Chenjuan Ma


Chenjuan Ma headshot

Chenjuan Ma


Assistant Professor

1 212 992 7173
Accepting PhD students

Chenjuan Ma's additional information

Chenjuan Ma is an assistant professor and health services researcher at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Her program of research focuses on understanding how to optimize nursing care and patient safety and outcomes across settings with a particular focus of home healthcare and vulnerable populations (e.g., persons with dementia and minorities). Her research utilizes theories and methodologies from various disciplines, including but not limited to nursing, sociology, medicine, statistics and data science. Ma also has expertise in large data and quantitative methods. She is currently working on a project with the National Institute on Aging titled Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Home Health Care for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.

Prior to joining the NYU Rory Meyers faculty, Prof. Ma was a postdoctoral fellow in the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators at the University of Kansas.

Prof. Ma holds a PhD from University of Pennsylvania and MSN and BSN from Xi'an Jiaotong University, China.

PhD - University of Pennsylvania (2012)
MSN - Xi'an Jiaotong University, China (2008)
BSN - Xi'an Jiaotong University, China (2005)

Nursing workforce
Home care
Health Policy
Research methods
Health Services Research

American Nurses Association (ANA)
Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS)
Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)

Faculty Honors Awards

Vivian G. Prins Global Scholar, New York University (2021)
New Investigator Award, Interdisciplinary Research Group of Nursing Issues (IRGNI), Academy Health (2020)
Vivian G. Prins Global Scholar, New York University (2020)
Scholarship, Columbia University Epidemiology and Population Health (2019)
Fellowship, NYU CTSI Mentor Development Program (2018)
President Gutmann Leadership Award for Travel, University of Pennsylvania (2011)
ThinkSwiss Award, University of Basel, Switzerland (2011)
Rising Star, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Xi Chapter (2011)


Continuity of Care Versus Language Concordance as an Intervention to Reduce Hospital Readmissions from Home Health Care

Squires, A., Engel, P., Ma, C., Miner, S. M., Feldman, P. H., McDonald, M. V., & Jones, S. A. (2023). Medical Care, 61(9), 605-610. 10.1097/MLR.0000000000001884
Background: Language concordance between health care practitioners and patients have recently been shown to lower the risk of adverse health events. Continuity of care also been shown to have the same impact. Objective: The purpose of this paper is to examine the relative effectiveness of both continuity of care and language concordance as alternative or complementary interventions to improve health outcomes of people with limited English proficiency. Design: A multivariable logistic regression model using rehospitalization as the dependent variable was built. The variable of interest was created to compare language concordance and continuity of care. Participants: The final sample included 22,103 patients from the New York City area between 2010 and 2015 who were non-English-speaking and admitted to their home health site following hospital discharge. Measures: The odds ratio (OR) average marginal effect (AME) of each included variable was calculated for model analysis. Results: When compared with low continuity of care and high language concordance, high continuity of care and high language concordance significantly decreased readmissions (OR=0.71, 95% CI: 0.62-0.80, P<0.001, AME=-4.95%), along with high continuity of care and low language concordance (OR=0.80, 95% CI: 0.74-0.86, P<0.001, AME=-3.26%). Low continuity of care and high language concordance did not significantly impact readmissions (OR=1.04, 95% CI: 0.86-1.26, P=0.672, AME=0.64%). Conclusion: In the US home health system, enhancing continuity of care for those with language barriers may be helpful to address disparities and reduce hospital readmission rates.

