Jennifer DiBenedetto, PhD, RN-BC

Research interests

My primary research interest is in mind-body medicine, specifically investigating various complementary therapies and their impact on an individual’s physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. In my PhD program, I completed a mixed method, feasibility study on the use of a distant reiki intervention on stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey results indicated a significant in reduction in stress (p < 0.001) and anxiety (p < 0.001). Qualitative analyses indicated that the experience of distant Reike was calming, positive, peaceful, socially distant, and convenient. This work, as well as my clinical experience in critical care nursing, has spurred my interests in research related to mental and psychological health, mindfulness, COVID-19, critical care, humanitarianism/global health, cultural implications in healthcare, LGBTQ+, and nursing theory.

During the postdoctoral research fellowship, I plan to apply my training in nursing and integrative health to explore the effect of adjunctive acupuncture on patients enrolled in pulmonary rehabilitation under the guidance of Dr. James Stahl. I will also develop a line of research related to burnout. I am conducting a meta-analysis examining occupational burnout in hospital healthcare workers and planning a pilot study of an intervention to combat the mental, psychological, and emotional impact of burnout. After the fellowship, I plan to pursue a career as a nurse scientist and academic in hospital settings.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, yoga, spin biking, practicing Reiki, and traveling.


DiBenedetto, J. (2022) (in press). Experiences with a distant reiki intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic using the science of unitary human beings framework. Advances in Nursing Science. 

Downey, N., & DiBenedetto, J. (2021). Health disparity concept analysis. Diversity and Equality in Health and Care, 18(1), 224-231. doi: 10.36648/2049-5471.18.221

DiBenedetto, J. (2020). Supporting terminally ill patients with COVID-19: An ICU nurse’s perspective. Worcester Medicine, 89(5), 13.