Gail D'Eramo Melkus

Gail DEramo Melkus

Associate Dean for Research
Florence and William Downs Professor in Nursing Research

1 212 998 5300

433 First Avenue
Room 744
New York, NY 10010
United States

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Professional overview

Gail D’Eramo Melkus, EdD, C-NP, FAAN is the Florence and William Downs Professor in Nursing Research, Associate Dean for Research, and Director, Muriel and Virginia Pless Center for Nursing Research at the NYU College of Nursing. She currently serves as Co-PI and co-investigator or research mentor on numerous funded projects specific to biobehavioral interventions for prevention and management of chronic conditions and related co-morbidities, in mid-life and older adults, including national and international work. Dr. Melkus serves as sponsor of K-awards focused on health disparities among vulnerable populations (women with T2D and depression; elderly Blacks at-risk for depression, glycemic control and infection in oncology stem cell recipients, CHD in older adult workers). In recognition of her mentorship, Dr. Melkus received the 1st Annual NYU CTSI Mentor Award in May 2011.

Previously Dr. Melkus was the Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing at the Yale University School of Nursing, where in collaboration with the Diabetes Research Center of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NY, she developed and implemented the Diabetes Care Specialty for advanced practice nurses. Dr. Melkus’ sustained interest in eliminating health disparities among vulnerable populations earned her a reputation as a leader in the development and testing of culturally competent models of diabetes care. Her program of intervention research that focuses on physiological and behavioral outcomes of self-management interventions has served as an education and training ground for numerous multidisciplinary scientists.

EdD(1983-87) - Columbia University Teachers College, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Columbia University Doctoral Candidate(1986, semester) - Yale School of Public Health
MS(1976-78) - Southern Connecticut State University
ASN/BS(1976) - University of Bridgeport (Nursing)
Honorary MS(2003) - Yale University
Nurse Practitioner Advanced Graduate Studies Program(1989) - Pace University School of Nursing
Yale University School of Nursing Adult Nurse Practitioner Program(1989)
Honors and awards
Diamond Jubilee Virginia Henderson Excellence in Nursing Research Award (2003)
Fellow in American Academy of Nursing (2003)
Endowed Chair, Independence Foundation, Yale University (2004)
Endowed Chair, Florence & William Downs, New York University (2008)
New York State Nurse Foundation Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award (2009)
Distinguished Scholar Award, New York University College of Nursing (2010)
NYU Clinical Translational Science Institute 1st annual Distinguished Mentor Award (2011)
Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee Member (2013)
Faculty Scholar Appointment, Universita' Tor Vergata, Rome (2014)
Affiliated Faculty Appointment, University of Georgia, Tblisi, Republic of Georgia (2014)
Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine (2014)
Distinguished Alumni Award University of Bridgeport (2014)
Primary care
Non-communicable disease
Women's health
Adult health
Professional membership
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Academy of Nursing
CT Nursing Association
Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
Society for Behavioral Medicine
Eastern Nursing Research Society

A continuous glucose monitoring and problem-solving intervention to change physical activity behavior in women with type 2 diabetes: a pilot study.

Allen, N., Whittemore, R., & Melkus, G. (2011). Diabetes technology & therapeutics, 13, 1091-9, 10.1089/dia.2011.0088

Diabetes technology has the potential to provide useful data for theory-based behavioral counseling. The aims of this study are to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a continuous glucose monitoring and problem-solving counseling intervention to change physical activity (PA) behavior in women with type 2 diabetes.

Physiological and behavioral factors related to physical activity in black women with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Allen, N. A., Melkus, G. D., & Chyun, D. A. (2011). Journal of transcultural nursing : official journal of the Transcultural Nursing Society, 22, 376-85, 10.1177/1043659611414143

To describe relationships among physical activity (PA), physiological factors, and psychological factors in Black women with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Coping as a mediator in the relationships of spiritual well-being to mental health in black women with type 2 diabetes.

Newlin, K., Melkus, G. D., Peyrot, M., Koenig, H. G., Allard, E., & Chyun, D. (2010). International journal of psychiatry in medicine, 40, 439-59, 10.2190/PM.40.4.g

Examine coping as a mediator in the relationships of spiritual well-being to mental health in Black women with type 2 diabetes (T2DM).

The effect of a diabetes education, coping skills training, and care intervention on physiological and psychosocial outcomes in black women with type 2 diabetes.

D'Eramo Melkus, G., Chyun, D., Vorderstrasse, A., Newlin, K., Jefferson, V., & Langerman, S. (2010). Biological research for nursing, 12, 7-19, 10.1177/1099800410369825

An 11-week culturally relevant group diabetes self-management training (DSMT), coping skills training (CST), and diabetes care intervention was compared to a 10-week usual diabetes education and diabetes care intervention on physiological and psychosocial outcomes in 109 Black women (aged 48 +/- 10 years) with type 2 diabetes in primary care (PC). Strong time effects for hemoglobin A1c improvement were seen in both groups from baseline to 3 months and remained similar at 12 and 24 months (p < .0001). Systolic blood pressure (p =.01) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (p = .05) improved in both groups from baseline to 24 months. Baseline quality of life ([QOL]; Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36) was low. Social function, role-emotional, and mental health domains increased initially in both groups then declined slightly, with less decline for the experimental group at 12 months. At 24 months, experimental group scores increased. General health (p = .002), vitality (p = .01), role-physical, and bodily pain (p = .02) domains increased in both groups over time. Perceived provider support for diet (p = .0001) and exercise (p = .0001) increased in both groups over time. Diabetes-related emotional distress decreased in the experimental compared to the control group (group x time, p = .01). Findings suggest that both methods of diabetes education combined with care can improve metabolic control, QOL, and perceptions of provider care. CST may further assist in long-term improvements in health outcomes. Behavioral interventions are needed in addition to routine diabetes care, particularly in PC.