Home Health Care to Asian Americans: a Systematic Review

Ma, C., Rajewski, M., & Bao, S. (2023). Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. 10.1007/s40615-023-01568-8
Objective: Despite being the fastest growing minority group in the USA, Asian Americans are among the least studied ones, particularly in the home and community-based services settings. This study aimed to review and synthesize extant evidence on Asian American’s access, utilization, and outcomes of home health care. Methods: This is a systematic review study. A comprehensive literature search was conducted in PubMed and CINAHL as well as hand search. Each study was screened, reviewed, and evaluated for quality by at least two reviewers independently. Results: Twelve articles were determined eligible and included for review. Asian Americans were less likely to be discharged to home health care following hospitalization. At admission to home health care, Asian Americans had a high rate of inappropriate medication issues (28%) and they also had poorer functional status compared to White Americans. Asian Americans were also reported with less improvement in functional status at the end of home health care; however, there were some inconsistencies in the evidence on Asian Americans’ utilization of formal/skilled home health care. Quality evaluation indicated that findings from some studies were limited by small sample size, single site/home health agency, analytic approaches, and other methodologic limitations. Conclusions: Asian Americans often experience inequities in home health care access, utilization, and outcomes. Multilevel factors may contribute to such inequities, including structural racism. Robust research using population-based data and advanced methodology is needed to better understand home health care to Asian Americans.

Implementing a quality improvement program to reduce falls and increase patient medication satisfaction in an academic medical center

Lopez, M., Ma, C., Aavik, L., & Cortes, T. A. (2023). Geriatric Nursing, 49, 207-211. 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2022.09.002
Background: Hospitalized older adult medication-related falls are common and understudied. Local Problem: There were organizational educational gaps identified in assisting nurses to recognize and mitigate medication associated side effects that may predispose hospitalized older adults to fall. Methods: A quality improvement project that utilized pre and post-test design. An eLearning module was developed and distributed to registered nurses in a medical unit. Interventions: Eighty registered nurses participated in an eLearning module that included patient and family centered evidence-based guidelines and teach-back guides related to medication fall safety. Results: An increase in overall (2.2%) medication patient satisfaction scores and decrease (8%) in falls for patients > 65 years old over a 4-month period. Conclusions: There is benefit of implementing a structured medication fall risk education program for nurses on a medical unit. Patient satisfaction related to communication about medications and a reduction in falls was impacted by this interdisciplinary intervention.

A multi-language qualitative study of limited English proficiency patient experiences in the United States

Squires, A., Gerchow, L., Ma, C., Liang, E., Trachtenberg, M., & Miner, S. (2023). PEC Innovation, 2. 10.1016/j.pecinn.2023.100177
Objective: The purpose of this study was to understand the limited English proficiency patient experience with health care services in an urban setting in the United States. Methods: Through a narrative analysis approach, 71 individuals who spoke either Spanish, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, or Korean shared their experiences through semi-structured interviews between 2016 and 2018. Analyses used monolingual and multilingual open coding approaches to generate themes. Results: Six themes illustrated patient experiences and identified sources of structural inequities perpetuating language barriers at the point of care. An important thread throughout all interviews was the sense that the language barrier with clinicians posed a threat to their safety when receiving healthcare, citing an acute awareness of additional risk for harm they might experience. Participants also consistently identified factors they felt would improve their sense of security that were specific to clinician interactions. Differences in experiences were specific to culture and heritage. Conclusions: The findings highlight the ongoing challenges spoken language barriers pose across multiple points of care in the United States' health care system. Innovation: The multi-language nature of this study and its methodological insights are innovative as most studies have focused on clinicians or patient experiences in a single language.

Nurses Leading the Way: Insights From the 2023 AcademyHealth Interdisciplinary Research Group on Nursing Issues Annual Meeting

Smith, J. M., Annis, A. M., Courtwright, S. E., Ghazal, L. V., Girouard, S., Jones, D., Ma, C., McGee, B. T., Nikpour, J., Riman, K. A., Root, M. C., Smith, J. G., Thompson, R. A., Turi, E., Cary, M., Carthon, J. M. B., Germack, H., Lucero, R., Edmond, L., … Kurtzman, E. T. (2023). Journal of Nursing Regulation, 14(2), 57-62. 10.1016/S2155-8256(23)00093-5

Psychological distress and its associated factors among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Hunan, China: a cross-sectional study

