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Susan G. Silva, PhD

Associate Professor
(919) 681-3004
3136 Pearson Building

Dr. Silva is Research Associate Professor and Statistician in the Office of Research Affairs at the Duke University School of Nursing. She also has appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the Duke University School of Medicine and in the Department of Clinical Trials Statistics of the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

Dr. Silva has extensive formal training in both biostatistics and behavioral statistics, and has taught statistics courses designed for psychology students and neuropsychiatry research fellows. She is a senior statistician on the NIMH Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB) as well as a statistical reviewer for several industry-sponsored DSMBs.

Dr. Silva earned her PhD from the Experimental Psychology-Cognitive Neuroscience Program at North Carolina State University, and completed a NIH-funded post-doctoral fellowship in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the Brain and Development Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). Before coming to Duke in 1999, Dr. Silva was a member of the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at the UNC-CH School of Medicine, where she served as the Director of the Neurobehavioral Assessment Core and the Associate Director of the Data Management and Biostatistics Core for their NIMH-sponsored Mental Health and Neurosciences Clinical Research Center.

Academic Program Affiliations

  • PhD in Nursing Program
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Program


  • PhD - North Carolina State University
  • MA - East Carolina University
  • BA - East Carolina University

Research Interests

Dr. Silva currently serves as the Statistical PI for the Substance Use Outcomes Following Treatment for Adolescent Depression (SOFTAD) study. She is also a member of the NIMH Interventions Committee for Disorders Involving Children and their Families (ITVC).

Her statistical expertise includes the: (1) design of longitudinal studies; (2) application of hierarchical or mixed models; (3) analysis of moderator and mediator variables; (4) use of Generalized Estimating Equations; (5) assessment of reliability and validity; and (5) development and implementation of randomization schemes.

Awards and Honors

  • 2007 || AACAP Klingenstein Award for Research (Presented to the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study Team), American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • 2005 || AACAP Klingenstein Award for Research (Presented to the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study Team), American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • 1994 || NARSAD Young Investigator Award, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression
  • 1984 || Graduate Student Association Teaching Award, North Carolina State University
  • 1978 || Distinguished Student Award, East Carolina University
  • 1978 || North Carolina Academy of Science Research Award, East Carolina University
  • 1977 || National Science Foundation Research Award, East Carolina University
  • 1976 || Academic Achievement Award, East Carolina University

Areas of Expertise

  • Psychiatric / Behavioral Health
  • Research Methods

Representative Publications

  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 26448157 Molloy, M. A. and Sabol, V. K. and Silva, S. G. and Guimond, M. E. Using Trigger Films as a Bariatric Sensitivity Intervention: Improving Nursing Students' Attitudes and Beliefs About Caring for Obese Patients. Nurse Educ. October, 2015 Epub ahead of print
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 26035553 Hummer, D. B. and Silva, S. G. and Yap, T. L. and Toles, M. and Anderson, R. A. Implementation of an Exercise Program in an Assisted Living Facility. J Nurs Care Qual. Oct-Dec, 2015 30(4); 373-9
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 26148325 Winkler, M. R. and Hockenberry, M. J. and McCarthy, K. S. and Silva, S. G. Trajectories of Obesity and Overweight Rates Among Survivors of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Oncol Nurs Forum. 42(4); E287-93
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 25761644 Relf, M. V. and Silva, S. G. and Williams, M. S. and Moore, E. and Arscott, J. and Caiola, C. and Barroso, J. Feasibility of Using an iPod Touch Device and Acceptability of a Stigma Reduction Intervention with HIV-Infected Women in the Deep South. AIDS Behav. 42(4); E287-93
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 25554554 Andrews, L. and Silva, S. G. and Kaplan, S. and Zimbro, K. Delirium monitoring and patient outcomes in a general intensive care unit. Am J Crit Care. 24(1); 48-56
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 24661263 Brenner, S. L. and Burns, B. J. and Curry, J. F. and Silva, S. G. and Kratochvil, C. J. and Domino, M. E. Mental health service use among adolescents following participation in a randomized clinical trial for depression. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2015 44(4); 551-8 PMC4175368
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 25356894 Freiermuth, C. E. and Haywood Jr, C. and Silva, S. and Cline, D. M. and Kayle, M. and Sullivan, D. and Thornton, V. and Tanabe, P. Attitudes toward patients with sickle cell disease in a multicenter sample of emergency department providers. Adv Emerg Nurs J. Oct-Dec, 2014 36(4); 335-47 PMC4405136
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 25084499 Barroso, J. and Relf, M. V. and Williams, M. S. and Arscott, J. and Moore, E. D. and Caiola, C. and Silva, S. G. A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Efficacy of a Stigma Reduction Intervention for HIV-Infected Women in the Deep South. AIDS Patient Care STDS. September, 2014 28(9); 489-98 PMC4135326
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 25167608 Wofford, K. and Hertzberg, M. and Silva, S. and Vacchiano, C. Effect of elective surgery on subjective health in veterans with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder. AANA J. August, 2014 82(4); 285-92
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 24121861 Harris, T. and Silva, S. and Intini, R. and Smith, T. and Vorderstrasse, A. Group diabetes self-management education in a primary care setting: a quality improvement project. J Nurs Care Qual. April-June, 2014 29(2); 188-93


