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.



Chi HL, Cataldo J, Ho EY, Rehm RS. Can We Talk About It Now? Recognizing the Optimal Time to Initiate End-of-Life Care Discussions with Older Chinese Americans and Their Families. J Transcult Nurs. 2018 Feb 01; 1043659618760689.
Chi HL, Cataldo J, Ho EY, Rehm RS. Please Ask Gently: Using Culturally Targeted Communication Strategies to Initiate End-of-Life Care Discussions With Older Chinese Americans. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2018 Jan 01; 1049909118760310.
Forsyth SR, Chesla CA, Rehm RS, Malone RE. "It Feels More Real": An Interpretive Phenomenological Study of the Meaning of Video Games in Adolescent Lives. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2017 Oct/Dec; 40(4):E1-E17.
Rosenthal JL, Li ST, Hernandez L, Alvarez M, Rehm RS, Okumura MJ. Familial Caregiver and Physician Perceptions of the Family-Physician Interactions During Interfacility Transfers. Hosp Pediatr. 2017 Jun; 7(6):344-351.
Rosenthal JL, Okumura MJ, Hernandez L, Li ST, Rehm RS. Interfacility Transfers to General Pediatric Floors: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Role of Communication. Acad Pediatr. 2016 Sep-Oct; 16(7):692-9.
Baird J, Rehm RS, Hinds PS, Baggott C, Davies B. Do You Know My Child? Continuity of Nursing Care in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Nurs Res. 2016 Mar-Apr; 65(2):142-50.
Okumura MJ, Saunders M, Rehm RS. 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.
Burton CW, Halpern-Felsher B, Rehm RS, Rankin SH, Humphreys JC. 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.
Baird J, Davies B, Hinds PS, Baggott C, Rehm RS. 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.
Nasr AS, Rehm RS. Parental live liver donation: a transformational experience. Prog Transplant. 2014 Mar; 24(1):69-75.
Burton CW, Halpern-Felsher B, Rehm RS, Rankin S, Humphreys JC. "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.
Rehm RS, Fisher LT, Fuentes-Afflick E, Chesla CA. Parental advocacy styles for special education students during the transition to adulthood. Qual Health Res. 2013 Oct; 23(10):1377-87.
Rehm RS. 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.
Edwards JD, Houtrow AJ, Vasilevskis EE, Rehm RS, Markovitz BP, Graham RJ, Dudley RA. 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.
Rehm RS, Fuentes-Afflick E, Fisher LT, Chesla CA. 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.
Chandler JT, Malone RE, Thompson LM, Rehm RS. "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.
Houtrow AJ, Okumura MJ, Hilton JF, Rehm RS. 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.
Park M, Chesla CA, Rehm RS, Chun KM. Working with culture: culturally appropriate mental health care for Asian Americans. J Adv Nurs. 2011 Nov; 67(11):2373-82.
Burton CW, Halpern-Felsher B, Rankin SH, Rehm RS, Humphreys JC. Relationships and betrayal among young women: theoretical perspectives on adolescent dating abuse. J Adv Nurs. 2011 Jun; 67(6):1393-405.
Ruth V, Kennedy C, Rehm R, Ariagno R, Lee KA. Resting heart rate does not predict growth in preterm infants. Early Hum Dev. 2010 Jan; 86(1):23-7.
Nasr AS, Rehm RS. Living-related donors' quest for information before donation. Prog Transplant. 2009 Mar; 19(1):53-8.
Carnevale FA, Rehm RS, Kirk S, McKeever P. 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.
Rehm RS. A life skills intervention improved psychosocial adjustment in children with cystic fibrosis. Evid Based Nurs. 2007 Apr; 10(2):47.
Rehm RS, Bradley JF. Social interactions at school of children who are medically fragile and developmentally delayed. J Pediatr Nurs. 2006 Aug; 21(4):299-307.
Sullivan MM, Rehm R. Mental health of undocumented Mexican immigrants: a review of the literature. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2005 Jul-Sep; 28(3):240-51.
Rehm RS, Bradley JF. Normalization in families raising a child who is medically fragile/technology dependent and developmentally delayed. Qual Health Res. 2005 Jul; 15(6):807-20.
Rehm RS, Bradley JF. The search for social safety and comfort in families raising children with complex chronic conditions. J Fam Nurs. 2005 Feb; 11(1):59-78.
Rehm RS. Cultural intersections in the care of Mexican American children with chronic conditions. Pediatr Nurs. 2003 Nov-Dec; 29(6):434-9.
Rehm RS. Legal, financial, and ethical ambiguities for Mexican American families: caring for children with chronic conditions. Qual Health Res. 2003 May; 13(5):689-702.
Rehm RS, Rohr JA. 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.
Rehm RS. 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.
Rehm RS, Franck LS. Long-term goals and normalization strategies of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2000 Sep; 23(1):69-82.
Rehm RS. Parental encouragement, protection, and advocacy for Mexican-American children with chronic conditions. J Pediatr Nurs. 2000 Apr; 15(2):89-98.
Rehm RS. Religious faith in Mexican-American families dealing with chronic childhood illness. Image J Nurs Sch. 1999; 31(1):33-8.
Rehm RS. Teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation to parents. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 1983 Nov-Dec; 8(6):411-4.
Headshot of Roberta Rehm
+1 415 502-6762
2 Koret Way, Rm 431A
UCSF Box 0606
San Francisco, CA 94143
United States