Wang, C., Yan, J., & Ma, C. (2023). Scientific Reports, 13(1). 10.1038/s41598-023-32408-8
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience a high risk for psychological distress. Understanding what factors contributing to this risk is vital for developing effective interventions to address COPD-related psychological distress. To examine psychological distress and its associated factors in COPD patients in China. This is a cross-sectional study. Using cluster random sampling, 351 COPD patients participated in and completed a questionnaire survey from June 2021 to January 2022. Instruments used in this research included a self-designed social-demographic questionnaire, the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10), the COPD Knowledge Question, the Type D Personality Scale (DS-14), the COPD Assessment Test (CAT), and modified Medical Research Council Dyspnea Score (mMRC). Multivariate linear regressions were used in the final analysis. Among 351 COPD patients, 307 (or 87.5%) had psychological distress. Our univariate analysis indicated that psychological distress scores were significantly associated with monthly household income (F = 2.861, P < 0.05), exercise frequency (F = 4.039, P < 0.01), type D personality (t = 5.843, P < 0.01), years with COPD (rs = 0.156, P < 0.01), frequency of acute exacerbation (rs = 0.114, P < 0.05), mMRC score (rs = 0.301, P < 0.01), and CAT score (rs = 0.415, P < 0.01). Our final multivariate linear regression showed that exercise frequency (coefficient = −1.012, P < 0.01) was an independent protective factor of psychological distress in COPD patients, while type D personality (coefficient = 3.463, P < 0.001), mMRC score (coefficient = 1.034, P < 0.001) and CAT score were independent risk factors (coefficient =.288, P < 0.001). No relationship was observed between psychological distress and knowledge of COPD. Psychological distress is commonly presented among COPD patients in China. Findings from this study suggest promoting and increasing frequency of exercise will be beneficial in reducing psychological distress among COPD patients. This study also highlights the importance of assessing personality type, dyspnea, and impact of COPD on daily living for preventing and managing psychological distress due to COPD. In addition, Given the high rate of psychological distress among COPD patients, policymakers should consider making mental health resources easily available and accessible to this vulnerable population.

Quality of care in home health agencies with and without accreditation: a cohort study

Ma, C., Dutton, H. J., & Wu, B. (2023). Home Health Care Services Quarterly, 42(1), 1-13. 10.1080/01621424.2022.2123756
While home health agencies (HHAs) can seek accreditation to recognize their quality of service, it is unknown whether agencies with accreditation perform better in providing care than those without accreditation. Using 5-year data from national data sources, the aims of this study were: 1) to depict characteristics of HHAs with and without accreditation; and 2) to examine the relationship between accreditation status and HHA performance on quality-of-care metrics. This study analyzed 7,697 agencies in the US and found that 1) agencies that were for-profit, urban, not-hospital-affiliated, single-branch, Medicare enrolled only, and without hospice program were more likely to have accreditation; and 2) overall, accredited agencies performed better on the three commonly used quality indicators, timely initiation of care, hospitalization, and emergency department visit, though not all the observed differences were substantial in absolute value. Our results provide unique empirical information to agencies considering seeking accreditation.

Relationship between antenatal sleep quality and depression in perinatal women: A comprehensive meta-analysis of observational studies

Fu, T., Wang, C., Yan, J., Zeng, Q., & Ma, C. (2023). Journal of Affective Disorders, 327, 38-45. 10.1016/j.jad.2023.01.125
Background: Perinatal depression is a global mental health problem. Studies have suggested that perinatal depression is related to poor sleep quality during pregnancy. However, evidence on the influence and mechanism of sleep quality on the risk of developing perinatal depression remains limited and inconclusive. Methods: A systematic review was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, CINAHI and Cochrane Library for relevant original quantitative studies published in English. A hand search of the reference list of relevant studies was also performed. Meta-analysis was performed using RevMan software and a random-effects model. Potential heterogeneity source was explored by subgroup and sensitivity analyses, and potential publication bias was tested using funnel plots and Begg's test. Results: A total of ten studies involving 39,574 participants were included in our meta-analysis. Overall, women who experienced poor sleep quality during pregnancy were at a significantly higher risk of developing depression, with antenatal depression 3.72 times higher, postpartum depression 2.71 times higher, and perinatal depression 3.46 times higher, compared to those did not experience poor sleep quality. Limitations: Different measuring tools and unobserved confounding factors may make some bias in our result. What's more, not all included studies were initially designed to assess the association between antenatal sleep quality and the risk of developing perinatal depression. Conclusion: Our meta-analysis found that antenatal sleep quality was negatively associated with the risk for perinatal depression. Our findings highlight the importance of improving sleep quality during pregnancy for mental health among perinatal women.

