Cynthia Russell, Ph.D., RN, FAAN


Phone: 816-235-2661



Dr. Cynthia Russell is a Professor at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Rush University in Chicago, Illinois and her PhD from Saint Louis University. She completed a post-doctorate from John A. Hartford Foundation/Atlantic. Dr. Russell presents locally, nationally, and internationally on a variety of topics related to her program of research, professional issues, evidence-based practice, research, and advanced nursing practice. She led a task force that published the first edition of the Scope and Standards for Transplant Nursing Practice and the Transplant Competencies.

Dr. Russell’s program of research focuses on self-management of chronic disease, specifically behavior change in those with kidney and heart disease. She is currently conducting an NIH R01 to test a SystemCHANGETM intervention to improve medication adherence, psychologic, physiologic and cost outcomes in adult kidney transplant recipients. Dr. Russell’s research program has been funded consistently since 2002 in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $2,585,224. She leads a inter-professional research team in transplantation.

Selected Grants and Awards (2018 – 2011)

  • SystemCHANGETM: An RCT for Medication Adherence in Kidney Transplant Recipients – National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease, R01, Principal Investigator (Co-PI, Donna Hathaway), $ 2,585,224.00, 2014-2018.
  • SystemCHANGETM: An RCT for Medication Adherence in Older Kidney Transplant Recipients – Kansas City Area Life Sciences, Principal Investigator, $ $ 45,413, 2015-2016.
  • SystemCHANGETM: An RCT for Medication Adherence in Older Kidney Transplant Recipients – Frontiers Grant, Principal Investigator, $ 19,710. 2014-2015.
  • Medication Adherence in Dialysis Study (MIDAS) II-Dialysis Clinics Inc., $18,000, 2011-2012
  • Medication Adherence in Dialysis Study (MIDAS) II- Missouri Kidney Program, $5,000, 2011-2012
  • Medication Adherence in Dialysis Study (MIDAS) II-American Nephrology Nurses Association, $5,000, 2011-2012
  • Patterns, Predictor, and Outcomes of Medication Adherence in Those Waiting for a Kidney Transplant- North American Transplant Coordinators Organization, $5,000, 2011-2012
  • Patterns, Predictor, and Outcomes of Medication Adherence in Those Waiting for a Kidney Transplant-Interdisciplinary Center on Aging, $8,000, 2011-2013

Selected publications (2018-2011)

