Victoria Vaughan Dickson


Victoria Vaughan Dickson

Victoria Vaughan Dickson


Dr. John W. Rowe Professor in Successful Aging
Assistant Dean, Research Innovation
Director, Pless Center for Research

1 212 992 9426

433 First Ave
Room 742
New York, NY 10010
United States

Victoria Vaughan Dickson's additional information

Victoria Vaughan Dickson, PhD, RN, FAHA, FHFSA, FAAN, is the John W. Rowe Professor in Successful Aging, Assistant Dean, Research Innovation, and Director of the Pless Center for Nursing Research at Rory Meyers College of Nursing. With extensive clinical and research experience in cardiovascular and occupational health nursing, her research program focuses on investigating the bio-behavioral influences on self-care in patients with cardiovascular disease risk, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and multiple comorbidities. Her work has led to an improved understanding of the sociocultural influences of self-care among vulnerable populations, including ethnic minority groups, women, and older workers; and the development of innovative theory-based interventions. Dickson is recognized as an international expert in qualitative research techniques, mixed methods research, and has conducted training for interdisciplinary teams locally, nationally, and internationally. 

Prof. Dickson is dedicated to building research capacity across disciplines and advancing nursing science that impacts policy and clinical care. Currently, Dickson serves as PI and program director of the NIOSH-funded doctoral training program in occupational and environmental health nursing, PI of the NHLBI- funded Research Education in Cardiovascular Conditions program, co-PI of the NINR-funded NYU Meyers P20 Exploratory Center for Precision Health in Diverse Populations and KL2 co-director and co-investigator of the NCATS-funded NYU CTSI. In addition, she is a co-investigator on numerous team science initiatives focused on multiple chronic conditions.  

Prof. Dickson has been recognized with numerous awards for her research and leadership including the STTI Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame (2019), HFSA Nursing Research Leadership award (2021), and ENRS Leadership Award (2020). She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (2014), American Heart Association (2011), Heart Failure Society of America (2016), and New York Academy of Medicine (2018). Dickson is the editor of the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.  

Prof. Dickson holds a clinical appointment as an advanced practice nurse in the division of cardiology at NYU Langone Health and Bellevue Hospital. She earned her PhD and MSN from the University of Pennsylvania and BSN from Temple University.

PhD - University of Pennsylvania
MSN - University of Pennsylvania
BSN - Temple University

Non-communicable disease

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
American Academy of Nursing
American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
American Heart Association
American Nurses Association
Council on the Advancement of Nursing
Eastern Nursing Research Society
European Society of Cardiology
Gerontological Society of America
Heart Failure Society of America
New York Academy of Medicine
New York Nurse Practitioners Association
Sigma Theta Tau, XI Chapter
Sigma Theta Tua International Honor Society

Faculty Honors Awards

Nursing Research Leadership Award, HFSA (2021)
Leadership Award, ENRS (2021)
Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, STTI (2019)
President-Elect, Eastern Nursing Research Society (2018)
Associate Editor, Cardiovascular Nursing (2018)
Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine (2018)
President-Elect, Eastern Nursing Research Society (2017)
Spirit of Nursing Award, University of Massachusetts (2017)
Fellow, Heart Failure Society of America (2016)
President-Elect, Eastern Nursing Research Society (2016)
Associate Editor to Circulation, Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes (2016)
Springer Publishing Company Award (2014)
Fellow, American Academy of Nursing (2014)
PhD Faculty Excellence Award, NYU (2014)
Research Award, ENRS Rising Star (2012)
Fellow, American Heart Association Fuchs-Schoeck Research (2012)
Minority Aging Research and Community Health Scholar, University of Pennsylvania (2011)
Nursing and Allied Health Professional Award, European Society of Cardiology (2011)
Fellow, American Heart Association (2011)
Fellow, Brookdale Foundation Leadership in Aging (2010)
Reviewer of the Year, Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (2009)
Nursing Research Award, Heart Failure Society of America (2007)
Martha Hill New Investigator Award, American Heart Association (2007)
Student Award, University of Pennsylvania (2007)
Research Award, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (2006)


Profiles of Work and Quality of Life among Young Adult Cancer Survivors

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Protocol for a remote home-based upper extremity self-training program for community-dwelling individuals after stroke

