Bernadette Capili headshot

Bernadette Capili


Assistant Professor

1 212 992 7049

380 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

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Professional overview

Dr. Bernadette Capili’s area of research focuses on cardiovascular disease prevention and healthy weight management. Dr. Capili has examined the effects of diet on the metabolic complications of HIV and metabolic markers to predict cardiovascular disease in HIV. Her research also includes investigating traditional methods of healing such as herbal therapies and acupuncture to reduce cardiovascular risk in HIV. As a clinical researcher and clinician, Dr. Capili has an emphasis on identifying patient related outcomes in all of her studies to determine the efficacy of various treatment modalities. Her goal is to identify and to test outcome measures, which can be translated across clinical settings and healthcare disciplines. Dr. Capili has a track record of federal funding from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Capili is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Nicholas Rango HIV Primary Care Fellowship, sponsored by the New York States AIDS Institutes, National Research Service Award Individual Pre-doctoral Fellowship, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Columbia University Dean’s Distinguished Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Herbert Irving Research Fellows Program, sponsored by the Clinical Translation Science Award/NIH/National Center Research Resources, and the Epidemiology and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease program, sponsored by the American Heart Association. Dr. Capili was nominated and appointed to serve as an advisory member for the American Heart Association/HIV Academy of Medicine on HIV and Cardiovascular Disease. She is also a reviewer for numerous peer-reviewed journals and scientific reviewer for federal agencies. Additionally, her work has received recognition from the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care as the recipient of the “Outstanding Article of the Year Award” and “Research Article of the Year Award.”


PhD, Columbia University
MS, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Columbia University
BS, Nursing, Michigan State University

Honors and awards

Nominated, 23rd Annual Nurse Research Recognition Award. Association for Nurses in AIDS Care (2010)
Fellow, 34th Seminar on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention of the American Heart Association (2008)
Florence Irving Fellow, Columbia University Medical Center. Clinical Translational Science Award (2008)
Florence Irving Fellow, Columbia University Medical Center. Clinical Translational Science Award (2007)
Columbia University School of Nursing - Distinguished Young Alumni Award (2007)
Columbia University School of Nursing - Center for AIDS Research: Award for Service and Contribution (2002)
Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: Outstanding Article - JANAC (1999)
Columbia University School of Nursing/Center for Health Policy: Village Center for Care Scholarship (Tuition Support) (1998)
New York State AIDS Institute/Nicholas A. Rango HIV Clinical Scholars Fellowship Recipient (1997)
New York State AIDS Institute/Nicholas A. Rango HIV Clinical Scholars Fellowship Recipient (1996)
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital: Mercy Values Award (1992)


Primary care
Adult health
Non-communicable disease
Infectious disease
Complementary/integrative health

Professional membership

American Nursing Association
Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Preventive Cardiology Nursing Association
Sigma Theta Tau, Upsilon Chapter
American Academy for Nurse Practitioners



Development of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Protocol in a Clinical Trial for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Anastasi, J. K., Capili, B., & Chang, M. (2017). JAMS Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 10(1), 62-66. 10.1016/j.jams.2016.12.006
Traditional Chinese medicine encompasses many different practices, most notably acupuncture and moxibustion. Traditionally, these modalities are used in combination to augment treatment but seldom are they tested together in clinical studies. Numerous acupuncture studies have been conducted in Asia, Europe, and the United States but there have been few randomized controlled trials utilizing moxibustion outside of East Asia. Limited studies have described the use of a moxibustion control or placebo procedure. The methods for developing an acupuncture and moxibustion protocol used in a randomized controlled trial for irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea predominant in adults are described here. Our approach conformed to the scientific rigor for a clinical trial and was consistent to the foundations of traditional Chinese medicine.

Addressing the Role of Food in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptom Management

Capili, B., Anastasi, J. K., & Chang, M. (2016). Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 12(5), 324-329. 10.1016/j.nurpra.2015.12.007
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have often associated the worsening of symptoms with specific foods. Research is starting to catch up with what patients have reported about food interaction and their symptoms, and the role of diet is being increasingly recognized for the management of IBS. Clinical guidance for nurse practitioners can be challenging because of limited data and guideline consensus along with the nuances of symptoms associated with IBS subtypes. This article summarizes some of the key themes and dietary recommendations by various gastrointestinal organizations, public health agencies, and dietary associations. By addressing the relevance of diet for symptom alleviation, nurse practitioners are able to better support patients and collaborate with dietitians to improve symptom management.

Barriers and Facilitators to Engagement in Lifestyle Interventions Among Individuals With HIV

Capili, B., Anastasi, J. K., Chang, M., & Ogedegbe, O. (2014). The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care : JANAC, 25(5), 450-457. 10.1016/j.jana.2014.01.003

A clinical update: Nonceliac gluten sensitivity-is it really the gluten?