Grant Funding (Selected)

  • The Development of an Online Learning System for Understanding Research Design and Analysis Concepts

    Duke University SON CONCEPT Office CATALYST Award
    07/2014 to 06/2015
    Role: PI

    Project Goals: The goal of the project is to develop a non-linear interactive online system in which all concepts related to research design and analysis are displayed at once with each one representing a distinct node in a web of ideas, with the effect being similar to the look and feel of Prezi presentations. Each node will be a brief 15-minute overview with animated slides and voiceover narration describing the concept. The learner may then choose to move up to a more basic description, down to a more in-depth discussion, or sideways to learn more about related concepts and their connections to the original concept. The system will be used as an online resource for design and analysis courses and may be integrated across the ABSN, MSN (e.g. Scholarly Dimensions I and II courses) and PhD programs as a supplemental tool to enhance understanding of research concepts.

  • Unmasking Cognitive Deficits After Recovery from Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    Uniformed Services University of the Health Services
    HU0001-11-1-TS07 N11-P15
    08/2011 to 07/2014
    Role: Co-investigator

    Project Goal: The purpose of the study is to examine the use of mild hypoxia as a clinical tool to uncover latent cognitive defects after apparent recovery from a mild traumatic brain injury.

  • Substance Use Outcomes Following Treatment for Adolescent Depression (SOFTAD)

    National Institute of Mental Heath
    09/2003 to 05/2010
    Role: Statistical Principal Investigator
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Trials Network (CAPTN)

    National Institute of Mental Health
    09/2003 to 07/2008
    Role: Statistical Principal Investigator
  • Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS)

    National Institute of Mental Health
    07/1999 to 07/2008
    Role: Statistical Principal Investigator
  • Safety and Efficacy of Sertraline for Depression in Congestive Heart Failure (SADHART-CHF)

    National Institute of Mental Health
    02/2003 to 01/2008
    Role: Statistical Investigator
  • Dynamic Outcome Assessment in Multi Center Trials (PROMIS)

    National Institute of Mental Health
    09/2004 to 07/2009
    Role: Co-investigator
  • Anxiety, Depression, and Non-Cardiac Chest Pain (NCCP)

    National Institute of Mental Health
    04/2001 to 03/2007
    Role: Statistical Principal Investigator
  • National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

    07/2001 to 07/2003
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • Cooperative Multi-Center Reproductive Medicine Network: Data and Statistical Coordinating Center

    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
    03/2000 to 02/2005
    Role: Statistical Principal Investigator


Monday, November 20, 2017

Deb Brandon, Susan Silva and Diane Holditch-Davis were recently notified that their paper entitled "Timing for the Introduction of Cycled Light for Extremely Preterm Infants: A Randomized Controlled Trial" was selected for the Research In Nursing and Health (RINAH) Best Paper Award for 2017. Their paper was one of 10 papers nominated and their paper was identified in a rigorous rating process by a subcommittee of the Editorial Board. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Charles Vacchiano and Susan Silva recently published an article entitled "Characterization of bilateral frontal lobe cerebral oxygen saturation in patients with mild traumatic brain injury" in Nursing Outlook. 


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Paula Tanabe and Susan Silva recently published an article in The American Journal of Hematology entitled "A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Two Vaso-occlusive Episode (VOE) Protocols in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)." Co authors include experts from Duke University School of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Feinberg School of Medicine,  Duke University Center for Health Services Research, and Durham VAMC.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Susan Silva recently joined the 2018 Editorial Board for the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (JANAC) and attended an editorial board meeting in Dallas on Nov. 1.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

PhD alumna Latefa Dardas, faculty Susan Silva, Devon Noonan, Leigh Ann Simmons and PhD student Ashlee Vance published an article entitled "Psychosocial Correlates of Jordanian Adolescents' Help-Seeking Intentions for Depression: Findings From a Nationally Representative School Survey" in the Journal of School Nursing. Co-authors include experts from Harvard Medical School and the Duke University Department of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Eleanor Stevenson and Susan Silva publish an article entitled "Multidimensional Psychological Stress During Pregnancies in Women Who Conceived via In Vitro Fertilization" in the August issue of Research and Theory for Nursing Practice.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Susan Silva recently presented at the Duke Endocrinology Grand Rounds on "Neuropsychiatric Aspects of Subclinical Hypothyroidism."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

PhD alumni Hants Williams, Susan Silva, Leigh Ann Simmons and Paula Tanabe recently published an article entitled "A telephonic mindfulness-based intervention for persons with sickle cell disease: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial," in the May issue of the Trials.

Friday, April 21, 2017

PhD student Latefa Dardas, Susan Silva, Devon Noonan and Leigh Ann Simmons published an article entitled "Studying Depression Among Arab Adolescents: Methodological Considerations, Challenges, and Lessons Learned from Jordan" in the American Psychological Association PsycNet.