Alana Steffen, PhD

  • Research Assistant Professor and Senior Biostatistician

I am a collaborating scientist committed to helping researchers with all aspects of design, analysis, and dissemination of their findings. My primary responsibility is to provide statistical support to the research efforts of faculty in the College of Nursing. My specialty areas include behavioral intervention research and use of latent class analysis in areas such as physical activity research, tobacco prevention and cessation, and other behavioral prevention areas such as cancer screening and sun safety. In addition, I consult on a broad range of research such as a case-control study of postpartum depression and gene-epigenetic interactions, a brain imaging study of obstructive sleep apnea patients with residual sleepiness, and an evaluation of inter-professional learning. I enjoy learning about the important content areas of my colleagues and the statistical methods that will contribute to the science of College of Nursing research teams.

Current Area of Teaching

I co-developed and co-teach the graduate course Epidemiology and Biostatistics (NURS 511), a core course in the Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum. We use team based methods in an online/blended course format. I teach a solid foundation in statistical reasoning using pertinent epidemiologic data for class examples and assignments. I have used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and explored potential race disparities using examples such as health behaviors and disease prevalence.

Service / Practice

I am a member of the Learning Management System (LMS) governance board and the Information Technology Governance Council (ITGC) Education Committee. At the college level, I am an elected member of the Research committee.

Selected Honors & Awards

2014 CVSN Research Article of the Year Award from the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing (CVSN) for DeVon, HA, Rosenfeld, A, Steffen, A, Daya, M. (2014) Sensitivity, Specificity, and Sex Differences in Symptoms Reported on the 13-Item Acute Coronary Syndrome Checklist. Journal of the American Heart Association, DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.113.0005.

Selected Publications

Bell, AF, Carter, CS, Steer, CD, Golding, J, Davis, JM, Steffen, AD, Rubin, LH, Lillard, TS, Gregory, SP, Harris, JC, Connelly, JJ. Interaction between oxytocin receptor DNA methylation and genotype is associated with risk of postpartum depression in women without depression in pregnancy. Frontiers in genetics. 2015; 6:243. PMID: 26257770

Rosenfeld, A, Knight, EP, Steffen AD, Burke, L, Daya, M, DeVon, HA. Symptom clusters in patients presenting to the emergency department with possible acute coronary syndrome differ by sex, age, and discharge diagnosis. Heart & Lung, in press.

Hughes, TL, Johnson, TP, Steffen, AD, Wilsnack, SC, Everett, B. Lifetime victimization, hazardous drinking and depression among heterosexual and sexual minority women, LGBT Health, in press.

Courtney, CA, Steffen, AD, Fernandez-de-las-Penas, C, Kim, J, Chmell, SJ. Joint mobilization enhances mechanisms of conditioned pain modulation in individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee, Journal of Orthapaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, in press.

Full bibliography:

Current Research

I am currently a member of several research teams and work on manuscripts, grant applications, and/or funded research in a variety of content areas. These include a behavior therapy intervention for insomnia for COPD patients, hazardous drinking and depression among sexual minority women, smoking cessation for persons having HIV, gender and race/ethnic differences and symptoms of acute coronary syndrome, comparison of group based Centering Pregnancy versus individual prenatal care, sleep disorders (obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy), measurement of dyspnea in COPD patients, self schemas and alcohol use, an acupuncture intervention for vulvodynia, and program evaluation of an interprofessional training program for enhanced geriatric care.