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)
Fellow, Heart Failure Society of America (2016)
President-Elect, Eastern Nursing Research Society (2016)
Associate Editor to Circulation, Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes (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.

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

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.

Nursing Home Eligible, Community-Dwelling Older Adults’ Perceptions and Beliefs About Sleep: A Mixed-Methods Study

McPhillips, M. V., Dickson, V. V., Cacchione, P. Z., Li, J., Gooneratne, N., & Riegel, B. (2020). Clinical Nursing Research, 29(3), 177-188. 10.1177/1054773819849348
Sleep disturbances are highly prevalent in older adults; little is known about sleep in those who remain living in the community despite qualifying for nursing home placement. We conducted a concurrent, nested, mixed-methods study to describe sleep characteristics and sleep disturbances in this population. Our final sample (n = 40) was Black (100%), female (85%) older adults with a mean (±SD) age of 72 ± 9.5 years. Of these, 35 had objectively measured short or long sleep duration, and 30 had subjectively reported poor sleep quality. Our evidence suggests that sleep disturbances are common in this group, and these older adults had adjusted their expectations and adapted to their sleep disturbances. Given that at-risk older adults may not perceive their sleep disturbances as problematic, clinicians must proactively assess sleep and educate about the importance of sleep. These results reveal modifiable factors with potential to improve health outcomes in this vulnerable population.

Organization of Work Factors Associated with Work Ability among Aging Nurses

Stimpfel, A. W., Arabadjian, M., Liang, E., Sheikhzadeh, A., Weiner, S. S., & Dickson, V. V. (2020). Western Journal of Nursing Research, 42(6), 397-404. 10.1177/0193945919866218
The United States (U.S.) workforce is aging. There is a paucity of literature exploring aging nurses’ work ability. This study explored the work-related barriers and facilitators influencing work ability in older nurses. We conducted a qualitative descriptive study of aging nurses working in direct patient care (N = 17). Participants completed phone or in-person semi-structured interviews. We used a content analysis approach to analyzing the data. The overarching theme influencing the work ability of aging nurses was intrinsically motivated. This was tied to the desire to remain connected with patients at bedside. We identified factors at the individual, unit-based work level and the organizational level associated with work ability. Individual factors that were protective included teamwork, and feeling healthy and capable of doing their job. Unit-based level work factors included having a schedule that accommodated work-life balance, and one’s chronotype promoted work ability. Organizational factors included management that valued worker’s voice supported work ability.

Patient and Cardiologist Perspectives on Shared Decision Making in the Treatment of Older Adults Hospitalized for Acute Myocardial Infarction

Grant, E. V., Summapund, J., Matlock, D. D., Vaughan Dickson, V., Iqbal, S., Patel, S., Katz, S. D., Chaudhry, S. I., & Dodson, J. A. (2020). Medical Decision Making, 40(3), 279-288. 10.1177/0272989X20912293
Background. Medical and interventional therapies for older adults with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) reduce mortality and improve outcomes in selected patients, but there are also risks associated with treatments. Shared decision making (SDM) may be useful in the management of such patients, but to date, patients’ and cardiologists’ perspectives on SDM in the setting of AMI remain poorly understood. Accordingly, we performed a qualitative study eliciting patients’ and cardiologists’ perceptions of SDM in this scenario. Methods. We conducted 20 in-depth, semistructured interviews with older patients (age ≥70) post-AMI and 20 interviews with cardiologists. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using ATLAS.ti. Two investigators independently coded transcripts using the constant comparative method, and an integrative, team-based process was used to identify themes. Results. Six major themes emerged: 1) patients felt their only choice was to undergo an invasive procedure; 2) patients placed a high level of trust and gratitude toward physicians; 3) patients wanted to be more informed about the procedures they underwent; 4) for cardiologists, patients’ age was not a major contraindication to intervention, while cognitive impairment and functional limitation were; 5) while cardiologists intuitively understood the concept of SDM, interpretations varied; and 6) cardiologists considered SDM to be useful in the setting of non-ST elevated myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) but not ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI). Conclusions. Patients viewed intervention as “the only choice,” whereas cardiologists saw a need for balancing risks and benefits in treating older adults post-NSTEMI. This discrepancy implies there is room to improve communication of risks and benefits to older patients. A decision aid informed by the needs of older adults could help to better convey patient-specific risk and increase choice awareness.

That was a game changer: clinical impact of an emergency department-based palliative care communication skills training workshop

Wright, R., Hayward, B., Kistler, E., Vaughan Dickson, V., & Grudzen, C. (2020). Emergency Medicine Journal, 37(5), 262-264. 10.1136/emermed-2019-208567
OBJECTIVE: To explore the impact of an adapted goals-of-care communications skills workshop created for ED physicians from the physicians' perspective. METHODS: Semi-structured, one-on-one audio-recorded interviews lasting 30-60 min were conducted with twelve physicians who had completed the training workshop. Interviews explored the experience of undertaking the workshop, its impact on their clinical practice and their ability to teach new skills to other clinicians using learnt techniques. Descriptive content analysis was performed on interview transcripts. RESULTS: Participants reported positive experiences of the workshop. The analysis identified four main themes and ten subthemes dealing with workshop content and its impact on subsequent ED-based clinical practice. There were: 1) value and future improvements for the course; 2) value of the course to practice; 3) value of the course for teaching residents and 4) barriers to application of learning. Specifically recommended components include the use of mnemonics, mechanisms to introduce difficult conversations and a positive feedback environment. Participant-recommended refinements to the workshop included emphasising urgency, replicating the chaotic ED environment and expanding content to include more ED-focused goals-of-care discussions. CONCLUSION: A short, focused training workshop directed at improving palliative care communication skills among ED clinicians appears to be welcomed and useful.

Validity and reliability of the self-care of hypertension inventory (SC-HI) in a Brazilian population

Silveira, L. C. J., De Maria, M., Dickson, V. V., Avila, C. W., Rabelo-Silva, E. R., & Vellone, E. (2020). Heart and Lung, 49(5), 518-523. 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2020.02.048
Background: Poor self-care in patients with hypertension is associated with worse patient outcomes. The Self-Care of Hypertension Inventory (SC-HI) measures self-care in patients with hypertension and includes three scales: self-care maintenance, which measures adherence to prescribed treatments and behaviors; self-care management, which evaluates the responses to signs and symptoms of high blood pressure; and self-care confidence, which measures self-efficacy in dealing with the entire process. Objective: To test the psychometric characteristics of the Brazilian version of the SC-HI. Methods: We enrolled a sample of 360 patients with hypertension and performed confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to test the factorial structure of the SC-HI and computed the factor score determinacy coefficient to evaluate the SC-HI internal consistency reliability. Results: The sample was predominantly female (65%), mean age of 65 years (SD = 10), white (70%). The self-care maintenance scale resulted in a unidimensional scale, with supportive fit indices (CFI = 0.901, RMSEA = 0.048); the self-care management did not reflect the original factorial structure and had unsupportive fit indices. EFA showed a different factorial solution in reference to the original study. Finally, the self-care confidence scale resulted in a unidimensional scale with supportive fit indices (CFI = 0.940, RMSEA = 0.093). The reliability of the self-care maintenance, management, and confidence scales resulted in factor score determinacy coefficients of 0.83, 0.78, and 0.97 respectively. Conclusion: This study shows that the SC-HI is a valid and reliable tool to measure self-care in patients with hypertension among the Brazilian population.