Kim, G. J., Gahlot, A., Magsombol, C., Waskiewicz, M., Capasso, N., Van Lew, S., Goverover, Y., & Dickson, V. V. (2023). Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 33. 10.1016/j.conctc.2023.101112
Background: Half of all stroke survivors experience hemiparesis on the contralateral side, resulting in chronic upper extremity (UE) impairment. Remote rehabilitation is a promising approach to optimize the gains made in the clinic to maximize function and promote UE use at home. This paper describes the study protocol for a remote home-based UE self-training program. Design: This was a feasibility study that used a convergent mixed methods approach. Methods: We collected data on 15 community-dwelling individuals with UE hemiparesis after stroke. The study used motivational interviewing (MI) and ecological momentary assessments (EMA) to maximize engagement in a 4-week personalized UE self-training program. The study consisted of three phases: 1) training in MI for the interventionists 2) creating customized treatment plans using shared decision making, and 3) four weeks of UE self-training. Measures and analysis: To evaluate feasibility, we will summarize recruitment and retention rates, intervention delivery, acceptance, adherence, and safety. Quantitative UE outcomes will measure change in UE status after the intervention (Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Motor Activity Log, Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, and bilateral magnitude ratio). Qualitative data (1:1 semi-structured interviews) will capture participants’ perceptions and experience with the intervention. Quantitative and qualitative data will be integrated to gain a deeper understanding of the facilitators and barriers for engagement and adherence to UE self-training. Conclusion: The results of this study will advance the scientific knowledge for use of MI and EMA as methods for enhancing adherence and engagement in UE self-training in stroke rehabilitation. The ultimate impact of this research will be to improve UE recovery for individuals with stroke transitioning back into community. Clinical trials registration: NCT05032638.

Psychosocial Factors Associated With Alcohol Use Among Nurses: An Integrative Review

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Role of Resilience in the Psychological Recovery of Women With Acute Myocardial Infarction

Arabadjian, M., Duberstein, Z. T., Sperber, S. H., Kaur, K., Kalinowski, J., Xia, Y., Hausvater, A., O’hare, O., Smilowitz, N. R., Dickson, V. V., Zhong, H., Berger, J. S., Hochman, J. S., Reynolds, H. R., & Spruill, T. M. (2023). Journal of the American Heart Association, 12(8). 10.1161/JAHA.122.027092
BACKGROUND: Psychological well-being is important among individuals with myocardial infarction (MI) given the clear links between stress, depression, and adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Stress and depressive disorders are more prevalent in women than men after MI. Resilience may protect against stress and depressive disorders after a traumatic event. Longitudinal data are lacking in populations post MI. We examined the role of resilience in the psychological recovery of women post MI, over time. METHODS AND RESULTS: We analyzed a sample from a longitudinal observational multicenter study (United States, Canada) of women post MI, between 2016 and 2020. Perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale-4 [PSS-4]) and depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-2 [PHQ-2]) were assessed at baseline (time of MI) and 2 months post MI. Demographics, clinical characteristics, and resilience (Brief Resilience Scale [BRS]) were collected at baseline. Low and normal/high resilience groups were established as per published cutoffs (BRS scores <3 or ≥3). Mixed-effects modeling was used to examine associations between resilience and psychological recovery over 2 months. The sample included 449 women, mean (SD) age, 62.2 (13.2) years, of whom 61.1% identified as non-Hispanic White, 18.5% as non-Hispanic Black, and 15.4% as Hispanic/ Latina. Twenty-three percent had low resilience. The low resilience group had significantly higher PSS-4 and PHQ-2 scores than the normal/high resilience group at all time points. In adjusted models, both groups showed a decrease in PSS-4 scores over time. CONCLUSIONS: In a diverse cohort of women post MI, higher resilience is associated with better psychological recovery over time. Future work should focus on developing strategies to strengthen resilience and improve psychological well-being for women with MI. REGISTRATION: URL:; Unique identifier: NCT02905357.

