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Ellen Giarelli, EdD

Ellen Giarelli, EdD is an advanced practice nurse with a Post-doctorate in Psychosocial Oncology and HIV/AIDS from the University of Pennsylvania. She is Associate Professor in the Doctoral Nursing Program at Drexel University. For over 17 years she has studied the life-long medical, psychological, social problems, and healthcare needs of people with genetic disorders diagnosed in childhood, that require enhanced surveillance and self-management. Study populations include, Marfan syndrome, cancer syndromes (familial adenomatous polyposis, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2a, and autism spectrum disorder. Giarelli is an expert in qualitative methodologies, as well as strategies for public health surveillance of autism spectrum disorder. Giarelli has been PI or Co-I on multiple projects involving these populations, including an R21 funded by the NINR/NICHD (1R21NR009661-2) to study Self-management of Chronic Genetic Disorders, and the Philadelphia Health Care Trust. She was Principal Investigator for the Pennsylvania Autism and Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Program (PADDSP) funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Co-I for the CDC- Funded Study of Epidemiology of Early Development (SEED, PI: Pinto-Martin).

She is editor of two books published by Springer Publishing and Charles Thomas Publishers, respectively called Nursing of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-based Integrated Care across the Lifespan; and Integrated Health Care of People with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The nursing textbook has been translated into Chinese (Psychological Publishing, Taipai, Taiwan). She coordinates the certificate program in the Integrated Nursing Care of People with ASD. As President of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) in 2011-2012, and a three- term Chair of the ISONG Ethics and Public Policy Committee, she has lectured extensively on the ethical, legal and social implication of advances in genetic/genomic sciences and continues to serve as Liaison on the External Advisory Council of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Principal Investigator

Ellen GiarelliEllen Giarelli, EdD
Associate Professor - Division of Graduate Nursing
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Doctoral Students:

  • Jennifer Cline

Students:

  • Young Eun Park, Pennoni STAR Scholar 2017

List of Internal Collaborators:

  • Kathleen Fisher, PhD
  • Kathleen Freeman, PhD
  • Romy Nocera, PhD

List of External Collaborators:

  • Marsha Gardner, PhD, Dean, Molloy College
  • Jennifer Pinto Martin, PhD, Professor, University of Pennsylvania
  • Laura Shieve, PhD, Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Gnakub N. Soke,PhD, Professor, University of Colorado

Characteristic of emergency care for children with autism spectrum disorder

The purpose of this exploratory project is to describe the characteristics of emergency care provided to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by examining if and how knowledge of the special needs of a patient with ASD are integrated with the care they receive in an emergency department (ED). The specific aims are to:

  1. Describe the characteristics of emergency care provided to children with a secondary diagnosis of ASD;
  2. Describe approaches to assessing and managing problems in communication, behavior, and sensory processing among ED patients with ASD;
  3. Explore if behavioral characteristics of ASD affected Fast Track trauma evaluation among a subsample of patients with ASD treated for a traumatic injury]; and parents’ perceptions and experiences with ED care.

Aggression/violence among adult patients admitted for short-term, acute-care mental health care

The purpose of the study was to explore and describe: (a) the prevalence of incidents of aggression and violence among patients, including frequency, kinds and severity of incidents of among patients; target of the aggression; (b) situational factors including time of location and time of event; and (c) staff interventions. We describe the relationships among variables to answer the following research questions: (1) what factors are associated with incidents of aggression and violence, and (2) are factors modifiable? The descriptive study used data collected by retrospective chart review over a three- year period; the dates of January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013.

Exploration of the characteristics of the patient population screened for suicide risk in an urban emergency department

This study examined the characteristics of patients admitted to the emergency department (ED) of a metropolitan medical center compared to all patients during the same period. The specific purposes were to describe: (a) Prevalence of suicide risk assessments; (b) sociodemographic characteristics of the patient population screened for suicide risk; (c) chief complaint on admission, and d) disposition of the patients after screening and treatment. This retrospective chart review examined data recorded over a one year period (January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013). The sample consisted of all patients (any age) who presented at the emergency department in the year 2013 and were screened for suicide risk. The source was the electronic medical records of patients admitted to the ED. Among the 46852 seen in the ED in the year 2013, 2233 were specifically identified at psychiatric patients and therefore eligible to be screened for suicide risk.

Genetic literacy among health professions students compared to general students: pilot project

The purposes of this mentored project conducted by a Pennoni STAR Scholar in 2017 were to:

  1. measure knowledge of genetics and genomics among undergraduate students enrolled in; a) health professions programs, and b) non-health professions programs;
  2. Examine if knowledge of genetics and genomics varies by the students: a) program of study, b) age, c) gender, and d) year in program, and
  3. Describe key concepts that are a) least understood and b) most understood by each group

Translated Books

Giarelli. E., & Gardner, M. (August, 2017, Chinese Translation). Nursing of autism spectrum disorder: Integrated care across the lifespan. Taiwan, Province Of China: Psychological Publishing Co.

Books

Giarelli, E. & Fisher, K.M. (eds). (2016). Integrated health care for people with autism spectrum disorder: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Charles C. Thomas Publishers.

Giarelli, E. & Gardner, M. (eds) (2012). Nursing of autism spectrum disorder: Integrated care across the lifespan. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Refereed Articles (Selected 2011 to present, Peer-reviewed Publication)

Giarelli, E. Nocera, R., Boylan, C., Patel, T. (In review). Screening and triage for suicide risk in an urban emergency department: Descriptive study and recommendations for improvement. Issues in Mental health Nursing.

