Victoria Vaughan Dickson


Victoria Vaughan Dickson

Victoria Vaughan Dickson


Associate Professor
Director, Pless Center for Research

1 212 992 9426

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

Victoria Vaughan Dickson's additional information

Victoria Vaughan Dickson, RN, FAAN, FAHA, FHFSA, PhD, is the program director of the NIOSH-funded doctoral training program in occupational and environmental health nursing and an associate professor in the Rory Meyers College of Nursing. She is recognized as an international expert in qualitative research techniques and mixed methods research and has conducted training to interdisciplinary teams locally, nationally, and internationally. 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 including heart failure and multiple comorbidity; and evaluating the effectiveness of self-care interventions on health outcomes. Her work has led to an improved understanding of the sociocultural influences of self-care among vulnerable populations, including older workers, women, and ethnic minority groups and the development of innovative theory-based interventions.

Dickson holds a clinical appointment as an advanced practice nurse in the division of cardiology at the NYU Langone Medical Center and the Bellevue Hospital.

Dickson 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

Associate Editor, Cardiovascular Nursing (2018)
President-Elect, Eastern Nursing Research Society (2018)
Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine (2018)
President-Elect, Eastern Nursing Research Society (2017)
Associate Editor to Circulation, Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes (2016)
Fellow, Heart Failure Society of America (2016)
President-Elect, Eastern Nursing Research Society (2016)


Associations of Insomnia Symptoms With Cognition in Persons With Heart Failure

Gharzeddine, R., Yu, G., McCarthy, M. M., & Dickson, V. V. (2021). Western Journal of Nursing Research. 10.1177/0193945920988840
Although cognitive impairment is common among persons with heart failure and negatively impacts self-care, hospitalization, and mortality, the associations between cognitive impairment and insomnia symptoms are not clearly understood. The purpose of this study was to explore these associations and examine if they are maintained after adjusting for relevant sociodemographic, clinical, and lifestyle factors. Guided by the Neurocognitive model of insomnia and sleep and the self-care conceptual model, a cross-sectional data analysis using parametric testing was conducted on the Health and Retirement Study wave 2016. Difficulty initiating sleep and early morning awakening, but not difficulty maintaining sleep were significantly associated with poorer cognitive performance in the bivariate and multivariate analysis. Our results are suggestive of different phenotypes of insomnia symptoms that may have different associations with cognition in persons with heart failure. Further research using objective measurements of insomnia symptoms and detailed neuropsychiatric testing of cognition is needed to confirm this conclusion.

The HEAR-VA Pilot Study: Hearing Assistance Provided to Older Adults in the Emergency Department

Chodosh, J., Goldfeld, K., Weinstein, B. E., Radcliffe, K., Burlingame, M., Dickson, V., Grudzen, C., Sherman, S., Smilowitz, J., & Blustein, J. (2021). Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 69(4), 1071-1078. 10.1111/jgs.17037
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Poor communication is a barrier to care for people with hearing loss. We assessed the feasibility and potential benefit of providing a simple hearing assistance device during an emergency department (ED) visit, for people who reported difficulty hearing. DESIGN: Randomized controlled pilot study. SETTING: The ED of New York Harbor Manhattan Veterans Administration Medical Center. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and thirty-three Veterans aged 60 and older, presenting to the ED, likely to be discharged to home, who either (1) said that they had difficulty hearing, or (2) scored 10 or greater (range 0–40) on the Hearing Handicap Inventory-Survey (HHI-S). INTERVENTION: Subjects were randomized (1:1), and intervention subjects received a personal amplifier (PA; Williams Sound Pocketalker 2.0) for use during their ED visit. MEASUREMENTS: Three survey instruments: (1) six-item Hearing and Understanding Questionnaire (HUQ); (2) three-item Care Transitions Measure; and (3) three-item Patient Understanding of Discharge Information. Post-ED visit phone calls to assess ED returns. RESULTS: Of the 133 subjects, 98.3% were male; mean age was 76.4 years (standard deviation (SD) = 9.2). Mean HHI-S score was 19.2 (SD = 8.3). Across all HUQ items, intervention subjects reported better in-ED experience than controls. Seventy-five percent of intervention subjects agreed or strongly agreed that ability to understand what was said was without effort versus 56% for controls. Seventy-five percent of intervention subjects versus 36% of controls said clinicians provided them with an explanation about presenting problems. Three percent of intervention subjects had an ED revisit within 3 days compared with 9.0% controls. CONCLUSION: Veterans with hearing difficulties reported improved in-ED experiences with use of PAs, and were less likely to return to the ED within 3 days. PAs may be an important adjunct to older patient ED care but require validation in a larger more definitive randomized controlled trial.

