Roberta Rehm, RN, PhD, FAAN



My research focuses on understanding family management of children's complex chronic conditions. I use ethnographic methods to conduct field studies in the Symbolic Interaction tradition, focusing on the everyday life experiences of families within the context of community.

Current Projects
My most recent NIH funded study is entitled Youth with Complex Needs: Transition to Adulthood Plans (TAPS). This study is investigating family decision-making, and the process of planning for the transition to adulthood of youth with ongoing medical and developmental challenges. Along with youth and young adults, age 14-25, parents, educators, and health care providers are participating in this study.

Recently, we have formed a community partnership with Support for Families of Children with Disabilities, a parent run, non-profit organization that has been providing information and support to families in San Francisco for over 20 years. Using principles of Community Based Participatory Research, and drawing upon our current data and the expertise of our community partners, we have developed an intervention to support parents and youth during the transition to adulthood. We are working on a pilot to test the feasibility of this intervention and hope to test its effectiveness to strengthen skills and confidence in the future.

Other projects include a study of parents' needs, expectations, challenges, and successes during discharge from the NICU, and the transition to home for infants who are medically fragile. Data collection is complete for this study, and doctoral student Robin Bisgaard plans to use this data for her dissertation. Recently, emeriti faculty Betty Davies and I submitted a proposal to NICHD to investigate interactions between parents of children with complex or life-threatening conditions and the HCPs who care for their children. As Co-PIs, we will use observations and interviews to analyze factors and conditions that impact parent-HCP interactions during hospitalization in the NICU or on the Pediatric Oncology floor. We will describe best practices that facilitate effective and satisfying communications in the face of challenging circumstances.

I have an ongoing committment to underserved and understudied populations, particularly Latino families. My doctoral advisee Juliet Chandler is currently studying how Latina immigrants, many of whom are undocumented and therefore have few resources, manage chronic illnesses.



The Role of Health Advocacy in Transitions from Pediatric to Adult Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs: Bridging Families, Provider and Community Services. J Pediatr Nurs. 2015 Sep-Oct; 30(5):714-23.
Depression and Self-Rated Health Among Rural Women Who Experienced Adolescent Dating Abuse: A Mixed Methods Study. J Interpers Violence. 2016 Mar; 31(5):920-41.
What impact do hospital and unit-based rules have upon patient and family-centered care in the pediatric intensive care unit? J Pediatr Nurs. 2015 Jan-Feb; 30(1):133-42.
Parental live liver donation: a transformational experience. Prog Transplant. 2014 Mar; 24(1):69-75.
"It was pretty scary": the theme of fear in young adult women's descriptions of a history of adolescent dating abuse. Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2013 Nov; 34(11):803-13.
Parental advocacy styles for special education students during the transition to adulthood. Qual Health Res. 2013 Oct; 23(10):1377-87.
Nursing's contribution to research about parenting children with complex chronic conditions: an integrative review, 2002 to 2012. Nurs Outlook. 2013 Sep-Oct; 61(5):266-90.
Chronic conditions among children admitted to U.S. pediatric intensive care units: their prevalence and impact on risk for mortality and prolonged length of stay*. Crit Care Med. 2012 Jul; 40(7):2196-203.
Parent and youth priorities during the transition to adulthood for youth with special health care needs and developmental disability. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2012 Jul-Sep; 35(3):E57-72.
"No me ponían mucha importancia": care-seeking experiences of undocumented Mexican immigrant women with chronic illness. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2012 Apr-Jun; 35(2):E24-36.
Profiling health and health-related services for children with special health care needs with and without disabilities. Acad Pediatr. 2011 Nov-Dec; 11(6):508-16.
Working with culture: culturally appropriate mental health care for Asian Americans. J Adv Nurs. 2011 Nov; 67(11):2373-82.
Relationships and betrayal among young women: theoretical perspectives on adolescent dating abuse. J Adv Nurs. 2011 Jun; 67(6):1393-405.
Living-related donors' quest for information before donation. Prog Transplant. 2009 Mar; 19(1):53-8.
What we know (and do not know) about raising children with complex continuing care needs. J Child Health Care. 2008 Mar; 12(1):4-6.
A life skills intervention improved psychosocial adjustment in children with cystic fibrosis. Evid Based Nurs. 2007 Apr; 10(2):47.
Social interactions at school of children who are medically fragile and developmentally delayed. J Pediatr Nurs. 2006 Aug; 21(4):299-307.
Normalization in families raising a child who is medically fragile/technology dependent and developmentally delayed. Qual Health Res. 2005 Jul; 15(6):807-20.
Mental health of undocumented Mexican immigrants: a review of the literature. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2005 Jul-Sep; 28(3):240-51.
The search for social safety and comfort in families raising children with complex chronic conditions. J Fam Nurs. 2005 Feb; 11(1):59-78.
Cultural intersections in the care of Mexican American children with chronic conditions. Pediatr Nurs. 2003 Nov-Dec; 29(6):434-9.
Legal, financial, and ethical ambiguities for Mexican American families: caring for children with chronic conditions. Qual Health Res. 2003 May; 13(5):689-702.
Parents', nurses', and educators' perceptions of risks and benefits of school attendance by children who are medically fragile/technology-dependent. J Pediatr Nurs. 2002 Oct; 17(5):345-53.
Creating a context of safety and achievement at school for children who are medically fragile/technology dependent. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2002 Mar; 24(3):71-84.
Long-term goals and normalization strategies of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2000 Sep; 23(1):69-82.
Parental encouragement, protection, and advocacy for Mexican-American children with chronic conditions. J Pediatr Nurs. 2000 Apr; 15(2):89-98.
Religious faith in Mexican-American families dealing with chronic childhood illness. Image J Nurs Sch. 1999; 31(1):33-8.
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+1 415 502-6762
2 Koret Way, Nursing, Rm 431A
UCSF Box 0606
San Francisco, CA 94143
United States
United States