MEDICAL SERVICES

PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

Dr. DiFazio received a BSN from Fitchburg State University and an MSN and PhD from Boston College. In addition to her roles as a nurse practitioner and nurse scientist in the Orthopaedic Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, she holds appointments as an Instructor at the Harvard School of Medicine and Fitchburg State University.

Dr. Difazio fully appreciates that for the best clinical outcomes for patients and their families, a nexus of factors including clinical efficacy, cost-effectiveness of care, and more important, the needs of patients and families across the trajectory of health and illness must be considered. These serve as the foundation for her research, clinical practice, and teaching.

Specifically, her clinical expertise and research focus on improving delivery of the complex care required by children with severe, chronic disabilities, including focused attention on the impact of their condition and care needs on their families. Findings from her studies on health-related quality of life, caregiver burden, and non-medical out-of-pocket expenses are being translated into practice. Most recently, her work is laying the foundation for an integrated transition program in the Orthopaedic Center for young adults with cerebral palsy who are transitioning from pediatric to adult care services. These studies, funded through grants and awards from Boston Children’s Hospital and numerous professional organizations and private foundations, have resulted in cross-disciplinary publications designed to bridge gaps in knowledge and practice between nursing and medicine.

Dr. DiFazio’s expertise extends well beyond the borders of New England. For more than two decades, she advocated for the advancement of nursing education and scholarship in Russia. Outcomes of capacity-building activities within Russian nursing include helping to establish the first university level nursing program; coordinating numerous professional conferences and exchanges; and leading a series of joint scholarly projects between Russian and American nurses that advance evidence-based practice. Of specific note was the English language textbook for Russian nurses she co-edited, which was approved by the Russian Ministries of Education and Health as a primary text for university-based nursing programs in Russia and Russian-speaking countries.

Dr. DiFazio is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and uses this platform to help advance policies designed to improve family-centered care. She has received numerous awards for her research, advancements in clinical practice, and international advocacy. Dr. DiFazio is committed to helping prepare future generations of nurses and medical residents while championing evidence-based patient care.

