Faculty Sketch

Shelagh A. Mulvaney, PhD

Associate Professor


Current Research Interests

  • Development and testing of technology-assisted (Internet, mobile, informatics) patient and family health-related behavior change systems
  • Improvement of self-management and related skills in pediatric diabetes, obesity, and other chronic illnesses 
  • Development of systems to support diabetes self-management problem solving skills 
  • Utilization of social learning mechanisms to support diabetes self-management
  • Design and testing of mobile behavioral assessment systems 


Current Grants

NIH DP3 DK097706  Mulvaney (PI)  12/01/2012-11/30/2016                         
Using Social Learning to Improve Adolescent Diabetes Adherence Problem Solving
The goal of this research is to design and test an Internet and mobile intervention to support adolescent self-management through improved problem solving skills and providing peer-based collaborative and educational activities. The research will contribute to our understanding of adolescent adoption of technology-based educational tools for diabetes and how to engage adolescents in adherence.


NIH U54 RR023499 Bernard (PI)  07/30/12-07/29/17                                            
Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR)
Dr. Mulvaney serves as Assistant Director of the Effective Health Communication Core.

Completed Grants

PCORI  Rothman (PI)  1/14-6/15
Mid South Clinical Data Research Network
This funding will help to grow a clinical data research network across the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network. The network will reach practices across the nation in collaboration with Greenway Medical Technologies. The network will recruit 3 cohorts related to obesity (10,000 patients), coronary heart disease (10,000 patients) and sickle cell disease (~500 families).  Creation of the network will focus on data integration and interoperability, clinical decision support, and patient-facing informatics tools. (Role: Co-Investigator)

NARCH VI   Hayes (PI)  07/01/10-06/30/14
Native American Research Centers for Health - NARCH
This research center is a collaboration between Vanderbilt and the Untied South and Eastern Tribes, Inc (USET) which includes 26 tribes. This research is designed to improve diabetes care and outcomes by using Community Based Participatory Research to develop tailored, culturally appropriate, literacy-sensitive, multi-level interventions. We will develop and pilot a HIT toolkit as part of a comprehensive, culturally tailored diabetes-improvement program. Role: Co-Investigator


P30 NIH/NIDDK  Mulvaney (PI)   04/11/12-04/30/14
Center for Diabetes Translational Research (CDTR)
YourWay website: development of problem solving content and pilot testing.


McKesson Foundation   Mulvaney (Co-PI)   01/01/12-12/30/13
Design and Testing of a Mobile Diabetes Intervention for Underserved Adults with Diabetes
Purpose: This project will design and test the impact of a mobile support system for low-income adults with type 2 diabetes within a community setting. The intervention will capitalize on text and interactive voice response to prompt and motivate medication adherence.


Representative Publications

Ho, XY, O’Connor, BO, Mulvaney, SA (2014). Features of online health communities for adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Western Journal of Nursing Research. doi:10.1177/0193945913520414

Osborn, YC, Mulvaney, SA (2013). Development and feasibility of a mobile health intervention for low-income adults with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. 7(3), 612-622. PMID: 23759393

Mulvaney SA, Lilley J, Cavanaugh K, Rothman RL (2013). Validation of the diabetes numeracy test with adolescents. Journal of Health Communication. 18(7), 795-804. doi:10.1080/10810730.2012.757394

Kumah-Crystal, Y, Mulvaney, SA (2013). Utilization of blood glucose data in patient education. Current Diabetes Reports. doi: 10.1007/s11892-013-0428-2

Mulvaney, SA, Ho, X, Cala, C, Chen, Q, Nian, H, Patterson, B, Johnson, KB (2013). Assessing adolescent asthma adherence and symptoms using mobile phones. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 7, e41. doi:  10.2196/jmir.2413

Mulvaney SA, Rothman RL, Dietrich MS, Wallston KA, Grove E, Elasy TA, Johnson KB (2012). Using mobile phones to measure adolescent diabetes adherence. Health Psychology, 31(1), 43-50. doi:10.1037/a0025543

Harris, MA, Hood, KK, Mulvaney, SA (2012). Pumpers, skypers, surfers and texters: technology to improve the management of diabetes in teenagers. Diabetes Obesity Metabolism. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2012.01599.x

Mulvaney SA, Anders, S, Smith, AK, Johnson, KB (2012). A pilot test of a tailored mobile and web-based diabetes messaging system for adolescents. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 18(2), 115-118. doi:10.1258/jtt.2011.111006

Mulvaney SA, Hood, KK, Schlundt, DG, Osborn, DG, Johnson, KB, Rothman, RL, Wallston, KA (2011). Development and initial validation of the barriers to diabetes adherence measure for adolescents, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 94(1), 77-83. doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2011.06.010

Mulvaney SA, Ritterband LM, Bosslet L (2011). Mobile intervention design in diabetes: review and recommendations. Current Diabetes Reports, 11(6), 486-493. doi:10.1007/s11892-011-0230-y

Mulvaney, S. A., Rothman, R. L., Osborn, C. Y., Lybarger, C., Dietrich, M. S., & Wallston, K. A. (2011). Self-management problem solving for adolescents with type 1 diabetes: Intervention processes associated with an Internet program. Patient Education and Counseling, 85(2), 140-142. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2010.09.018

Wong K, Potter A, Mulvaney SA, Russell WE, Schlundt DG, Rothman RL (2010). Pediatric endocrinologists' management of children with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care, 33(3): 512-514. doi:10.2337/dc09-1333. PMCID: PMC2827499

Osborn CY, Satterwhite L, Mulvaney SA, Hess R (2010). Patient web portals to improve diabetes outcomes: a systematic review. Current Diabetes Reports, 10(6):422-435. doi:10.1007/s11892-010-01511


Mulvaney SA, Rothman RL, Wallston KA, Lybarger C, Dietrich MS (2010). An internet-based program to improve self-management in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 33(3), 602-604. doi:10.2337/dc09-1881. PMCID: PMC2827516


Professional Organizations

2008-     Behavioral Research in Diabetes Group Exchange (BRIDGE)
2007-     International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD)
2007-     International Society for Research on Internet Interventions (ISRII)
2005-     American Diabetes Association (ADA)
2004-     Society for Behavioral Medicine (SBM)
2000-     American Psychological Association (APA), Division of Pediatric Psychology