Time, Technology, Social Support, and Cardiovascular Health of Emerging Adults With Type 1 Diabetes

McCarthy, M., Yan, J., Jared, M. C., Ilkowitz, J., Gallagher, M. P., & Dickson, V. V. (2023). Nursing Research, 72(3), 185-192. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000645
BACKGROUND: Emerging adults with Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease; however, there are both barriers and facilitators to achieving ideal cardiovascular health in this stage of their lives. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to qualitatively explore the barriers and facilitators of achieving ideal levels of cardiovascular health in a sample of emerging adults with T1DM ages 18-26 years. METHODS: A sequential mixed-methods design was used to explore achievement of ideal cardiovascular health using the seven factors defined by the American Heart Association (smoking status, body mass index, physical activity, healthy diet, total cholesterol, blood pressure, and hemoglobin A1C [substituted for fasting blood glucose]). We assessed the frequency of achieving ideal levels of each cardiovascular health factor. Using Pender's health promotion model as a framework, qualitative interviews explored the barriers and facilitators of achieving ideal levels of each factor of cardiovascular health. RESULTS: The sample was mostly female. Their age range was 18-26 years, with a diabetes duration between 1 and 20 years. The three factors that had the lowest achievement were a healthy diet, physical activity at recommended levels, and hemoglobin A1C of <7%. Participants described lack of time as a barrier to eating healthy, being physically active, and maintaining in-range blood glucose levels. Facilitators included the use of technology in helping to achieve in-range blood glucose and social support from family, friends, and healthcare providers in maintaining several healthy habits. DISCUSSION: These qualitative data provide insight into how emerging adults attempt to manage their T1DM and cardiovascular health. Healthcare providers have an important role in supporting these patients in establishing ideal cardiovascular health at an early age.

Acculturation, Discrimination and 24-h Activity in Asian American Immigrant Women

Park, C., Larsen, B., Kwon, S., Xia, Y., Dickson, V. V., Kim, S. S., Garcia-Dia, M. J., Reynolds, H. R., & Spruill, T. M. (2022). Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 24(4), 1005-1012. 10.1007/s10903-022-01361-5
Asian American immigrant (AAI) women may have suboptimal 24-h activity patterns due to traditional gender role and caregiving responsibilities. However, little is known about their objectively-measured activity. We measured AAI women’s 24-h activity patterns using accelerometry and examined cultural correlates of time in sedentary behavior (SB), light intensity physical activity (LIPA), moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sleep. Seventy-five AAI women completed surveys on acculturation (years of U.S. residency and English proficiency), discrimination, and sleep quality, and 7 days of wrist- and hip-accelerometer monitoring. Linear regression was conducted controlling for age, BMI, and education. We also compared activity patterns across Asian subgroups (East, Southeast, South Asians). On average, AAI women had 33 min of MVPA, 6.1 h of LIPA, 10 h of SB, and 5.3 h of sleep per day. South Asian women had the longest SB and the shortest sleep and MVPA hours. English proficiency was negatively related to MVPA (p = 0.03) and LIPA (p < 0.01). Years of U.S. residency was positively related to SB (p = 0.07). Discrimination was related to shorter (p = 0.03) and poorer quality sleep (p = 0.06). Culturally-tailored programs targeting SB and sleep and integrating coping strategies against discrimination could help optimize AAI women’s 24-h activity patterns.

Addressing Challenges in Recruiting Diverse Populations for Research: Practical Experience from a P20 Center

Wright, F., Malone, S. K., Wong, A., Melkus, G. D., & Dickson, V. V. (2022). Nursing Research, 71(3), 218-226. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000577
Background Improving the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in all research areas is essential for health equity. However, achieving and retaining diverse samples is challenging. Barriers to recruitment and retention of diverse participants include socioeconomic and cultural factors and practical challenges (e.g., time and travel commitments). Objectives The purpose of this article is to describe the successful recruitment and retention strategies used by two related studies within a P20 center funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research focused on precision health research in diverse populations with multiple chronic conditions, including metabolic syndrome. Methods To address the complexity, biodiversity, and effect of metabolic syndrome and multiple chronic conditions, we developed culturally appropriate, multipronged recruitment and retention strategies for a pilot intervention study and a longitudinal observational pilot study within our P20 center. The following are the underlying principles that guided the recruitment and retention strategies: (a) flexibility, (b) active listening and bidirectional conversations, and (c) innovative problem solving. Results The intervention study (Pilot 1) enrolled 49 participants. The longitudinal observational study (Pilot 2) enrolled 45 participants. Women and racial/ethnic minorities were significantly represented in both. In Pilot 1, most of the participants completed the intervention and all phases of data collection. In Pilot 2, most participants completed all phases of data collection and chose to provide biorepository specimens. Discussion We developed a recruitment and retention plan building on standard strategies for a general medical population. Our real-world experiences informed the adaption of these strategies to facilitate the participation of individuals who often do not participate in research - specifically, women and racial/ethnic populations. Our experience across two pilot studies suggests that recruiting diverse populations should build flexibility in the research plan at the outset.

