we examined the path relationships of these factors. We also interviewed a subsample of 13 parents. Results A total of 256 families participated. Higher parental psychological distress was associated with higher parental unhealthy feeding practices (B = 0.31, p <.01). However, a parental unhealthy practice in feeding was not associated with child's unhealthy diet or BMI. There was no direct relationship between parental psychological distress and child BMI. Social support for parents was significantly inversely related to parental psychological distress (B = -11.59, p <.01), and the relationship between social support for parents and parental unhealthy feeding practices approached significance (B = 6.11, p =.05). A main theme from analysis of parent interview was that parent stress and fatigue influenced their feeding and food preparation. Discussion Parental psychological distress is a critical influential factor in parental feeding practices. This finding highlights potential foci in intervention programs to address parental psychological distress.

Socioeconomic status and racial or ethnic differences in participation:web-based survey

Jang, M., & Vorderstrasse, A. (2019). Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(4). 10.2196/11865
Background: Web-based survey data collection has been widely used because of its advantages, although attaining and retaining participants can be challenging. There are several factors associated with successful Web-based survey participation; yet little is known regarding racial or ethnic and socioeconomic differences in the progress of a Web-based survey. Objective: This study aimed to examine racial or ethnic and socioeconomic status (SES) differences in participation in a Web-based survey. Methods: We conducted a secondary data analysis of a study dataset containing information on parents of preschool children. We used 2 phases of Web-based surveys: (1) screening questions including race or ethnicity information and (2) full survey with a consent form. Once potential participants submitted the screening questions, including their racial or ethnic information, the team sent the full survey link to potential participants who met study eligibility criteria. We calculated the proportion of racial or ethnic groups in each of the following areas: Consent, partial survey completion, and total survey completion. Results: A total of 487 participants (236 non-Hispanic white, 44 Hispanic, 137 black, and 70 Asian) completed initial screening questions, and a total of 458 participants met study eligibility criteria. Compared with black participants, non-Hispanic white and Asian participants were more likely to consent to participate in the study (odds ratio [OR] 1.73, 95% CI 1.08-2.78, P=.02; OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.04-4.13, P=.04, respectively). There was no racial or ethnic difference with respect to the completion of demographic questions or completion of a partial survey. Finally, compared with black participants, non-Hispanic white participants were more likely to complete the entire survey (OR 3.36, 95% CI 1.51-7.06, P<.001). With respect to SES, less educated non-Hispanic white participants were less likely to complete the survey compared with their counterparts with more education (OR 0.15, 95% CI 0.50-1.48, P<.001). Conclusions: We found a significant difference among racial or ethnic groups as well as different education levels in Web-based survey participation. Survey researchers need to consider the SES and racial or ethnic differences in Web-based survey participation and develop strategies to address this bias in participation and completion in their research.

Gender differences in the association between migration and cognitive function among older adults in China and India

Xu, H., Vorderstrasse, A., Dupre, M. E., McConnell, E. S., Østbye, T., & Wu, B. (2018). Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 81, 31-38. doi.org/10.1016/j.archger.2018.11.011

Migration and cognitive function: a conceptual framework for Global Health Research

Xu, H., Vorderstrasse, A., McConnell, E. S., Dupre, M. E., Østbye, T., & Wu, B. (2018). Global Health Research and Policy.

Participation of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Technology-Based Interventions to Self-Manage Type 2 Diabetes: A Scoping Review

Jang, M., Johnson, C. M., D’Eramo Melkus, G., & Vorderstrasse, A. (2018). Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 29(3), 292-307. 10.1177/1043659617723074
Purpose: Strategies to decrease societal and cultural barriers for ethnic minorities to participate in health research are well established. However, limited data are available regarding participation of ethnic minorities in mobile and Internet technology–based interventions to self-manage type 2 diabetes where health disparities are predominant. Thus, the purpose was to understand the participation of ethnic minorities in technology-based intervention programs to manage type 2 diabetes. Design/Method: A scoping review was used to review a total of 21 intervention studies containing participant information about ethnic minorities and one qualitative study discussing participation of ethnic minorities. Findings: There was limited enrollment and participation of ethnic minorities. Technological barriers in addition to existing societal and cultural barriers were identified. Strategies to decrease the barriers were recommended. Conclusions: Technological barriers were identified on top of the societal and cultural barriers in traditional interventions. Further research to reduce the barriers is warranted.