PUBLICATIONS

Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Difazio RL, Vessey JA, Buchko OA, Chetverikov DV, Sarkisova VA, Serebrennikova NV. The incidence and outcomes of nurse bullying in the Russian Federation. Int Nurs Rev. 2018 Sep 07. View abstract
  2. Difazio RL, Strout TD, Vessey JA, Lulloff A. Item Generation and Content Validity of the Child-Adolescent Bullying Scale. Nurs Res. 2018 Jul/Aug; 67(4):294-304. View abstract
  3. Strout TD, Vessey JA, DiFazio RL, Ludlow LH. The Child Adolescent Bullying Scale (CABS): Psychometric evaluation of a new measure. Res Nurs Health. 2018 06; 41(3):252-264. View abstract
  4. Buxton K, Difazio R, Morgan A, McCabe M, Forbes PW. Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy Prior to Spinal Fusion for Patients With Gross Motor Function Classification System IV-V Cerebral Palsy. Orthop Nurs. 2018 Mar/Apr; 37(2):136-143. View abstract
  5. Difazio RL, Harris M, Feldman L, Mahan ST. Reducing the Incidence of Cast-related Skin Complications in Children Treated With Cast Immobilization. J Pediatr Orthop. 2017 Dec; 37(8):526-531. View abstract
  6. Vessey JA, DiFazio RL, Strout TD, Snyder BD. Impact of Non-medical Out-of-pocket Expenses on Families of Children With Cerebral Palsy Following Orthopaedic Surgery. J Pediatr Nurs. 2017 Nov - Dec; 37:101-107. View abstract
  7. Mahan ST, Harris MS, Lierhaus AM, Miller PE, DiFazio RL. Noise Reduction to Reduce Patient Anxiety During Cast Removal: Can We Decrease Patient Anxiety With Cast Removal by Wearing Noise Reduction Headphones During Cast Saw Use? Orthop Nurs. 2017 Jul/Aug; 36(4):271-278. View abstract
  8. Strout TD, DiFazio RL, Vessey JA. Technology-enhanced focus groups as a component of instrument development. Nurse Res. 2017 Jun 22; 25(1):16-23. View abstract
  9. DiFazio RL, Miller PE, Vessey JA, Snyder BD. Health-Related Quality of Life and Care Giver Burden Following Spinal Fusion in Children With Cerebral Palsy. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Jun 15; 42(12):E733-E739. View abstract
  10. Vessey JA, DiFazio RL, Strout TD. "I Didn't Even Know You Cared About That Stuff": Youths' Perceptions of Health Care Provider Roles in Addressing Bullying. J Pediatr Health Care. 2017 Sep - Oct; 31(5):536-545. View abstract
  11. Fishman LN, DiFazio R, Miller P, Shanske S, Waters PM. Pediatric Orthopaedic Providers' Views on Transition From Pediatric to Adult Care. J Pediatr Orthop. 2016 Sep; 36(6):e75-80. View abstract
  12. DiFazio R, Shore B, Vessey JA, Miller PE, Snyder BD. Effect of Hip Reconstructive Surgery on Health-Related Quality of Life of Non-Ambulatory Children with Cerebral Palsy. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2016 Jul 20; 98(14):1190-8. View abstract
  13. DiFazio R, Vessey JA, Miller P, Van Nostrand K, Snyder B. Postoperative Complications After Hip Surgery in Patients With Cerebral Palsy: A Retrospective Matched Cohort Study. J Pediatr Orthop. 2016 Jan; 36(1):56-62. View abstract
  14. Difazio RL, Vessey JA, Zurakowski D, Snyder BD. Differences in health-related quality of life and caregiver burden after hip and spine surgery in non-ambulatory children with severe cerebral palsy. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2016 Mar; 58(3):298-305. View abstract
  15. Vessey JA, McCrave J, Curro-Harrington C, DiFazio RL. Enhancing Care Coordination Through Patient- and Family-Initiated Telephone Encounters: A Quality Improvement Project. J Pediatr Nurs. 2015 Nov-Dec; 30(6):915-23. View abstract
  16. Vessey J, Strout TD, DiFazio RL, Walker A. Measuring the youth bullying experience: a systematic review of the psychometric properties of available instruments. J Sch Health. 2014 Dec; 84(12):819-43. View abstract
  17. DiFazio RL, Harris M, Vessey JA, Glader L, Shanske S. Opportunities lost and found: experiences of patients with cerebral palsy and their parents transitioning from pediatric to adult healthcare. J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2014; 7(1):17-31. View abstract
  18. Vessey JA, DiFazio RL, Strout TD. Youth bullying: a review of the science and call to action. Nurs Outlook. 2013 Sep-Oct; 61(5):337-45. View abstract
  19. DiFazio RL, Vessey JA. Non-medical out-of-pocket expenses incurred by families during their child's hospitalization. J Child Health Care. 2013 Sep; 17(3):230-41. View abstract
  20. Vessey JA, DiFazio RL, Strout TD. Increasing meaning in measurement: a Rasch analysis of the Child-Adolescent Teasing Scale. Nurs Res. 2012 May-Jun; 61(3):159-70. View abstract
  21. DiFazio R, Vessey J, Zurakowski D, Hresko MT, Matheney T. Incidence of skin complications and associated charges in children treated with hip spica casts for femur fractures. J Pediatr Orthop. 2011 Jan-Feb; 31(1):17-22. View abstract
  22. DiFazio R, Vessey J. Nonmedical out-of-pocket expenses: a hidden cost of hospitalization. J Pediatr Nurs. 2011 Feb; 26(1):78-84. View abstract
  23. Vessey JA, Demarco R, DiFazio R. Bullying, harassment, and horizontal violence in the nursing workforce: the state of the science. Annu Rev Nurs Res. 2010; 28:133-57. View abstract
  24. DiFazio R, Tubman D. Congenital scoliosis with associated rib fusions: nursing care of patients following VEPTR insertion. Orthop Nurs. 2010 Jan-Feb; 29(1):4-8; quiz 9-10. View abstract
  25. DiFazio R, Boykova M, Driever MJ. International education: developing site visit guidelines to enhance understanding. J Contin Educ Nurs. 2009 Feb; 40(2):91-6. View abstract
  26. DiFazio R, Atkinson CC. Extremity fractures in children: when is it an emergency? J Pediatr Nurs. 2005 Aug; 20(4):298-304. View abstract
  27. Shannon EG, DiFazio R, Kasser J, Karlin L, Gerbino P. Waterproof casts for immobilization of children's fractures and sprains. J Pediatr Orthop. 2005 Jan-Feb; 25(1):56-9. View abstract
  28. Difazio R, Lang D, Boykova M. Nursing in Russia: A "travelogue". J Pediatr Nurs. 2004 Apr; 19(2):150-6. View abstract
  29. Difazio R. Creating a halo traction wheelchair resource manual: using the EBP approach. J Pediatr Nurs. 2003 Apr; 18(2):148-52. View abstract
  30. DiFazio RL, Kocher MS, Berven S, Kasser J. Coxa vara with proximal femoral growth arrest in patients who had neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. J Pediatr Orthop. 2003 Jan-Feb; 23(1):20-6. View abstract