Faculty

Caroline G Dorsen headshot

Caroline G Dorsen

FNP-BC PhD

Assistant Professor

1 212 998 5300

433 First Avenue
Room 528
New York, NY 10010
United States

expand all

collapse all

Professional overview

Caroline Dorsen is a Family Nurse Practitioner (NP) with over two decades of experience as a health educator, RN and NP. She received a BA from UC Berkeley in anthropology, a BS in nursing from NYU, a MSN from Yale, all magna cum laude, and a PhD from NYU. Her dissertation was on Nurse Practitioner’s attitudes towards, and experiences working with, lesbian, gay and bisexual patients: a grounded theory. An adjunct professor of nursing at NYU since 2003, she joined the faculty full-time in 2005 as the Coordinator of the Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program. In 2012 she became the inaugural coordinator of NYU’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program and in 2015, she transferred to the tenure track as an Assistant Professor and Affiliated Investigator with the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR). Caroline’s research focuses on the health promotion, disease prevention and reduction of healthcare disparities for underserved populations including new immigrants, the homeless and LGBT persons. She has been a primary care provider at numerous community health centers and was a founding member of the NYU College of Nursing Faculty Practice. In her current clinical practice she provides full scope primary care to homeless adolescents and adults.

Education

2017 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Translational and Clinical Science Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
5/2014 PhD Nursing Research and Theory Development, New York University College of Nursing, New York, NY
5/2001 MSN Family Nurse Practicioner, Yale University, New Haven, CT Magna Cum Laude
5/1997 BS Professional Nursing, New York University, New York, NY Magna Cum Laude
12/1991 BA Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA Magna Cum Laude

Honors and awards

NYUCN Outstanding Dissertation Award (2014)
Book of the Year (Gerontological category), American Journal of Nursing (2010)
Agnes and Rosemary Ludden Award for Innovative Nursing Practice, New York University College of Nursing (2010)
Vernice Fergueson Faculty Scholar Award New York University College of Nursing (2007)
Milton and Anne Sidney Prize, Yale University School of Nursing (2001)
Founder’s Day Award, New York University (1997)
Helene Fuld Distinguished Scholar, Helene Fuld Trust (1997)
Spirit of Nursing Award, National Student Nurse Association (1997)
Ursula Springer Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Writing, Ursula Springer, Inc (1997)
Baccalaureate Student Achievement Award, New York University Division of Nursing (1997)
Helene Fuld Nursing Fellow, Helene Fuld Trust (1996)

Specialties

Families
Underserved populations
Substance use
Pediatric
LGBTQ
Primary care

Professional membership

Eastern Nursing Research Society,
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI),
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF),
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners,
National League of Nursing

Publications

Publications

Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Sexual Minority Women (18-59 Years Old): Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2012)

Caceres, B. A., Brody, A. A., Halkitis, P. N., Dorsen, C., Yu, G., & Chyun, D. A. (2018). Women’s Health Issues. 10.1016/j.whi.2018.03.004
Abstract
Objective: Sexual minority women (lesbian and bisexual) experience significant stigma, which may increase their cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of modifiable risk factors for CVD (including mental distress, health behaviors, blood pressure, glycosylated hemoglobin, and total cholesterol) and CVD in sexual minority women compared with their heterosexual peers. Materials and Methods: A secondary analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2012) was conducted. Multiple imputation with chained equations was performed. Logistic regression models adjusted for relevant covariates were run. Self-report (medical history and medication use) and biomarkers for hypertension, diabetes, and high total cholesterol were examined. Results: The final analytic sample consisted of 7,503 that included 346 sexual minority women (4.6%). Sexual minority women were more likely to be younger, single, have a lower income, and lack health insurance. After covariate adjustment, sexual minority women exhibited excess CVD risk related to higher rates of frequent mental distress (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.45–2.88), current tobacco use (AOR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.53–2.91), and binge drinking (AOR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.17–2.34). Sexual minority women were more likely to be obese (AOR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.23–2.33) and have glycosylated hemoglobin consistent with prediabetes (AOR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.04–2.34). No differences were observed for other outcomes. Conclusions: Sexual minority women demonstrated increased modifiable risk factors for CVD, but no difference in CVD diagnoses. Several emerging areas of research are highlighted, in particular, the need for CVD prevention efforts that target modifiable CVD risk in sexual minority women.

