Rebecca Schnall, PhD, MPH, BSN, FAAN, FACMI

  • Mary Dickey Lindsay Professor of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (in Nursing) and Professor of Population and Family Health
Profile Headshot


My research targets understanding the health information needs of individuals in order to improve the access to easy-to-use health-related information for persons living with and at-risk for HIV. My work supports the premise that the development of information resources tailored to individuals’ needs is fundamental for health promotion and disease prevention. This perspective on consumer health informatics supports the health of individuals and has the potential to provide a sustainable public health impact. My program of research is characterized by its solid theoretical foundations and rigorous and innovative mixed methods. These mixed methods studies have resulted in a greater understanding of the information needs of consumers/patients, clinicians, and case managers as the foundation for design of web- based and mobile applications with demonstrated impact. I have disseminated findings from my work in top journals in my field, as well as at leading interdisciplinary conferences. My work has also been reported on by outlets such as Politico, as well as national nursing trade press (i.e., Through service at CUSON and across the research and professional community, I am advancing the field of consumer informatics nationally. Through my extensive mentoring activities, I am helping to develop the next generation of nursing research leaders.

Academic Appointments

  • Mary Dickey Lindsay Professor of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (in Nursing) and Professor of Population and Family Health

Administrative Titles

  • Associate Dean, Faculty Development

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 2002 History, Northwestern University
  • MPH, 2004 Health Policy and Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • BSN, 2006 Pace University
  • PhD, 2009 Nursing Informatics, Columbia University

Committees, Societies, Councils

  • CTSA Clinical Research Core
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Professional Memberships

  • American Public Health Association
  • American Medical Informatics Association
  • Eastern Nursing Research Society
  • Sigma Theta Tau

Honors & Awards

  • 2022 Fellow, International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics (IAHSI)
  • 2021 Fellow, American College of Medical Informatics (FACMI)
  • 2020 ANAC’s Researcher/Impact Recognition Award, Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC)
  • 2020 Welch/Woerner Path-Paver Award, Friends of the National Nursing Institute (FNINR)
  • 2018 Fellow, American Academy of Nursing
  • 2017 Columbia University Distinguished Alumni Award for Nursing Research
  • 2016 Mary Dickey Lindsay Chair in Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • 2015 Dean’s Distinguished Scholarship Award - Columbia University
  • 2014 ANI Emerging Leader
  • 2014 ENRS Rising Star Award
  • 2014 Dean's Distinguished Faculty Award
  • 2013 Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine
  • 2012 Reach for the R01 Award - Columbia University CTSA
  • 2011 NIH mHealth Winter Institute
  • 2007 The Hirsch Award for student writing – American College of Legal Medicine
  • 2006 Merit Scholar - Pace University
  • 2006 Dean Francis Reiter Scholar - Pace University


The fundamental question underlying my program of research is “How do we capture information and deliver it to consumers from underserved communities so that they can access it and make informed decisions about their health?”

Health information technologies are promising tools for engaging patients in their own healthcare. This is especially true of mobile devices, as most people own and regularly use these devices. Specifically, mHealth technologies can be employed as a powerful health behavior change tool for health prevention and self- management, because they are ubiquitous, carried on the person, and capable of advanced computational capacity. With the proliferation of patient-facing health information technologies, the design of these tools becomes increasingly important. Many patient-facing tools are modeled on the basis of existing healthcare system constructs and may not be as effective as those that involve end-users in the design process. This is particularly relevant for my health disparate study population, who are at high risk for acquiring disease and have chronic barriers to accessing healthcare services. In a healthcare system already burdened with suboptimal outcomes and excessive costs, premature adoption of untested technologies may limit positive health behavior change.

Research Studies

High Risk:

LGBTQ Health:


Selected Publications

Top Cited Publications (from >90):

  • Schnall R, Rojas M, Bakken S, Brown W, Carballo-Dieguez A, Carry M, Gelaude D, Mosley JP, Travers J . A user-centered model for designing consumer mobile health (mHealth) applications (apps), Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 2016; 60:243-51.
  • Brown, W, Yen P-Y, Rojas M, Schnall R. Assessment of the Health IT Usability Evaluation Model (Health-ITUEM) for Evaluating Mobile Health Technology, Journal of Biomedical Informatics 2013 Dec;46(6):1080-7.
  • Higgins T, Larson E, Schnall R. Unraveling the meaning of patient engagement: A concept analysis. Patient Education and Counseling. 2017 Jan;100(1):30-36.
  • Schnall R, Higgins T, Brown W, Carballo-Dieguez A, Bakken S. Trust, Perceived Risk, Perceived Ease of Use and Perceived Usefulness as Factors Related to mHealth Technology Use. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 2015;216:467-71.
  • Schnall R, Travers J, Rojas M, Carballo-Diéguez A. eHealth interventions for HIV prevention in high-risk men who have sex with men: a systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2014 May 26;16(5):e134.
  • Schnall R, Bakken S, Rojas M, Travers J, Carballo-Dieguez A. mHealth Technology as a Persuasive Tool for Treatment, Care and Management in Persons Living with HIV, AIDS and Behavior, 2015; Jun;19 Suppl 2:81-9.
  • Schnall R, Cho H, Liu J. Health Information Technology Usability Evaluation Scale (Health-ITUES) for Usability Assessment of Mobile Health Technology: Validation Study. JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth. 2018 Jan 5;6(1):e4.