Denise Fyffe, PhD

Head shot of Denise Fyffe

Senior Research Scientist, Center for Outcomes and Assessment Research
Health Equity in Disability and Outcomes Research Laboratory

Department
Center for Spinal Cord Injury Research
Center for Outcomes and Assessment Research
Laboratory
Health Equity in Disability and Outcomes Research Laboratory
Phone
973-324-3573

Denise C. Fyffe, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist in the Center for Spinal Cord Research and Director of Health Equity in Disability and Outcomes Research at Kessler Foundation. Dr. Fyffe received her PhD, in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University in 2000.  She completed postdoctoral training in geriatric mental health at the Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry. She received additional training in cancer disparities from the Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Her current clinical and research interests include reducing disparities in the care and quality of life of medically underserved rehabilitation groups.  Dr. Fyffe is involved in the development of a quality of life (QOL) measure for use in spinal cord injury (SCI) and innovative interventions to improve outcomes for persons with SCI using the National SCI Model Systems (SCIMS) database.  Her work is also investigating demographic, sociocultural and clinical factors associated with disparities in physical functioning outcomes among individuals living with SCI. Dr. Fyffe is a co-investigator in the federally funded model system based at Kessler - the Northern New Jersey SCI System - and an assistant professor at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School. She is a member of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and Secretary of the ACRM SCI-ISIG. 

Expertise
Qualitative Research
Mixed Methods Research
Social Determinants of Health
Health disparities
Health inequities
Education
PhD - Hofstra University
Honors
Awarded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Muscloskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIMAS)
Research Interests

Issues related to health equity and social determinants of health (e.g., demographic, socioeconomic, cultural and clinical factors) associated with disparities in functioning outcomes among individuals living with a disability. 

Publications

View a more comprehensive listing of publications for Dr. Fyffe on ResearchGate

1. Keeney T, Slavin M, Kisala P, Ni P, Heinemann AW, Charlifue S, Fyffe DC, Marino RJ, Morse LR, Worobey LA, Tate D, Rosenblum D, Zafonte R, Tulsky D, Jette AM. (2018). Sensitivity of the SCI-FI/AT in Individuals with Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 99, 1783-1788.
2. Chen P, Fyffe D, Hreha, K. (2017). Informal Caregivers’ Burden and Stress in Caring for Stroke Survivors with Spatial Neglect: An Exploratory Mixed-Method Study. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation. Jan (1): 24-33.
3. Botticello A, Boninger M, Charlifue S, Chen Y, Fyffe D, Heinemann A, Hoffman J, Jette A, Kalpakjian C, Rohrbach T. (2016). Do Neighborhood Differences Mediate Racial Disparities in Participation after Spinal Cord Injury? Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 97(10), 1735-1744.
4. Slavin MD, Ni P, Tulsky DS, Kisala PA, Heinemann AW, Charlifue S, Fyffe D, Graves DE, Marino RJ, Morse L, Rosenblum D, Tate D, Worobey LA, Dawson MB, Jette AM. (2016). The Spinal Cord Injury-Functional Index/Assistive Technology (SCI-FI/AT) Short Forms. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; 97(10):1745-1752.
5. Fyffe D, Kalpakjian C, Slavin M, Kisala P, Ni P, Kirshblum S, Tulsky D,  Jette A. (2016). Clinical Interpretation of the Spinal Cord Injury Functional Index (SCI-FI). Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. ; 39(5):527-34.
6. Tulsky DS, Kisala PA, Victorson D, Tate DG, Heinemann AW, Charlifue S, Kirshblum SC, Fyffe D, Gershon R, Spungen AM, Bombardier CH, Dyson-Hudson TA, Amtmann D, Kalpakjian C, Choi S,  Jette A, Forchheimer M, Cella DF (2015). Overview of the Spinal Cord Injury – Quality of Life (SCI-QOL) Measurement System. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 38(3), 257-269.      
7. Jette AM, Slavin M, Ni P, Kisala PA, Tulsky DS, Heinemann A, Charlifue S, Tate D, Fyffe D, Morse L, Marino R, Smith I, Williams S. (2015). Development and Initial Evaluation of the SCI/AT. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 38(3), 409-418.      
8. Fieo R, Mukherjee S, Dmitrieva NO, Fyffe DC, Gross AL, Sanders RE, Romero HR, Potter GG, Manly JJ, Mungas DM, Gibbons LE. (2014). Differential Item Functioning due to cognitive status does not impact depressive symptom measures in four heterogeneous samples of older adults. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 30(9), 911-918, doi: 10.1002/gps.4234. 
9. Fyffe DC, Deutsch A, Botticello A, Kirshblum S, Ottenbacher K. (2014). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Functioning at Discharge and Follow-up among Patients with Motor Complete Spinal Cord Injury. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 95 (11), 2140-2151.
10. Mahmoudi E, Meade MA, Forchheimer MB, Fyffe DC, Krause JS, Tate D. (2014). Longitudinal Analysis of Hospitalization after Spinal Cord Injury: Variation based on  Race and Ethnicity. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 95(11), 2158-2166.
11. Dmitrieva NO, Fyffe D, Mukherjee S, Fieo R, Zahodne LB, Hamilton J, Potter GG, Manly JJ, Romero HR, Mungas D, Gibbons LE. (2014). Demographic characteristics do not decrease the utility of depressive symptoms assessments: examining the practical impact of item bias in four heterogeneous samples of older adults. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 30(1), 88-96, doi: 10.1002/gps.4121.
12. Carlozzi, N.E., Fyffe, D., Morin, K.G., Byrne, R., Tulsky, D.S., Victorson, D., Lai, J-S., & Wecht, J.M. (2013). A conceptual model of blood pressure dysregulation in persons with spinal cord injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 94(9), 1721-1730.
13. Jette AM, Tulsky DS, Ni P, Kisala PA, Slavin MD, Dijkers MP, Heinemann AW, Tate D, Whiteneck G, Charlifue S, Houlihan B, Williams S, Kirschblum, Dyson-Hudson T, Zanca J, Fyffe D. (2012) Development and Initial Evaluation of the Spinal Cord Injury-Functional Index (SCI-FI). Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 93(10), 1733-1750.
14. Tulsky DS., Jette A, Kisala PA, Kalpakjian C, Dijkers M, Whiteneck G, Ni P, Kirshblum S, Charlifue S,. Heinemann AW, Forchheimer M, Slavin M, Houlihan B, Tate D, Dyson-Hudson T, Fyffe D, Zanca J. (2012). Item Banks to Measure Physical Functioning of Individuals  with Spinal Cord Injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 3(10), 1722-1732.
15. Fyffe DC, Botticello AL, Myaskovsky L. (2011).  Vulnerable groups living with spinal cord injury. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. 17(2) 1-9. 
16. Fyffe DC, Mukherjee S, Barnes L, Manly JJ, Bennett B, Crane PK. (2011) Explaining differences in episodic memory performance among older African Americans and Whites: the roles of factors related to cognitive reserve and test bias. Journal of International Neuropsychology Society. 17, (1-14). 

