Maya Clark-Cutaia headshot

Maya Clark-Cutaia


Assistant Professor

1 212 998 5280

433 First Avenue
Room 664
New York, NY 10010
United States

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Professional overview

Maya Clark-Cutaia, RN, MSN, PhD, is an assistant professor of nursing at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Her scholarship focuses on the increased risk morbidity and mortality that result from ESRD and hemodialysis renal replacement therapy. This patient population is more likely to suffer from sudden cardiac events, are two to three times more likely to be rehospitalized than the general population, and spend a disproportionally high percentage of Medicare funds. Clark-Cutaia’s long-term goal is to impact ESRD sufferer's quality of life by decreasing symptom burden. Clark-Cutaia continues to practice as a nurse practitioner in the fields of Urology, General Surgery, and Otorhinolaryngology.

Clark-Cutaia received a K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (1K23NR015058) from the National Institute of Nursing Research to build her program of research in symptom science to determine the effects of carefully monitored levels of sodium-intake as set forth by the National Kidney Foundation, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, and AHA on symptoms and signs in ESRD patients undergoing hemodialysis. 

Prior to joining the faculty at NYU Meyers, Clark-Cutaia was a senior lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She was a clinical faculty member in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Program and co-taught the undergraduate and graduate-level "Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-Based Practice" courses. 

Clark-Cutaia received her PhD in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh and MS and BS in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. Clark-Cutaia’s predoctoral training was initially supported by a T32 predoctoral fellowship (T32NR00885705) and then by an individual NRSA F31 predoctoral fellowship (1F31NR014310) for her research on dietary modification management in end-stage renal disease sufferers on hemodialysis. Immediately after completing her PhD, she returned to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing for a T32 postdoctoral fellowship (T32NR007100), which culminated in Clark-Cutaia’s receipt of the K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (cited above).


PhD, University of Pittsburgh
MSN, University of Pennsylvania
BS, University of Pennsylvania


Acute care

Professional membership

American Association for Nurse Practitioners
American Heart Association
American Nurses Association
Eastern Nursing Research Society
Military Officers Association of America
National Black Nurses Association
National Kidney Foundation
Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners
Pennsylvania State Nurses Association
Reserve Officer Association
Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing

Honors and awards

Faculty Honors Awards

Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society, Eta Chapter, Xi Chapter (2011)
Sojourner Truth Award (2003)
Nursing Award for Special Achievement (2003)



The Perfect Storm: Stakeholder Perspectives on Factors Contributing to Hospital Admissions for Patients Undergoing Maintenance Hemodialysis

Clark-Cutaia, M. N., Jarrín, O. F., Thomas-Hawkins, C., & Hirschman, K. B. (2020). Nephrology Nursing Journal : Journal of the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association, 47(1), 11-20. 10.37526/1526-744x.2020.47.1.11
Patients living with end stage renal disease (ESRD) who are undergoing hemodialysis experience frequent hospitalizations associated with complications of care and exacerbations of illness. Efforts to reduce hospitalizations have had limited success. The purpose of this study was to explore why hospitalizations occur from the perspectives of patients undergoing hemodialysis treatment, their caregivers, and health care providers. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with 21 patients living with ESRD, 10 caregivers, and three focus groups with health care professionals. Findings are discussed under four main themes: Graft site/Catheter/Access issues, "My resistance is low," "I could not breathe,"" and "The perfect storm." Results highlight the complexity of care and vulnerability of patients with ESRD. Further interprofessional research is needed to improve transitional care and care delivery for patient populations receiving hemodialysis.

Feasibility of Assessing Sodium-Associated Body Fluid Composition in End-Stage Renal Disease

Clark-Cutaia, M. N., Reisinger, N., Anache, M. R., Ramos, K., Sommers, M. S., Townsend, R. R., Yu, G., & Fargo, J. (2019). Nursing Research, 68(3), 246-252. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000320
Background: Cardiovascular disease accounts for more than half of all deaths in the hemodialysis (HD) population. Although much of this mortality is associated with fluid overload (FO), FO is difficult to measure, and many HD patients have significant pulmonary congestion despite the absence of clinical presentation. Cohort studies have observed that FO, as measured by bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS), correlates with mortality. Other studies have observed that lower sodium intake is associated with less fluid-related weight gain, improved hypertension, and survival. Whether sodium intake influences FO in HD patients as measured by BIS is not known. Objective: The aims of the study were to determine the feasibility of assessing the impact of sodium restriction on body fluid composition as measured by BIS among patients with three levels of sodium intake and to determine if there are statistical and/or clinical differences in BIS measures across sodium intake groups. Methods: We used a double-blinded randomized controlled trial design with three levels of sodium restriction, 2,400 mg per day, 1,500 mg per day, and unrestricted (control group), to test our aims. Forty-two HD patients from a tertiary acute care academic institution associated with three urban DaVita dialysis centers were enrolled. Participants remained in the inpatient center for 5 days and 4 nights and were randomly assigned to sodium intake groups. Body fluid composition was measured with BIS. Results: Recruitment, enrollment, and retention statistics supported the feasibility of the study design. Regression analyses showed that there were no statistically significant differences among sodium intake groups on any of the outcomes. Discussion: Our data suggest the need for additional research into the effects of sodium restriction on body fluid composition.