The effect of language preference on prenatal weight gain and postpartum weight retention in urban Hispanic women.

Hackley, B., Fennie, K., Applebaum, J., Berry, D., & D'Eramo Melkus, G. (2010). Ethnicity & disease, 20, 162-8,

To describe prenatal weight gain and postpartum loss patterns among Hispanic women receiving prenatal care at an urban community health center by language preference.

Grandparenthood status and health outcomes in midlife African American women with type 2 diabetes.

Balukonis, J., Melkus, G. D., & Chyun, D. (2008). Ethnicity & disease, 18, 141-6,

To describe grandparenthood status and determine the relationship between grandparenthood status, metabolic control, and psychosocial factors in African American women with type 2 diabetes.

Recruitment of black women with type 2 diabetes into a self-management intervention trial.

Newlin, K., Melkus, G. D., Jefferson, V., Langerman, S., Womack, J., & Chyun, D. (2006). Ethnicity & disease, 16, 956-62,

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship of recruitment methods to enrollment status in Black women with type 2 diabetes screened for entry into a randomized clinical trial (RCT). Using a cross-sectional study design with convenience sampling procedures, data were collected on recruitment methods to which the women responded (N=236). Results demonstrated that the RCT had a moderate overall recruitment rate of 46% and achieved only 84% of its projected accrual goal (N=109). Chi-square analysis demonstrated that enrollment outcomes varied significantly according to recruitment methods (P=.05). Recruitment methods such as community health fairs (77.8%), private practice referrals (75.0%), participant referrals (61.5%), community clinic referrals (44.6%), community advertising and marketing (40.9%), and chart review (40.4%) demonstrated variable enrollment yields. Results confirm previous findings that indicate that Black Americans may be successfully recruited into research studies at moderate rates when traditional recruitment methods are enhanced and integrated with more culturally sensitive methods. Lessons learned are considered.

The association of psychological factors, physical activity, neuropathy, and quality of life in type 2 diabetes.

Chyun, D. A., Melkus, G. D., Katten, D. M., Price, W. J., Davey, J. A., Grey, N., … Wackers, F. J. (2006). Biological research for nursing, 7, 279-88, 10.1177/1099800405285748

The objective of this study was to determine the relationship of sociodemographics; diabetes-related factors, including diabetes-related microvascular complications; cardiac risk factors; and psychological factors with quality of life (QOL). Participants enrolled at three sites in the Detection of Ischemia in Asymptomatic Diabetics (DIAD) study were invited to participate in this ancillary study. Questionnaires assessing psychological factors were completed by participants, and the remainder of the data was obtained as part of the DIAD study. Many participants had elevated levels of anxiety (n = 91; 82%), depressive symptoms (n = 16; 14%), anger (n = 38; 34%), and hostility (n = 17; 17%). Results of multivariate analyses conducted for each of the eight domains on the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 and two Diabetes Quality of Life domains demonstrated that in the majority of models (42% to 68% of the variance explained), female sex, peripheral or autonomic neuropathy, physical inactivity, higher body mass index, and the presence of depressive symptoms and anxiety were associated with poorer QOL (p = .0001). These findings demonstrate that anxiety, depressive symptoms, and neuropathy are prevalent in older adults with type 2 diabetes. In addition, potentially important correlations were demonstrated between psychological factors, neuropathy, body mass index, and physical inactivity.

Metabolic control, self-management and psychosocial adjustment in women with type 2 diabetes.

Whittemore, R., D'Eramo Melkus, G., & Grey, M. (2005). Journal of clinical nursing, 14, 195-203, 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2004.00937.x

To examine factors associated with metabolic control, self-management (diet and exercise behaviour), and psychosocial adjustment (diabetes-related distress) in women with type 2 diabetes.

A Culturally competent intervention of education and care for black women with type 2 diabetes

D’Eramo Melkus, G., Spollett, G., Jefferson, V., Chyun, D., Tuohy, B., Robinson, T., & Kaisen, A. (2004). Applied Nursing Research, 17, 10-20, 10.1016/j.apnr.2003.10.009

Relationships of religion and spirituality to glycemic control in Black women with type 2 diabetes.

Newlin, K., Melkus, G. D., Tappen, R., Chyun, D., & Koenig, H. G. Nursing research, 57, 331-9, 10.1097/01.NNR.0000313497.10154.66

Although religion and spirituality are prominent in the lives of Black women with type 2 diabetes (T2DM), there is little research on the relationships of religion and spirituality to glycemic control (GC) in this population.

Tomando Control: a culturally appropriate diabetes education program for Spanish-speaking individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus--evaluation of a pilot project.

Mauldon, M., Melkus, G. D., & Cagganello, M. The Diabetes educator, 32, 751-60, 10.1177/0145721706291999

The purpose of this study was to pilot test the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a culturally appropriate and culturally relevant Spanish-language cognitive-behavioral diabetes self-care educational intervention for Hispanic Americans with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Translating the diabetes prevention program to primary care: a pilot study.

Whittemore, R., Melkus, G., Wagner, J., Dziura, J., Northrup, V., & Grey, M. Nursing research, 58, 2-12, 10.1097/NNR.0b013e31818fcef3

Research on the translation of efficacious lifestyle change programs to prevent type 2 diabetes into community or clinical settings is needed.

Type 2 diabetes in urban black and rural white women.

Melkus, G. D., Whittemore, R., & Mitchell, J. The Diabetes educator, 35, 293-301, 10.1177/0145721708327532

The purpose of this secondary analysis was to describe and compare physiological, psychosocial, and self-management characteristics of urban black and rural white women with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in the northeast United States.