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Susan Sullivan Bolyai

Associate Professor

1 212 998 5300

433 First Avenue
Room 606
New York, NY 10010
United States

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Professional overview

For decades Dr. Sullivan-Bolyai has worked clinically with children who have special health care needs and their families on day-to-day management of the chronic condition. Since 1995 she has focused her research on preparation, education and support for families to help manage childrens’ care in the home and community settings. Her main areas of expertise are clinical interventions that address parent and child social support and education for Type 1 Diabetes day-to-day management, including the innovation of using a child-size human patient simulator for parent and child education.

1999-2002 - Postdoctoral, Intervention research fellowship, Yale University;
1999 - DNSc, Nursing Science Research, Yale University;
1981 - Postmasters, Chronic condition children/family, University Washington;
1978 - MN, Clinical nurse specialist, child/family, Emory University;
1976 - BSN, Nursing, Metropolitan State College
Honors and awards
American Academy Nursing Fellow; (2013)
Dean’s Award University of Massachusetts, Worcester; (2007)
Doctoral Faculty Award University of Massachusetts, Worcester; (2006)
Doctoral Faculty Award University of Massachusetts, Worcester; (2005)
Eastern Nursing Research Society Distinguished Contribution to Nursing Research Award-Junior Investigator; (2005)
Maternal Child Nursing Research Paper of the Year Award; (2003)
Sigma Theta Tau (1978)
Professional membership
American Nurses Association;
Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science;
International Family Nursing Association;
Massachusetts Association for Registered Nurses;
Sigma Theta Tau
Specialists in Pediatric Nursing

History lesson: how a little girl and her family moved mountains to change care and policy to help children with special health care needs go home.

Sullivan-Bolyai, S. L., & Feetham, S. (2013). Journal of family nursing, 19, 278-80, 10.1177/1074840713483496

Educating diabetes camp counselors with a human patient simulator: a pilot study.

Sullivan-Bolyai, S., Crawford, S., Johnson, K., Huston, B., & Lee, M. M. (2012). Journal for specialists in pediatric nursing : JSPN, 17, 121-8, 10.1111/j.1744-6155.2011.00322.x

The purpose of this study was to pilot test the feasibility and efficacy of a novel method of teaching camp counselors hypoglycemia management.

Reframing the influence of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act on research.

Bova, C., Drexler, D., & Sullivan-Bolyai, S. (2012). Chest, 141, 782-6, 10.1378/chest.11-2182

The purpose of this article is to review the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Privacy Rule, the Security Rule, and common issues encountered by researchers related to these federal privacy and security requirements. This article discusses the misconceptions that researchers may hold about HIPAA, including the process for reviewing protected health information when preparing to conduct a study, potential constraint on participant recruitment, and application of HIPAA to a researcher's clinical population. We also present ways to reframe the negative connotations associated with this regulation and provide tips for researchers about how to work with HIPAA when planning and conducting a study and reporting on study findings. Finally, we suggest that the principles of HIPAA be considered when conducting studies in international settings.

Familias Apoyadas: Latino families supporting each other for diabetes care.

Sullivan-Bolyai, S. (2009). Journal of pediatric nursing, 24, 495-505, 10.1016/j.pedn.2008.07.007

This study was undertaken to improve the cultural and linguistic sensitivity of an established parent-mentor training curriculum for Latino parents of young children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The cultural sensitivity of curriculum components was determined by interviewing four Latino mothers raising five children (aged 7 to 12 years) with type 1 diabetes. The mothers recommended offering resources in English and Spanish, including access to bilingual taxi service, providing access to family diabetes education on child development and preparation of healthy traditional cultural foods, and training for babysitting children with diabetes. They also suggested offering after-school and weekend diabetes clinics to decrease interference with work and school activities.

Barriers and strategies for recruiting study participants in clinical settings.

Sullivan-Bolyai, S., Bova, C., Deatrick, J. A., Knafl, K., Grey, M., Leung, K., & Trudeau, A. (2007). Western journal of nursing research, 29, 486-500, 10.1177/0193945907299658

Recruiting participants for research studies is often a challenging task. Recruitment requires careful planning, collaboration, and flexibility on the part of researchers and health care providers at the recruitment sites. This article describes six major barriers to recruiting study participants as identified from a review of the literature and from the coauthors' research experiences. These barriers include challenges related to regulations of the Health Insurance Portabililty and Accountability Act (HIPAA), health care providers' work burden, providers' financial disincentives, competition, health care provider concerns regarding research, and provider protection of patients. Each barrier is described, and specific strategies are suggested based on the empirical literature. In some instances, the coauthors' experiences are also shared.