Capili, B., Chang, M., & Anastasi, J. K. (2014). Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 10(9), 666-673. 10.1016/j.nurpra.2014.07.036
Gluten-free diets are increasing in popularity among consumers and fueling a global market of gluten-free products. A gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease (CD). However, many patients are self-reporting and suspecting "gluten sensitivity" after gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, abdominal pain, or diarrhea, resolve on a gluten-free diet without formal evaluation testing for food allergies or CD. The terms related to gluten and/or wheat intolerance, nonceliac gluten sensitivity or wheat sensitivity, CD, and wheat allergy can be confusing. These forms of intolerance combined affect approximately 10% of the United States population. In this article we clarify the range of gluten and/or wheat disorders, clinical features, diagnosis, and management.

Complimentary and alternatives therapies

Anastasi, J., Chang, M., & Capili, B. (2014). In Psychiatric mental health nursing. Pearson/Prentice Hall Publishers.

Tongue inspection in TCM: Observations in a study sample of patients living with HIV

Anastasi, J. K., Chang, M., Quinn, J., & Capili, B. (2014). Medical Acupuncture, 26(1), 15-22. 10.1089/acu.2013.1011
Background: One of the principal diagnostic methods in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the inspection of the tongue. This method involves examination of the shape, size, color, and texture of the tongue body and coat and helps reveal the state of organ functions and progression of conditions. Literature on tongue observations for patients who have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is minimal. Objective: The goal of this study was to provide a clinical "snapshot" of initial tongue assessments of 159 patients living with HIV, who participated in an acupuncture clinical trial for chronic nausea. The aim was to explore the similarities and differences observed in tongue assessments. Design: This study was part of a prospective, randomized, controlled, double-blinded (subjects and evaluators), parallel-groups, acupuncture clinical trial for treating chronic nausea. Setting: The study was conducted at a large urban New York City academic health center. Patients: The patients in this study were 159 individuals who had HIV infections and who had histories of chronic nausea for ≥3 months. Main Outcome Measures: Initial tongue assessments were recorded for seven basic characteristics: (1) tongue color; (2) tongue shape; (3) tongue body quality; (4) coat color; (5) coat weight; (6) coat surface; and (7) tongue action. Results: The overall tongue picture seen in these patients was that the tongue was swollen and toothmarked, had a pink body with cracks, and had a thick, dry white coat. Conclusions: The HIV disease itself and the use of long term medications affect the Blood, Qi, Yin, and Yang. The observation of the tongue provides a window into the process of the disease and, ultimately, insight for clinical care. This sample population snapshot illustrates the complex processes seen in long-term chronic conditions managed by pharmacologic medications.

Acu/moxa for distal sensory peripheral neuropathy in hiv: A randomized control pilot study

Anastasi, J. K., Capili, B., McMahon, D. J., & Scully, C. (2013). The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care : JANAC, 24(3), 268-275. 10.1016/j.jana.2012.09.006

Exploratory Study: Evaluating the Effects of Fish Oil and Controlled Diet to Reduce Triglyceride Levels in HIV

Capili, B., & Anastasi, J. K. (2013). The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care : JANAC, 24(3), 276-282. 10.1016/j.jana.2012.06.006

HIV peripheral neuropathy and foot care management: A review of assessment and relevant guidelines

Anastasi, J. K., Capili, B., & Chang, M. (2013). The American Journal of Nursing, 113(12), 34-40. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000438867.67777.69
OVERVIEW: Despite the decline in the incidence of central nervous system disease associated with HIV, distal sensory peripheral (DSP) neuropathy continues to be prevalent in this population, causing debilitating symptoms and affecting quality of life. Patients typically present with numbness, tingling, burning pain, and loss of sensation in the toes and soles of their feet. Although this complication causes loss of protective function and puts patients at elevated risk for injury, infection, and falls, foot care for people with HIV is often overlooked. This article reviews what is known about DSP neuropathy in HIV and discusses relevant foot care guidelines, adopted from the literature on other conditions associated with neuropathic foot disorders.

Managing irritable bowel syndrome

Anastasi, J. K., Capili, B., & Chang, M. (2013). The American Journal of Nursing, 113(7), 42-52. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000431911.65473.35
OVERVIEW: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort associated with a change in bowel patterns, is one of the most common functional gastrointestinal disorders. Because no single drug effectively relieves all IBS symptoms, management relies on dietary and lifestyle modifications, as well as pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies. The authors review current approaches to treatment and discuss nursing implications.