Ceremonial ‘Plant Medicine’ use and its relationship to recreational drug use: an exploratory study

Dorsen, C., Palamar, J., & Shedlin, M. G. (2018). Addiction Research and Theory, 1-8. 10.1080/16066359.2018.1455187
Abstract
Background: The ceremonial use of psychoactive/hallucinogenic plant based drugs, such as ayahuasca, psilocybin and others, is a growing trend in the United States (US) and globally. To date, there has been little research documenting how many people are using psychoactive substances in this context, who the users are, what benefits/risks exist in the use of these drugs and the relationship between ceremonial drug use and recreational drug use. In this paper we describe a cohort of plant medicine facilitators in the US and explore how they differentiate plant medicine use from recreational drug use. Methods: Using modified ethnography, individual interviews were conducted in 2016 with 15 participants who are currently facilitating plant medicine ceremonies in the US. Descriptive content analysis was performed to discover themes and to inform a larger mixed-method study. Results: Ceremonial drug use was seen by participants as a natural healing and treatment modality used in the context of community and ritual. Three main themes were identified relating to participants’ differentiation between ceremonial plant medicine use and recreational drug use: (1) participants see a clear delineation between plant medicine use and recreational drug use; (2) plant medicine is seen as a potential treatment for addiction, but concerns exist regarding potential interference with recovery; and (3) plant medicine use may influence recreational use. Conclusions: More research is needed on who is using plant medicine, motivators for use, perceived and real risks and benefits of plant medicine use and harm reduction techniques regarding safe ingestion.

Prevalence of Obesity, Prediabetes, and Diabetes in Sexual Minority Men: Results From the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Newlin Lew, K., Dorsen, C., & Long, T. (2018). Diabetes Educator, 44(1), 83-93. 10.1177/0145721717749943
Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence and related odds ratios for obesity, prediabetes, and diabetes in sexual minority men (SMM) in relation to straight men. Methods: A secondary analysis of 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 19 states (n = 53 542) was conducted. Weighted means and standard errors were computed to estimate prevalence rates of obesity, prediabetes, and diabetes across male sexual orientation groups, respectively. Unadjusted and adjusted (demographics, depression, and health care access factors) weighted logistic regression models were developed. Results: Obesity prevalence was lower in gay men relative to straight men with logistic regression modeling indicating gay men were significantly less likely to be obese, relative to their straight counterparts, in the unadjusted and adjusted models. In terms of prediabetes, rates were low across all sexual orientation groups with no significant differences observed. Yet bisexual men, relative to straight men, had higher rates of diabetes with significantly increased odds for the disease in both the unadjusted and adjusted models. Conclusion: Findings indicate gay men have reduced risk for obesity while bisexual men may have increased diabetes burden. Across all male sexual orientation groups, prediabetes prevalence was low, suggesting the need for more aggressive prediabetes screening. Additional research is necessary to confirm the findings.

Prevalence of Obesity, Prediabetes, and Diabetes in Sexual Minority Women of Diverse Races/Ethnicities: Findings From the 2014-2015 BRFSS Surveys

Newlin Lew, K., Dorsen, C., Melkus, G. D., & Maclean, M. (2018). Diabetes Educator. 10.1177/0145721718776599
Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess the weighted prevalence and odds ratios of obesity, prediabetes, and diabetes by (1) female sexual orientation (lesbian, bisexual, and straight) with racial/ethnic (Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, and non-Hispanic white) groups combined and (2) across and within racial/ethnic groups by sexual orientation. Methods: A secondary analysis of pooled 2014-2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 28 states (N = 136 878) was conducted. Rao-Scott chi-square test statistics were computed and logistic regression models were developed to assess weighted prevalence and odds ratios of obesity, prediabetes, and diabetes with adjustments for demographics (age, income, and education), depression, and health care access factors. Results: With racial/ethnic groups combined, lesbian and bisexual women, relative to straight women, had a significantly increased likelihood for obesity when controlling for demographics. Bisexual women were found to have significantly reduced odds for diabetes, compared with straight women, with adjustments for demographics, depression, and health care access factors. Compared with their non-Hispanic white counterparts, Hispanic lesbian women had significantly increased odds for obesity and diabetes, while non-Hispanic black bisexual women had a significantly greater likelihood for obesity, holding demographics, depression, and health care access factors constant. Non-Hispanic white lesbian women had an increased likelihood for obesity relative to their straight, ethnic/racial counterparts. Prediabetes subsample analysis revealed the prevalence was low across all female sexual orientation groups. Conclusion: Sexual minority women, particularly those of color, may be at increased risk for obesity and diabetes. Research is needed to confirm the findings.

Sexual orientation differences in modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease diagnoses in men