Fathers??? Reflections on Parenting Young Children With Type 1 Diabetes

Sullivan-Bolyai, S., Rosenberg, R., & Bayard, M. (2005). MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 31, 24-31, 10.1097/00005721-200601000-00007

Developing and refining interventions in persons with health disparities: the use of qualitative description.

Sullivan-Bolyai, S., Bova, C., & Harper, D. Nursing outlook, 53, 127-33, 10.1016/j.outlook.2005.03.005

Eliminating health disparities by the year 2010 has become a clear priority for nursing and health sciences research. To date, much of the research has relied on traditional analytic methods to identify the disparities and develop clinical interventions. However, health disparities are typically embedded in complex, cultural and contextual issues. Interventions to improve access, quality and care among vulnerable populations need to be developed with these factors in mind. This article illustrates the benefits of using Qualitative Description as one method for assessing, developing and refining interventions with vulnerable populations. Qualitative Description study results have tremendous potential to translate directly to pressing health care situations and provide clear information about ways to improve care.

Development and pilot testing of a parent education intervention for type 1 diabetes: parent education through simulation-diabetes.

Sullivan-Bolyai, S., Bova, C., Lee, M., & Johnson, K. The Diabetes educator, 38, 50-7, 10.1177/0145721711432457

To purpose of the pilot study was to evaluate the use of a pediatric human patient simulator (HPS) to teach parents diabetes management for their children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, referred to as Parent Education Through Simulation-Diabetes.

Hepatitis C treatment experiences and decision making among patients living with HIV infection.

Bova, C., Ogawa, L. F., & Sullivan-Bolyai, S. The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care : JANAC, 21, 63-74, 10.1016/j.jana.2009.07.009

Hepatitis C infection is a major problem for approximately 250,000 HIV-infected persons in the United States. Although HIV infection is well-controlled in most of this population, they suffer liver-associated morbidity and mortality. Conversely, hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment uptake remains quite low (15%-30%). Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore HCV treatment experiences and decision making in adults with HIV infection. The study sample included 39 coinfected adults; 16 in the HCV-treated cohort (who were interviewed a maximum of 3 times) and 23 in the HCV-nontreatment cohort. Analysis of interviews identified 2 treatment barriers (fears and vicarious experiences) and 4 facilitating factors (experience with illness management, patient-provider relationships, gaining sober time, and facing treatment head-on). Analysis of these data also revealed a preliminary model to guide intervention development and theoretical perspectives. Ultimately, research is urgently needed to test interventions that improve HCV evaluation and treatment uptake among HIV-infected patients.

Mentoring fathers of children newly diagnosed with T1DM.

Sullivan-Bolyai, S., Bova, C., Lee, M., & Gruppuso, P. A. MCN. The American journal of maternal child nursing, 36, 224-31, 10.1097/NMC.0b013e3182183bf5

To pilot test a social support intervention for fathers of children <13 years old newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Parent mentor perspectives on providing social support to empower parents.

Sullivan-Bolyai, S., & Lee, M. M. The Diabetes educator, 37, 35-43, 10.1177/0145721710392248

To describe the experience of parent mentors providing a social support intervention to parents of children < 13 years old newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Self-management of Type 1 Diabetes Across Adolescence.

Keough, L., Sullivan-Bolyai, S., Crawford, S., Schilling, L., & Dixon, J. The Diabetes educator, 37, 486-500, 10.1177/0145721711406140

The purpose of this study was to examine differences in self-management behaviors (Collaboration with Parents, Diabetes Care Activities, Diabetes Problem Solving, Diabetes Communication, and Goals) between early, middle, and late adolescence. The role of regimen and gender as covariates in self-management behaviors was also examined.

Social Support to Empower Parents (STEP): an intervention for parents of young children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Sullivan-Bolyai, S., Bova, C., Leung, K., Trudeau, A., Lee, M., & Gruppuso, P. The Diabetes educator, 36, 88-97, 10.1177/0145721709352384

The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of a social support intervention with parents of children <13 years old newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).