  • Russell, C. L., Miller, C., Remy, L. M., Wessol, J. M., Andrews, A. M., Aholt, D., Clark, D., Hardinger, K., O’Brien, T., Hathaway, D., & Goggin, K. Improvement of Immunosuppressive Medication Adherence Using a SystemCHANGETM Intervention:  Case Study of an Older Adult Kidney Transplant Recipient. Nephrology Nursing Journal. 45(2), 171-223.
  • Myaskovsky, L., Jesse, M. T., Kuntz, K., Leino, A. D., Peipert, J. D., Russell, C. L., Spivey, C. A., Sulejmani, N., Dew, M. A. (2018) Report from the American Society of Transplantation Psychosocial Community of Practice Adherence Task Force: Real World Options for Promoting Adherence in Adult Recipients. Clinical Transplantation,
  • Helmy R, Duerinckx N, De Geest S, Denhaerynck K, Berben L, Russell CL, Van Cleemput J, Crespo-Leiro MG, Dobbels F, on behalf of the BRIGHT study team. (2018). The international prevalence and variability of non-adherence to the non-pharmacologic treatment regimen after heart transplantation: Findings from the cross-sectional BRIGHT study. Clinical Transplantation. May 13:e13280. doi: 10.1111/ctr.13280.
  • Prouhet, P. M., Gregory, M. R., Russell, C. L., & Yaeger, L. H. (2018). Fathers’ Stress in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Systematic Review. Advances in Neonatal Care, 18(2), 105-120. doi:10.1097/anc.0000000000000472
  • Gregory, M., Prouhet, P. W., Russell, C. L. Quality of life for parents of children with congenital heart defect: A systematic review. The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. March 29, 2018. doi: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000466.
  • Johnson, R.A., Albright, D. L., Marzolf, J. R., Bibbo, J. L., Yaglom, H. D., Crowder, S. M., Carlisle, G. M., Grindler, K., Willard, A., Wassman, M., Russell, C. L., & Osterlind, S.  (2018). Effects of therapeutic horseback riding on military veteran’s posttraumatic stress disorder. Military Medical Research Journal 5, 3. doi: 10.1186/s40779-018-0149-6.
  • Denhaerynck, K., Berben, L., Dobbels, F., Russell, C.L, Crespo-Leiro, M., Poncelet, A., De Geest, S., On behalf of the BRIGHT study team. (2017). Multi-level factors are associated with immunosuppressant nonadherence in heart transplant recipients: The international Bright Study. American Journal of Transplantation. DOI:10.1111/ajt.14611.
  • Senft, Y., Kirsch, M., Denhaerynck, K., Dobbels, F., Helmy, R., Russell, C.L., Berben, L., De Geest, S., on behalf of the BRIGHT study team. (2017). Practice patterns to improve pre- and post- transplant medication adherence in heartvtransplant centers: a secondary data analysis of the international BRIGHT study. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. DOI:10.1177/1474515117747577.
  • O’Brien, T., Hathaway, D., Russell, C.L., Moore, S.M. (2017). Merging an activity tracker with SystemCHANGETM to improve physical activity in older kidney transplant recipients. Nephrology Nursing Journal. 44(2), 153-157.
  • Coburn, B.W., Bendlin, K.A., Sayles, H.R., Meza, J., Russell, C.L., & Mikuls, T.R. (2017). Allopurinol medication adherence as a mediator of optimal outcomes in gout management. Journal of Clinical Rhematology. 23(6), 317-323. doi: 10.1097/RHU.0000000000000561
  • White-Lewis, S., Russell, C., Johnson, R., Cheng, A. L., & McClain, N. (2017). Equine-assisted therapy intervention studies targeting physical symptoms in adults: A systematic review. Applied Nursing Research, 38, 9-21. doi:10.1016/j.apnr.2017.08.002
  • Cajita M. @, Baumgartner E@ (shared 1st authorship), Berben L, Denhaerynck K, Helmy R, Schönfeld S, Berger G, Vetter C, Dobbels F, Russell C. L. , De Geest S and on behalf of the BRIGHT Study Team. (2017). Heart transplant centers with multidisciplinary team show a higher level of chronic illness management – Findings from the International BRIGHT Study. Heart Lung, 46(5):351–6.
  • Andrews, A.M., Russell, C.L. & Cheng, A-L. (2017). Medication adherence interventions for older adults with heart failure: A systematic review. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 43(10), 37-45.
  • Wessol, J. L., Russell, C. L., & Cheng, A.-L. (2017). A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of medication adherence interventions in adult stroke survivors. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 49(2), 120–133.
  • Welch, J., Ellis, R. J., Perkins, S., Johnson, C., Zimmerman, L. M., Russell, C. L., Richards, C., Guise, D. M., & Decker, B. S. (2016). Knowledge and Awareness among Patients with Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 43(6), 512-519.
