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Susan Birkhoff, Ph.D, RN - ChristianaCare. Wilmington, DE, US

Susan Birkhoff, Ph.D, RN

Program Director of Technology Research & Education | ChristianaCare


Susan Birkhoff is a nurse scientist with experience conducting clinical research using various forms of digital health technology.


Susan Birkhoff is a nurse and a scientist leading and supporting interprofessional research education, systemwide technology evaluation, and grantmanship. Dr. Birkhoff conducts research studies that investigates the implementation of technology-based solutions to improve complex health problems.

Areas of Expertise (8)






Virtual Reality

Digital Health

User Experience

Education (4)

University of Pittsburgh: Postdoctoral Scholar, Technology Research in Chronic and Critical Illness 2021

Villanova University: Ph.D., Nursing

Villanova University: MSN, Nursing Education

University of Delaware: BSN, Nursing






Welcome Moxi to ChristianaCare Meet Moxi, ChristianaCare's New Cobot Robotics in Patient Care - For the Love of Health Podcast


Robotics in Patient Care with Kat Collard and Susan Birkhoff

Media Appearances (1)

ChristianaCare rolls out 'cobots' to help nurses with nonclinical tasks

Health Care News  online


Susan Birkhoff, RN, nurse scientist at ChristianaCare, said the deployment offers a "transformative opportunity" to "move the science forward around robotics in nursing" that could have "broad implications for nursing practice, workforce and education."

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Selected Papers and Publications (5)

Exploring Resource-Sharing Behaviors for Finding Relevant Health Resources: Analysis of an Online Ovarian Cancer Community

JMIR Cancer


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The Use and Effect of the Health Storylines mHealth App on Female Childhood Cancer Survivors' Self-efficacy, Health-Related Quality of Life and Perceived Illness

Cancer Nursing

2022 Background: mHealth apps have been not been well tested among childhood cancer survivors (CCSs) to track physical and psychosocial functioning for improved self-management of post-treatment needs. Objectives: This pilot study had 3 aims: (1) assess the usage of the Health Storylines mHealth app; (2) examine its effect in improving self-efficacy in managing survivorship healthcare needs, health-related quality of life, and perceived illness; and (3) determine if app usage moderated the effects on the above patient-reported outcome measures among female CCSs.

The Effects of Virtual Reality on Anxiety and Self-Efficacy Among Patients With Cancer: A Pilot Study

Oncology Nursing Forum

2021 Objectives: To examine the impact of a nurse-led intervention on anxiety levels and perceived self-efficacy to cope in patients receiving first-time chemotherapy using a customized prechemotherapy educational virtual reality (VR) video. Sample & Setting: 35 patients with cancer receiving first-time chemotherapy participated in this study at a large suburban cancer center in Newark, Delaware.

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Facilitators and challenges in the adoption of a virtual nurse visit in the home health setting

Home Health Care Services Quarterly

2021 The COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity to incorporate nurse-led virtual home care visits into heart failure patients’ plan of care. As a supplemental nurse visit to traditional in-person home visits, the Virtual Nurse Visit (VNV) service was deployed using Zoom teleconferencing technology enabling telehealth nurses to remotely communicate, assess, and educate their patients. This mixed methods study explored heart failure patients’ abilities, experience, and satisfaction to use and adopt a virtual nurse visit. Sociodemographic, semi-structured interview questions, and the System Usability Scale data were collected. Thirty-four participants completed the study. Over half of participants perceived the VNV usable and four qualitative themes emerged: perceived safety during COVID-19, preferences for care delivery, user experiences and challenges, and satisfaction with the VNV service. Findings from this study builds the science around telehealth that will inform future studies examining this type of nurse-led virtual visit and subsequent patient outcomes.

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Increasing nursing research capacity: The roles and contributions of nurse scientists within healthcare systems in the Greater Philadelphia region

Applied Nursing Research

2020 PhD prepared nurse scientists within healthcare systems are uniquely positioned to advance nursing science through research and evidence-based practice (EBP) initiatives due to their ability to closely collaborate with nurses and other healthcare professionals in the clinical setting. The purpose of this paper is threefold: 1) to describe the roles and contributions of Nurse Scientists, from their perspectives, in four different health care systems in the Greater Philadelphia area, three of which are Magnet® designated hospitals; 2) to highlight organizational approaches to increase nursing research and EBP capacity; and 3) to explore strategies that Nurse Scientists used to overcome barriers to build nursing research capacity. Nurse Scientists employed in these healthcare systems share many of the same essential roles and contributions focused on developing nursing research and EBP initiatives through education and mentorship of clinical nurses, conduct and oversight of independent research, and dissemination activities.

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Research Focus (1)

Research Focus

Dr. Birkhoff has experience researching innovative ideas from inception through post-implementation evaluating need, usability, engagement, adoption, and impact for a variety of end users. Her research background includes studying different forms of technology and innovations in health care such as virtual reality, robotics, telehealth, and apps.

Research Grants (1)

It takes Moxi: Driving Nursing Outcomes through Innovative, Autonomous Robotics

American Nurses Foundation $1,500,000

5/01/2022 - 04/30/2025