Transition to adulthood
Dr. Annunziato’s primary research interest has been the transition to adulthood for adolescents with special health care needs (SHCN). In addition to investigating the transfer process between pediatrics and adult clinics, we are also studying self-management (SM) in medically-ill adolescents and how its acquisition relates to successful transitions. Currently, Dr. Annunziato is overseeing several studies in this area at MSSM and Fordham.
At MSSM, Dr. Annunziato is a Co-Investigator on a NIH-funded R01 grant, “Medication Adherence in Children who had a Liver Transplant” (MALT). The MALT grant has served as a vehicle to validate a measure of SM in liver transplant recipients. Several Fordham students have been involved in this project as well. Currently, MALT has entered the intervention phase and we are pilot testing a telehealth approach to improving adherence among pediatric transplant recipients.
Our team has developed a community-based intervention for pediatric patients diagnosed with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and currently we are pilot testing it in a randomized-controlled trial. This intervention integrates cognitive behavioral techniques within a community-based, telehealth approach to addressing NAFLD.
Dr. Annunziato serves as the senior psychologist on a series of studies examining the mental health needs of children who have a life-threatening food allergy and their parents (EMPOWER). Our team has spearheaded multiplepublications stemming from this researchprogram as well as implementing clinical interventions geared towards the needs that we have identified. We have been focusing on constructs that influence mental health in this population, especially bullying, as well as self-management of food allergy. Our work on bullying has also led to a recent collaboration with faculty at the University of Pretoria. Along with Dr. Se-Kang Kim, we are offering consultation for a cross-sectional study aiming to better understand bullying in South African schools.
Other Pediatric Psychology Projects
Students are encouraged to carve out their own projects at MSSM and Fordham. For example, “Internalizing Symptoms and Treatment Adherence among Pediatric Endocrinology Patients” (I-TAPE) is being run with MSSM’s Pediatric Endocrinology team by our group.
Our group is initiating multiple studies that aim to promote healthy lifestyle engagement. Here too, we are collaborating with faculty at the University of Pretoria to develop a healthy eating intervention that will be delivered in South African and Bronx schools.
Finally, there are many opportunities for team members to provide statistical support and consultation to collaborators at MSSM.