  • Kugler, C., Akca, S., Einhorn, I., Rebafka, A., Russell, C. L. (2016). German transplant nurses work environment – a cross-sectional multi-center study. Annals of Transplantation. 21, 550-557. DOI: 10.12659/AOT.898305.
  • Cajita, M. A., Denhaerynck, K., Dobbels, F., Berben, L., Russell, C. L., Davidson, P. M. (2017). Health Literacy in Heart Transplantation: Prevalence, Correlates, and Associations with Health Behaviors – Findings from the International BRIGHT Study. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 3):272–9.DOI:10.1016/j.healun.2016.08.024.
  • Russell, C.L., Moore, S., Hathaway, D. Cheng, A. L., Chen, G. & Goggin, K. (2016). MAGIC Study: Aims, design and methods using SystemCHANGE   to improve immunosuppressive medication adherence in adult kidney transplant recipients. BMC Nephrology. 17(84), 1-12. DOI: 10.1186/s12882-016-0285-8
  • Matteson-Kome, M., Ruppar, T., & Russell, C. (2016) Attainment of the elusive: Attributions for long-term success in kidney transplantation. Progress in Transplantation. 26(2), 162-171.
  • Miller, L., Russell, C., Cheng, A., & Skarbek, A. (2015). Evaluating undergraduate nursing students’ self-efficacy and competency in writing: Effects of a writing intensive intervention. Nursing Education and Practice, 15(3), 174-180.
  • Berben, L., Denhaerynck, K., Dobbels, F., Engberg, S., Vanhaecke, J., Crespo-Leiro, M., Russell, C., & De Geest, S. for the BRIGHT study team. (2015) Building research initiative group: chronic illness management and adherence in transplantation (BRIGHT) study: rationale, design and methodology. Journal of Advanced Nursing; 71(3), 642-54.
  • Berben, L., Russell, C., Engberg, S., Dobbels, F. & De Geest, S. (2014). Development, content validity and inter-rater reliability testing of the CIMI-BRIGHT: an instrument to assess the level of chronic illness management implemented in solid organ transplant programs. International Journal of Care Coordination. 17(1-2): S. 59-71.
  • Matteson, M., Winn, J., Becktold, M., Bragg, J., & Russell, C.L. (2014). Improving maintenance medication adherence in adult inflammatory bowel disease patients: A pilot study. Health Psychology Research, 2(1389), 38-42
  • Russell, C. L. (2014). Transplant nursing: The changing scope of practice. Transplant Journal of Australia, 23(2), 5-7.
  • Welch, J. L., Johnson, M., Zimmerman, L., Russell, C. L., Perkins, S. M., & Decker, B. S. (2014). Self-management interventions in Stages 1-4 chronic kidney disease: An integrative review. Western Journal of Nursing Research. 1-27. DOI: 10.1177/0193945914551007
  • Russell, C. L., Ashbaugh, C., Peace, L., Cetingok, M. Hamburger, K. Q., Owens, S., Coffey, D., Webb, A., Hathaway, D., Winsett, R. P., Madsen, R., & Wakefield, M. (2013). Time-in-a-Bottle (TIAB) study: Patterns, predictors, and outcomes of medication adherence in adult kidney transplant recipients. Clinical Transplantation, 27,E580–E590 DOI: 10.1111/ctr.12203
  • Russell, C. L. Optimal care for kidney transplant recipients. OR Nurse 2013. Jan, 36-40.
  • Matteson, M.L., & Russell, C.R. (2013). Systematic review of continuous self-improvement interventions. Clinical Nursing Studies, 1(1), 10-25.
    Cronk, N., Russell, C, Knowles, N., Matteson, M., Peace, L., & Ponferrada, L. (2012). Acceptability among dialysis clinic staff of a motivational interviewing approach to increase hemodialysis adherence. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 39(5), 385-391.
  • Russell, C. L. & Ponferrada, L. (2012). How to develop an outstanding conference research abstract. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 39(4), 307-311, 342.
    Berben, L., Dobbels, F., Kugler, C., Russell, C., & De Geest, S. (2011). Which interventions are used by health care professionals to enhance medication adherence in transplant patients? A survey of current clinical practice. Prog Transplant, 21(4), 322-331.
  • Russell, C. L. Ruppar, T., & Matteson, M. (2011). Improving medication adherence: Moving from intention and motivation to a personal systems approach. Nursing Clinics of North America, 46, 271-281. doi:10.1016/j.cnur.2011.05.004
  • Russell, C. L. , Cronk, N., Herron, M., Knowles, N., Matteson, M., Peace, L. & Ponferrada, L. (2011). Motivational Interviewing in Dialysis Adherence Study (MIDAS). Nephrology Nursing Journal, 38, 229-236.


Curriculum Vitae