Giarelli, E., Nocera, R., Jobes, M., Lopez, J. Boylan, C &. Knerr, J. (In peer review) Aggression/violence among adult patients admitted for short-term, acute-care mental health care. Archives of Pediatric Nursing.

Soke, G.N., Rosenberg, S.A., Hamman, R.F., Fingelin,T., Robinson, C., Carpenter, L., Giarelli, E., DiGuiseppi, C. (In press). Brief Report: Prenatal, perinatal, and neonatal characteristics associated with self-injurious behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders.

Reiff, M., Bugos, E., Giarelli, E., Bernhardt, B.A., Spinner, N., Sankar, P.L. & Mulchandani, S. (2017) “Set in Stone” or “Ray of Hope”: Parents’ beliefs about cause and prognosis after genomic testing of children diagnosed with ASD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, DOI 10.1007/s10803-017-3067-7.

Giarelli, E., DeNigris, J., Fisher, K.M., Malley, M., & Nolan, E. (2016). Perceived quality of work life and risk for compassion fatigue among oncology nurses: A mixed-methods study. Oncology Nursing Forum (May issue). Online.

Giarelli, E., & Reiff, M. (2015 June 26). Mothers’ appreciation of chromosomal microarray analysis for children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, [Epub ahead of print].

Reiff, M, E., Giarelli, E., Bernhardt, B., Easley, E., Spinner, N., Sankar, P., & Mulchandani. S. (2015). Parents' perceptions of the usefulness of chromosomal microarray testing for children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders [ePub] DOI 10.1007/s10803-015-2489-3.

Wiggins, L.D., Levy, S.E. Daniels, J., Schieve, L., Croen, L., DiGuiseppi, C., Blaskey, L., Giarelli, E. Schendel, D. (2015). Autism spectrum disorder symptoms among children enrolled in the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED). Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders. June 6, [Epub].

Giarelli, E., Nocera, R.,Turchi, R., Hardie, T., Pagano, R*., & Yuan, C*.(2014). Sensory stimuli in the emergency department: Obstacles for people with autism spectrum disorder. Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, 36(2), 145-63.

Giarelli, E. Fisher, K., & Ruttenberg, J. (2013). “Staying afloat in a sea-change”: Transition to community by adolescents with Asperger’s syndrome. Disability and Health Journal, 6,227-235.

Maenner, M.J., Cunniff, C., Giarelli, E. Schieve, L.A., Rice, C.E., Kirby, R.S., Lee, L-C., Nicholas, J.S., Wingate, M.S., & Durkin, M.S. (2013). Frequency and pattern of documented diagnostic features and the age of autism identification. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Giarelli, E., Ruttenberg, J., & Segal, A.* (2013). Bridges and barriers to successful transitioning as perceived by adolescents and young adults with Asperger syndrome. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 28, 563-574.

Johnson, N.L., Giarelli, E., Lewis, C. & Rice, C.E. (2013). Genomics and autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 55 (1), 69-78.

Giarelli, E. & Reiff, M. (2012). Genomic literacy and competent practice: Call for Research on Genetics in nursing education. Nursing Clinics of North America, 47(4), 529-546.

Giarelli, E., Ruttenberg, J., & Segal, A*. (2012). Continuing education for nurses in the clinical management of autism spectrum disorders: Results of a pilot evaluation. Journal of Continuing Nursing Education, 43(4), 169-176.

USDHHS/CDC. ADDM Network. (2012). Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). in Multiple Areas of the United States, 2008. Community Report from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. MMWR, 61(3), 1-19.

Schendel, D.E., Carolyn DiGuiseppi, Lisa A. Croen, M. Daniele Fallin, Laura A. Schieve, Lisa D. Wiggins, Julie Daniels, Ellen Giarelli, Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp. (2012). The Study to Explore Early Development (SEED): A Multisite Epidemiologic Study of Autism by the Centers for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology (CADDRE) Network. The Study to Explore Early Development (SEED): A Multisite Epidemiologic Study of Autism by the Centers for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology (CADDRE) Network. JADD, 42(10), 2121-2140.

Sell, N., Giarelli, E., Blum, N., Hanlon, A.L., & Levy, S. (2012). A Comparison of autism spectrum disorder DSM-IV criteria and associated features among African-American and White children in Philadelphia County. Disability and Health Journal, 5, 9-17.

Giarelli, E., Bruner, D.W., Nguyen, E., Basham, A., Marathe, P., Dao, D., Huynh, T.N., Cappella, J., & Nguyen, G. (2011). Research participation among Asian American women at risk for cervical cancer: Exploratory pilot of barriers and enhancers. Journal of Immigrant Health, 13, 1055-1068.

Giarelli, E., Bruner Watson, D., Nguyen, E., Basham, S., Capella, J. Nguyen, G. (2011). Research participation among Asian women at risk for cervical cancer: Barriers and enhancers. Journal of Immigrant and Migrant Health DOI: 10.1007/s10903-011-9461-x.

Ellen Giarelli, EdD, CRNP
Associate Professor - Division of Graduate Nursing
Three Parkway Building
Third Floor, Room 385
1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Desk: 267.359.5830
Fax: 267.359.5843
eg446@drexel.edu