Caceres, B. A., Brody, A. A., Halkitis, P. N., Dorsen, C., Yu, G., & Chyun, D. A. (2018). LGBT Health, 5(5), 284-294. 10.1089/lgbt.2017.0220
Abstract
Purpose: Despite higher rates of modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in gay and bisexual men, few studies have examined sexual orientation differences in CVD among men. The purpose of this study was to examine sexual orientation differences in modifiable risk factors for CVD and CVD diagnoses in men. Methods: A secondary analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2012) was conducted. Multiple imputation was performed for missing values. Differences across four distinct groups were analyzed: gay-identified men, bisexual-identified men, heterosexual-identified men who have sex with men (MSM), and heterosexual-identified men who denied same-sex behavior (categorized as exclusively heterosexual). Multiple logistic regression models were run with exclusively heterosexual men as the reference group. Results: The analytic sample consisted of 7731 men. No differences between heterosexual-identified MSM and exclusively heterosexual men were observed. Few differences in health behaviors were noted, except that, compared to exclusively heterosexual men, gay-identified men reported lower binge drinking (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.37-0.85). Bisexual-identified men had higher rates of mental distress (AOR 2.39, 95% CI = 1.46-3.90), obesity (AOR 1.69, 95% CI = 1.02-2.72), elevated blood pressure (AOR 2.30, 95% CI = 1.43-3.70), and glycosylated hemoglobin (AOR 3.01, 95% CI = 1.38-6.59) relative to exclusively heterosexual men. Conclusions: Gay-identified and heterosexual-identified MSM demonstrated similar CVD risk to exclusively heterosexual men, whereas bisexual-identified men had elevations in several risk factors. Future directions for sexual minority health research in this area and the need for CVD and mental health screenings, particularly in bisexual-identified men, are highlighted.

Pelvic pain in transgender men taking testosterone: Assessing the risk of ovarian cancer

Harris, M., Kondel, L., & Dorsen, C. (2017). Nurse Practitioner, 42(7), 1-5. 10.1097/01.NPR.0000520423.83910.e2
Abstract
Some guidelines on care for transgender men taking testosterone recommend oophorectomy to prevent ovarian cancer, while others recommend following guidelines for females. A review of the literature finds no strong evidence that transgender men are at increased risk for ovarian cancer. In transgender men taking testosterone without other risk factors, oophorectomy to prevent cancer is unnecessary.

Open arms, conflicted hearts: nurse practitioner's attitudes towards lesbian, gay and bisexual patients

Dorsen, C., & Van Devanter, N. (2016). Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Open arms, conflicted hearts: nurse-practitioner's attitudes towards working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients

Dorsen, C., & Van Devanter, N. (2016). Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25(23), 3716-3727. 10.1111/jocn.13464
Abstract
Aims and Objectives: To explore nurse-practitioner's attitudes towards working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. Background: Literature suggests that lesbians, gay men and bisexuals have significant health disparities compared to heterosexuals. Although the reasons are multifactorial, research suggests that attitudes of healthcare providers (HCPs) may be a contributing factor in both accessing and receiving care. There is currently no literature exploring the attitudes of the approximately 300,000 nurse-practitioners in the United States. Thus, nurse-practitioners strengths and challenges in providing care to sexual minorities are unknown. Design: As part of a larger study, Corbin & Strauss’ grounded theory methodology was used to explore the attitudes towards lesbian, gay and bisexual patients among primary care nurse-practitioners in NYC. Methods: Data were collected via individual semi-structured interviews with nurse-practitioners currently in practice in primary or outpatient care in NYC (n = 19). Data were evaluated using the three-step constant comparison method. Results: Nurse-practitioners in this study had varied, often overlapping and sometimes conflicting, attitudes about working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. The main theme identified was ‘open arms, conflicted hearts’ with three major subthemes – feeling at home, struggling to maintain professionalism and finding comfort under the umbrella of diversity. Conclusions: Nurse-practitioner participants in this study had varied attitudes about working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients, ranging from open, confident and comfortable to ambivalent, cautious and unsure about working with lesbian, gay and bisexual patients generally and specifically regarding the health needs of this population. Relevance to clinical practice: This study highlights the inadequate didactic and clinical preparation most nurse-practitioners feel they have to care for lesbian, gay and bisexual patients. There is a need for increased education for registered nurses and nurse-practitioners regarding lesbian, gay and bisexual culture, their unique healthcare needs, as well as the role of stigma and marginalisation in caring for vulnerable populations.

Haber et al. respond

Haber, J., Hartnett, E., Allen, K., Hallas, D., Dorsen, C., Lange-Kessler, J., Lloyd, M., Thomas, E., & Wholihan, D. (2015). American Journal of Public Health, 105(5), e3-e4. 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302648

Putting the mouth back in the head: HEENT to HEENOT

Haber, J., Hartnett, E., Allen, K., Hallas, D., Dorsen, C., Lange-Kessler, J., Lloyd, M., Thomas, E., & Wholihan, D. (2015). American Journal of Public Health, 105(3), 437-441. 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302495
Abstract
Improving oral health is a leading population health goal; however, curricula preparing health professionals have a dearth of oral health content and clinical experiences.We detail an educational and clinical innovation transitioning the traditional head, ears, eyes, nose, and throat (HEENT) examination to the addition of the teeth, gums, mucosa, tongue, and palate examination (HEENOT) for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of oral-systemic health. Many New York University nursing, dental, and medical faculty and students have been exposed to interprofessional oral health HEENOT classroom, simulation, and clinical experiences. This was associated with increased dental-primary care referrals.This innovation has potential to build interprofessional oral health workforce capacity that addresses a significant public health issue, increases oral health care access, and improves oral-systemic health across the lifespan.