Media
Collaborating Studies

W81XWH-17-1-0696 SC160165/Log Number
(PI: O’Neill) 9/30/17 – 9/29/20
DoD/CDMRP/USAMRAA  
Striving to Work and Overcoming Employment Barriers among Veterans with Spinal Cord Injury Role: Co-Investigator
Specific Aims: The major goals of this project are to use qualitative research methods to 1) examine how Veterans with SCI strive to work and overcome employment barriers and 2) compare ways in which Veterans with SCI treated in the VHA and SCIMS strive to work and overcome employment barriers.

W81XWH-17-1-0262
SC160198/Log Number (PI: Gill) 7/15/17 – 7/14/20
DoD/CDMRP/USAMRAA
Triangle of Healthy Caregiving for Spinal Cord Injured Veterans
Role: Co-Investigator
Specific Aims: The major goals of this project are to qualitatively assess the acceptability and utilization of the “Triangle of Healthy Caregiving for SCI Veterans” intervention with SCI Veterans, caregivers, and healthcare teams to modify, improve, and refine this intervention, accordingly.

90SI5026 (PI: Dyson-Hudson) 9/30/16 – 9/29/21 
NIDILRR
Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury Model System: 2016-2021
Role on Project: Co-Investigator
Specific Aims: The NNJSCIS provides a comprehensive continuum of state-of-the-art care for persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) and their families from the time of injury through rehabilitation and return to the community.

367686 (Prime Award No) (PI: Kisala) 4/30/16 – 4/30/19 
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation via Subaward from University of Delaware
Clinical Adaptation of the SCI-QOL Psychosocial Measures
Role on Project: Co-Investigator
Specific Aims: The goal is to establish clinically relevant scoring standards for four Spinal Cord Injury – Quality of Life (SCI-QOL) psychosocial item banks and establish external validity of the Depression and Anxiety psychosocial banks.

W81XWH-15-1-0278 (PI: Fyffe) 7/30/15 – 7/29/19 3.6 CM (30%)
USAMRAA/CDMRP/DoD
Spinal Cord Injury Veterans: Disability Benefits, Outcomes, and Healthcare Utilization Patterns 
Role on Project: Principal Investigator
Specific Aims: The project’s specific aims are to (1) describe the reasons SCI veterans seek SC versus non-SC disability compensation and the factors that influence their choice; (2) explore the impact of SC and non-SC disability benefits on health status, functional outcomes, quality of life, and medical decisions (e.g., choice of VA SCI Center versus private sector); (3) explore the impact of service connection disability benefits on the family caregivers and households of veterans with SCI; (4) explore SCI clinicians’ perspectives on the impact of SC and non-SC disability compensation with respect to the provision of adequate long-term health care and rehabilitation; and (5) develop practice and policy recommendations to address SC and non-SC disability compensation for family interventions, caregiver training, and patient education programs.

434187 (PI: Fyffe) 4/1/17 – 3/31/20
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
Exploring Racial/Ethnic Contextual Factors Associated with Functional Independence in SCI
Role on Project: Principal Investigator
Specific Aims: To explore racially/ethnically diverse persons with SCI perceptions and life experiences to identify the personal, cultural and contextual factors that may impact their engagement in functional independence activities.

541934 (PI: Botticello) 4/30/18 – 4/29/21
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
Mapping Activity Space to Understand the Context of Community Integration and Participation after SCI
Role on Project: Principal Investigator
Specific Aims:  The goal of this proposed demonstration project is to build upon prior research on the environment and disability and obtain SCI consumers’ insights on the community context of CIP. 

90RTST0001 (Moore, PI)   9/30/18 – 9/29/23
NIDILRR Subaward from
Langston University    
A Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) that Empowers Minority Entities to Participate in R&D through Research Capacity Building
The major goals of this project are: Provide mentoring to postdoctoral fellows and full time faculty from minority institutions to build capacity to conduct research in vocational rehabilitation.
Role:  Co-I