Infection Prevention and Control in Liberia 5 Years After Ebola: A Case Study

Ridge, L. J., Stimpfel, A. W., Klar, R. T., Dickson, V. V., & Squires, A. P. (2021). Workplace Health and Safety, 69(6), 242-251. 10.1177/2165079921998076
Background: Effective management of health emergencies is an important strategy to improve health worldwide. One way to manage health emergencies is to build and sustain national capacities. The Ebola epidemic of 2014 to 2015 resulted in greater infection prevention and control (IPC) capacity in Liberia, but few studies have investigated if and how that capacity was sustained. The purpose of this study was to examine the maintenance of IPC capacity in Liberia after Ebola. Methods: For this case study, data were collected via direct observation of nurse practice, semistructured interviews, and document collection. Data were collected in two counties in Liberia. Data were analyzed using directed content and general thematic analysis using codes generated from the safety capital theoretical framework, which describes an organization’s intangible occupational health resources. Findings: Thirty-seven nurses from 12 facilities participated. Ebola was a seminal event in the development of safety capital in Liberia, particularly regarding nurse knowledge of IPC and facilities’ investments in safety. The safety capital developed during Ebola is still being applied at the individual and organizational levels. Tangible resources, including personal protective equipment, however, have been depleted. Conclusions/Application to Practice: IPC capacity in Liberia had been sustained since Ebola but was threatened by under-investments in physical resources. Donor countries should prioritize sustained support, both financial and technical, in partnership with Liberian leaders. Occupational health nurses participating in disaster response should advocate for long-term investment by donor countries in personal protective equipment, access to water, and clinician training.

An Integrated Review of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Black Populations: Underrecognized and Understudied

Arabadjian, M., McCarthy, M., & Dickson, V. V. (2021). The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 36(2), 104-115. 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000718
BACKGROUND: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common inherited cardiac disorder globally, affecting 0.2% to 0.5% of individuals. Existing clinical HCM guidelines do not address diverse populations, specifically minority groups who often experience health disparities. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the state of the science of HCM in black populations. METHODS: This integrated review guided by Whittemore and Knafl's methodology included literature search of multiple databases, data evaluation, and analysis. Publications between 2000 and 2020 were included if they addressed HCM cardiac anatomic manifestations, disease course, symptoms, quality of life, or outcomes in black populations. RESULTS: Six articles met the inclusion criteria. Overall, blacks are underrepresented in HCM research. Certain HCM structural phenotypes are more commonly exhibited in blacks, and physiology drives HCM treatment. Sudden death events and all-cause mortality do not differ between blacks and whites with HCM. Fewer blacks with HCM undergo genetic testing than whites with HCM. The lack of diversity in general genomic databases has resulted in reclassification of several genetic variants identified as more common in blacks. CONCLUSIONS: Blacks are underrepresented in HCM research, even those focused on elucidating HCM manifestations, disease course, and outcomes in black populations. This may be due in part to HCM research that is largely generated from specialty centers that can require patients to navigate complex healthcare systems to reach expert HCM care. Longitudinal studies with large samples of blacks with HCM are necessary to elucidate how HCM affects this population.

An integrative review: Women’s psychosocial vulnerability in relation to paid work after a breast cancer diagnosis

Melnyk, H., Djukic, M., Merriman, J., & Vaughan Dickson, V. (2021). Journal of Advanced Nursing, 77(5), 2144-2154. 10.1111/jan.14730
Aim: The aim of this integrative review was to explore psychosocial vulnerabilities in women after a breast cancer diagnosis that are related to their paid work. Design: The review methodology was guided by Whittemore and Knafl. The Mehnert Cancer Survivorship and Work Model provided a lens through which to view vulnerability in working women with a focus on facilitating interventions to improve both recovery and work outcomes. Data Sources: PUBMED, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsycNET databases were searched for English language papers published between January 2014–June 2020. Review Methods: Titles and abstracts were screened. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were then applied to full text screen of the remaining articles following PRISMA guidelines. Thirteen studies meeting the inclusion criteria were critically appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist. A constant comparison approach was used to systematically distil findings into categories and assess their fit within the Mehnert Model subdomains. Results: Vulnerabilities coalesced predominantly within the following subdomains: (a) changes in identity and role functioning; (b) social reintegration; (c) coping strategies; and (d) social supports. Patterns and themes within these subdomains were related both positively and negatively to form the contours of a survivor's satisfaction/dissatisfaction with quality of life related to work and breast cancer recovery. Conclusion: Overall, findings highlight the importance of employment and work environments in bolstering women's psychosocial health after a breast cancer diagnosis. Impact: Findings from this review support adapting psychosocial distress screening to include vulnerabilities relating to work life. Nurses are ideally positioned to facilitate this screening and engage clinicians in a dialogue surrounding patient's support needs due to nursing's central role on the interdisciplinary team. Nurses may also foster collective accountability for implementing ongoing multidisciplinary survivorship care plans that include a return to work component.