Assessing the influence of patient language preference on 30 day hospital readmission risk from home health care: A retrospective analysis

Squires, A., Ma, C., Miner, S., Feldman, P., Jacobs, E. A., & Jones, S. A. (2022). International Journal of Nursing Studies, 125. 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2021.104093
Background: In home health care, language barriers are understudied. Language barriers between patients and providers are known to affect a variety of patient outcomes. How a patient's language preference influences hospital readmission risk from home health care has yet to be determined. Objective: To determine if home care patients’ language preference is associated with their risk for hospital readmission from home health care within 30 days of hospital discharge. Design: Retrospective cross-sectional study of hospital readmissions from an urban home health care agency's administrative records and the national electronic home health care record for the United States, captured between 2010 and 2015. Setting: New York City, New York, USA. Participants: The dataset comprised 90,221 post-hospitalization patients and 6.5 million home health care visits. Methods: First, a Chi-square test was used to determine if there were significant differences in crude readmission rates based on language group. Inverse probability of treatment weighting was used to adjust for significant differences in known hospital readmission risk factors between to examine all-cause hospital readmission during a home health care stay. The final matched sample included 87,561 patients with a language preference of English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, or Korean. English-speaking patients were considered the comparison group to the non-English speaking patients. A Marginal Structural Model was applied to estimate the impact of non-English language preference against English language preference on rehospitalization. The results of the marginal structural model were expressed as an odds ratio of likelihood of readmission to the hospital from home health care. Results: Home health patients with a non-English language preference had a higher hospital readmission risk than English-speaking patients. Crude readmission rate for the limited English proficiency patients was 20.4% (95% CI, 19.9–21.0%) overall compared to 18.5% (95% CI, 18.7–19.2%) for English speakers (p < 0.001). Being a non-English-speaking patient was associated with an odds ratio of 1.011 (95% CI, 1.004–1.018) in increased hospital readmission rates from home health care (p = 0.001). There were also statistically significant differences in readmission rate by language group (p < 0.001), with Korean speakers having the lowest rate and Spanish speakers having the highest, when compared to English speakers. Conclusions: People with a non-English language preference have a higher readmission rate from home health care. Hospital and home healthcare agencies may need specialized care coordination services to reduce readmission risk for these patients. Tweetable abstract: A new US-based study finds that home care patients with language barriers are at higher risk for hospital readmission.

Data Quality of Automated Comorbidity Lists in Patients With Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

Woersching, J., Van Cleave, J. H., Egleston, B., Ma, C., Haber, J., & Chyun, D. (2022). CIN - Computers Informatics Nursing, 40(7), 497-505. 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000889
EHRs provide an opportunity to conduct research on underrepresented oncology populations with mental health and substance use disorders. However, a lack of data quality may introduce unintended bias into EHR data. The objective of this article is describe our analysis of data quality within automated comorbidity lists commonly found in EHRs. Investigators conducted a retrospective chart review of 395 oncology patients from a safety-net integrated healthcare system. Statistical analysis included κ coefficients and a condition logistic regression. Subjects were racially and ethnically diverse and predominantly used Medicaid insurance. Weak κ coefficients (κ = 0.2-0.39, P <.01) were noted for drug and alcohol use disorders indicating deficiencies in comorbidity documentation within the automated comorbidity list. Further, conditional logistic regression analyses revealed deficiencies in comorbidity documentation in patients with drug use disorders (odds ratio, 11.03; 95% confidence interval, 2.71-44.9; P =.01) and psychoses (odds ratio, 0.04; confidence interval, 0.02-0.10; P <.01). Findings suggest deficiencies in automatic comorbidity lists as compared with a review of provider narrative notes when identifying comorbidities. As healthcare systems increasingly use EHR data in clinical studies and decision making, the quality of healthcare delivery and clinical research may be affected by discrepancies in the documentation of comorbidities.