Perceived Barriers to Adherence to Hemodialysis Dietary Recommendations

Clark-Cutaia, M. N., Sevick, M. A., Thurheimer-Cacciotti, J., Hoffman, L. A., Snetselaar, L., Burke, L. E., & Zickmund, S. L. (2019). Clinical Nursing Research, 28(8), 1009-1029. 10.1177/1054773818773364
Barriers to following dietary recommendations have been described; however, they remain poorly understood. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore perceived barriers to adherence to dietary recommendations in a diverse hemodialysis patient population. Participants were eligible to participate in a semi-structured qualitative telephone interview prior to randomization for an ongoing clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of an intervention designed to reduce dietary sodium intake. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and coded using an iterative qualitative process. In total, 30 (37% females, 53% Caucasians) participants, 63.2 ± 13.3 years, were interviewed. Time, convenience, and financial constraints hindered dietary adherence. Dietary counseling efforts were rated positively but require individualization. Ability to follow recommended guidelines was challenging. Suggestions for addressing barriers include technology-based interventions that allow patients to improve food choices and real-time decision-making, and permit tailoring to individual barriers and preferences.

Clinical Behavior of a V84L mutation Pheochromocytoma.

Clark-Cutaia, M., Lioudis, M., & Townsend, R. (2016). Journal of Clinical Case Reports, 6(4), 765.

Design of a randomized controlled clinical trial assessing dietary sodium restriction and hemodialysis-related symptom profiles

Clark-Cutaia, M. N., Sommers, M. S., Anderson, E., & Townsend, R. R. (2016). Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 3, 70-73. 10.1016/j.conctc.2016.04.002
Aim In hemodialysis patients, the need to have intercurrent sodium and water intake removed by ultrafiltration increases disease burden through the symptoms and signs that occur during hemodialysis (HD). This added burden may be mitigated by reduction of dietary sodium intake. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) recommends 2400 mg of dietary sodium daily for patients on HD, and the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests 1500 mg, evidence is lacking, however, to support these recommendations in HD. Moreover, little is known about the relationship of specific levels of dietary sodium intake and the severity of symptoms and signs during ultrafiltration. Our goal will be to determine the effects of carefully-monitored levels of sodium-intake as set forth by the NKF and AHA on symptoms and signs in patients undergoing (HD). Methods We designed a three-group (2400 mg, 1500 mg, unrestricted), double blinded randomized controlled trial with a sample of 42 HD participants to determine whether 1. Symptom profiles and interdialytic weight gains vary among three sodium intake groups; 2. The effect of HD-specific variables on the symptom profiles among the three groups and 3. Whether total body water extracellular volume and intracellular volume measured with bioimpedance varies across the three groups. We will also examine the feasibility of recruitment, enrollment, and retention of participants for the five-day inpatient stay. Conclusion Curbing dietary sodium intake may lead to improvement in intradialytic symptom amelioration and potential for better long-term outcomes. Generating empirical support will be critical to ascertain, and espouse, the appropriate level of sodium intake for patients receiving HD.

Adherence to Hemodialysis Dietary Sodium Recommendations: Influence of Patient Characteristics, Self-Efficacy, and Perceived Barriers

Clark-Cutaia, M. N., Ren, D., Hoffman, L. A., Burke, L. E., & Sevick, M. A. (2014). Journal of Renal Nutrition, 24(2), 92-99. 10.1053/j.jrn.2013.11.007
Objective: To identify characteristics of hemodialysis patients most likely to experience difficulty adhering to sodium restrictions associated with their dietary regimen. Design: Secondary analysis using baseline data from an ongoing randomized clinical trial examining the effects of a technology-supported behavioral intervention on dietary sodium intake in hemodialysis patients. Setting: Thirteen dialysis centers in southwestern Pennsylvania. Subjects: We included 122 participants (61% women; 48% African American) aged 61±14years undergoing maintenance, intermittent hemodialysis for end-stage renal disease. Main Outcome Measures: Normalized dietary sodium intake, adjusted interdialytic weight gain, perceived problems, and self-efficacy for restricting dietary sodium. Results: Younger participants were more likely to report problems managing their hemodialysis diet and low self-efficacy for restricting sodium intake. Consistent with these findings, younger participants had a higher median sodium intake and higher average adjusted interdialytic weight gain. Females reported more problems managing their diet. Race, time on dialysis, and perceived income adequacy did not seem to influence outcome measures. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that patients who are younger and female encounter more difficulty adhering to the hemodialysis regimen. Hence, there may be a need to individualize counseling and interventions for these individuals. Further investigation is needed to understand the independent effects of age and gender on adherence to hemodialysis dietary recommendations and perceived self-efficacy.

Alexander's Care of the Patient in Surgery

Clark-Cutaia, M. (2014). In , & , Alexander’s Care of the Patient in Surgery. Elsevier.

Psychometric validation of the self-efficacy for restricting dietary salt in hemodialysis scale

Clark-Cutaia, M. N., Ren, D., Hoffman, L. A., Snetselaar, L., & Sevick, M. A. (2013). Topics in Clinical Nutrition, 28(4), 384-391. 10.1097/01.TIN.0000437407.76867.65
The development and progression of left ventricular hypertrophy is a consequence of multiple comorbid conditions associated with end-stage renal disease and large variations in interdialytic weight gains. The literature suggests that dietary sodium restriction alone significantly reduces interdialytic weight gains. A total of 124 hemodialysis participants in an ongoing randomized control trial participated in the validation in which psychometric properties of a self-efficacy survey were a secondary analysis. We evaluated the internal consistency, construct validity, and convergent validity of the instrument. The overall Cronbach α was 0.93. Three factors extracted explain 67.8% of the variance of the white and African American participants. The Self-Efficacy Survey has adequate internal consistency and construct and convergent validity. Future research is needed to evaluate the stability and discriminant validity of the instrument.

Alexander's Care of the Patient in Surgery

Clark-Cutaia, M., & J., R. (2010). In , & , Alexander’s Care of the Patient in Surgery. Elsevier.