Managing Diabetes in the Workplace

McCarthy, M., Vorderstrasse, A., Yan, J., Portillo, A., & Dickson, V. V. (2021). Workplace Health and Safety, 69(5), 216-223. 10.1177/2165079920965538
Background: Although many adults with diabetes are productive members of the workforce, loss of work productivity has been associated with diabetes. The purpose of this study was to explore the interrelationship between work-related factors and current work ability in adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Methods: This study used a convergent mixed-method design. We assessed the relationship between work-related factors and work ability using bivariate statistics and logistic regression. Work ability was measured using the Work Ability Index and Karasek’s Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) was employed to measure job demands. Qualitative interviews (n = 30) explored the relationship between diabetes and work. Findings: The sample (n =101) was mostly female (65%) and White (74%). Most worked full-time (65%), had T2D (87%), an elevated glycated hemoglobin A1c ≥ 7% (56%), and were overweight (22%) or obese (68%). Only 33% of subjects self-reported their work ability as excellent. Four of the JCQ subscales (skill discretion, psychological demands, supervisor support, and coworker support), and work–life balance were significantly associated with work ability (all p <.05). In adjusted models, better coworker support (OR = 1.4; 95% CI = [1.04, 1.9]) and better work–life balance (OR = 1.3; 95% CI = [1.1, 1.5]) were associated with excellent work ability. Many stated their diabetes impacted them at work and spoke of the effects of stress. Few engaged in workplace wellness programs. Conclusion/Application to Practice: Social support and work–life balance were associated with excellent work ability. Engaging workers with diabetes in workplace educational programs may take strategic efforts by occupational health staff.

A mixed methods study describing the self-care practices in an older working population with cardiovascular disease (CVD): Balancing work, life and health

Dickson, V. V., Jun, J., & Melkus, G. D. (2021). Heart and Lung, 50(3), 447-454. 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2021.02.001
Background: Self-care is essential to cardiovascular disease (CVD) health outcomes, but may be challenging for older working adults. Objective: Describe self-care and the relationship of work-related characteristics to self-care among older workers with CVD. Methods: Convergent mixed methods design (n = 108) assessed self-care, organization of work, job-level and clinical factors; qualitative data (n = 40) explored self-care and working. Data integrated in the final analytic phase. Results: Sixty-eight percent reported adequate self-care maintenance (SC-CHDI maintenance ≥70); only 22% had adequate self-care management (SC-CHDI management ≥ 70). Controlling for physical capacity, work-related factors explained 22% variance in self-care maintenance; physical capacity was only significant determinant of self-care management. Individuals with poor self-care described low job control, job stress and work-life imbalance that interfered with routine self-care. Individuals with poor self-care management reported “feeling stressed out” and “extreme fatigue” attributed to their job. Conclusions: Interventions targeting self-care, stress management and work-life balance among older workers with CVD are needed.

Survivors’ Dilemma: Young Adult Cancer Survivors’ Perspectives of Work-Related Goals

Ghazal, L. V., Merriman, J., Santacroce, S. J., & Vaughan Dickson, V. (2021). Workplace Health and Safety. 10.1177/21650799211012675
Background: Young adult cancer survivors have significant work-related challenges, including interruptions to education and employment milestones, which may affect work-related goals (WRGs). The study purpose was to explore posttreatment perspectives of WRGs in a sample of young adult hematologic cancer survivors. Methods: This qualitative descriptive study used social media to recruit eligible cancer survivors (young adults working or in school at the time of cancer diagnosis). Data were collected through telephone semi-structured interviews and analyzed using directed content analysis, followed by thematic content analysis to identify themes. Findings: The sample (N = 40) were mostly female (63.5%), White (75%), and diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma (57.5%); most worked in professional (40%) or health care (23%) roles. The overarching theme, “Survivors’ Dilemma,” highlights a changed perspective on work-related fulfillment and financial obligations, capturing survivors’ decision-making process regarding work. Three subthemes illustrated questions that participants contemplated as they examined how their WRGs had changed: (a) Self-identity: Do I want to do this work? (b) Perceived health and work ability: Can I do this work? and (c) Financial toxicity: Can I afford to/not to do this work? Conclusions/Application to Practice: Participants experienced a state of dilemma around their WRGs, weighing areas around self-identity, perceived health and work ability, and financial toxicity. Findings suggest occupational health nurses should be aware of challenges surrounding WRGs, including how goals may change following a cancer diagnosis and treatment, and the potential stressors involved in the Survivors’ Dilemma. Occupational health nurses should assess for these issues and refer young survivors to employee and financial assistance programs, as necessary.

Using mixed methods in cardiovascular nursing research: Answering the why, the how, and the what's next

Dickson, V. V., & Page, S. D. (2021). European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 20(1), 82-89. 10.1093/eurjcn/zvaa024
Mixed methods is an innovative research approach that can be applied to understand complex cardiovascular phenomena. A mixed methods study involves collecting both quantitative and qualitative data and intentionally integrating the data to provide a better understanding of the phenomena than can be achieved by using a quantitative or qualitative approach alone. Conducting a mixed methods study requires planning and careful attention to methodological rigour in the data collection, analysis, and integration phases. This paper provides an overview of the mixed methods approach and describes its application to cardiovascular nursing science.

Does unit culture matter? The association between unit culture and the use of evidence-based practice among hospital nurses

Jun, J., Kovner, C. T., Dickson, V. V., Stimpfel, A. W., & Rosenfeld, P. (2020). Applied Nursing Research, 53. 10.1016/j.apnr.2020.151251