Associations of insomnia symptoms with sociodemographic, clinical, and lifestyle factors in persons with HF: Health and retirement study

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Cardiovascular health in emerging adults with type 1 diabetes

McCarthy, M., Yan, J., Jared, M. C., You, E., Ilkowitz, J., Gallagher, M. P., & Vaughan Dickson, V. (2022). European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 21(3), 213-219. 10.1093/eurjcn/zvab062
Aims: Individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) face increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Controlling individual cardiovascular risk factors can prevent or slow the onset of CVD. Ideal cardiovascular health is associated with a lower incidence of CVD. Identifying areas of suboptimal cardiovascular health can help guide CVD prevention interventions. To assess cardiovascular health and explore the barriers and facilitators to achieving ideal cardiovascular health in a sample of young adults with T1D. Methods and results: We used a sequential mixed-method design to assess the seven factors of cardiovascular health according to American Heart Association. Qualitative interviews, guided by Pender's Health Promotion Model, were used to discuss participant's cardiovascular health results and the barriers and facilitators to achieving ideal cardiovascular health. We assessed the frequency of ideal levels of each factor. The qualitative data were analysed using content analysis. Qualitative and quantitative data were integrated in the final analysis phase. The sample (n = 50) was majority female (70%), White (86%), with a mean age of 22 ± 2.4 and diabetes duration of 10.7 ± 5.5 years. Achievement of the seven factors of cardiovascular health were: non-smoking (96%); cholesterol <200 mg/dL (76%); body mass index <25 kg/m2 (54%); blood pressure <120/<80 mmHg (46%); meeting physical activity guidelines (38%); haemoglobin A1c <7% (40%); and healthy diet (14%). Emerging qualitative themes related to the perceived benefits of action, interpersonal influences on their diabetes self-management, and perceived self-efficacy. Conclusion: We found areas of needed improvement for cardiovascular health. However, these young adults expressed a strong interest in healthy habits which can be supported by their healthcare providers.

The Effect of Psychosocial Factors and Functional Independence on Poststroke Depressive Symptoms: A Cross-Sectional Study

Babkair, L. A., Chyun, D., Dickson, V. V., & Almekhlafi, M. A. (2022). The Journal of Nursing Research : JNR, 30(1), E189. 10.1097/JNR.0000000000000464
Background Stroke is the second leading cause of death and a major cause of serious, long-term disability worldwide. The approximately 15 million people each year who experience stroke are at risk of developing depression. Poststroke depressive symptoms affect one third of survivors of stroke. Patients who develop poststroke depressive symptoms experience decreased functional independence, poor cognitive recovery, decreased quality of life, and increased mortality. Survivors of stroke use social support to deal with stress and defend against the adverse effects of negative stroke outcomes. Purpose This study was designed to examine the influence of perceived social support (emotional and informational, tangible, affectionate, and positive social interaction), stress level, and functional independence on depressive symptoms in survivors of stroke. Methods A cross-sectional observational study design in outpatient settings and rehabilitation centers was conducted. A convenience sample of 135 survivors of stroke completed the psychometrically valid instruments. Results Most of the sample had mild or moderate depressive symptoms (26% and 29%, respectively). The mean score for perceived social support was 77.53 (SD = 21.44) on the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey. A negative association was found between depressive symptoms and the social support total score (r = -.65, p <.01). All of the social support subcategories were negatively associated with depressive symptoms. Hierarchical multiple linear regression showed that social support, stress level, and literacy were associated with depressive symptoms (β = -.31, p <.001; β =.45, p <.001; and β =.16, p =.01, respectively) and partially mediated the association between depressive symptoms and functional independence. Conclusions/Implications for Practice Poststroke depressive symptoms are common among survivors of stroke. Social support may improve health by protecting these individuals from the negative outcomes of stroke and enhance their recovery. Future research is required to examine how related interventions improve social support in caregivers and reduce depressive symptoms in stroke survivors.