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lisanti [at]
Location - People View

3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Research Topics
Amy Jo Lisanti, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAHA
Photo of Amy Jo Lisanti
Assistant Professor

Dr. Lisanti's research focuses on understanding the influence of individualized family-centered developmental care (IFDC) on infants with congenital heart disease and their families. She is investigating the biobehavioral mechanisms that influence parent stress and mental health symptoms, with the ultimate goal of discovering biological and psychosocial links between parent mental health and child developmental outcomes.



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Dr. Lisanti's program of research is dedicated to advancing the science of family-centered developmental care in the field of pediatric cardiovascular critical care. As a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PCICU), she saw first-hand the stress that infants born with complex congenital heart disease (CHD) experience, along with their parents and families, and the need for nursing innovations to support patient and family outcomes.

She developed the PCICU Parent Stress Model for her dissertation and further validated and refined the model using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Her subsequent studies provided empirical evidence for the PCICU Parental Stress Model by demonstrating the relationship between the perceived stressor of parental role alteration with both anxiety and depressive symptoms in parents of infants with complex CHD.

Most recently, she tested a skin-to-skin care intervention in in the PCICU, including salivary cortisol and oxytocin to objectively measure stress and attachment, respectively, and demonstrating benefits for both mothers and infants.

Education and Training

BSN, University of Pittsburgh (1997)

MSN, Widener University (Clinical Nurse Specialist), 2007

PhD, Widener University (Nursing Science), 2007

Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, Research on Vulnerable Women, Children, and Families, T32, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 2014-2017

Titles and Academic Titles

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania

Nurse Scientist


Professional Awards

Fellow, American Heart Association, 2023

Chief Nursing Officer Patient Safety Award, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 2014, 2015

Publication Highlights

Links of Interest

Pediheart: Pediatric Cardiology Today (Podcast, December 2018)