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Martha A. Abshire, PhD, MS, RN

Assistant Professor
Martha Abshire
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Specialties and Expertise

  • Cardiovascular
  • Palliative Care


Martha Abshire is nurse scientist and educator focused on improving the care of patients and families living with advanced heart failure. Her clinical experience in cardiac and critical care has been the foundation of her teaching and research. Her Johns Hopkins School of Nursing PhD dissertation, "Physiological and Psychological Stress among Left Ventricular Assist Device Patients," was funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research and the Heart Failure Society of America. This study focused on the intersection of physiological biomarkers, stress perception, and key patient-reported outcomes such as quality of life. It demonstrated the important role of social support in persons with advanced heart failure as a moderator of stress on quality of life. Dr. Abshire has developed national and international collaborations and has presented her work at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, the Heart Failure Society of America and the International Society of Health and Lung Transplant annual meetings. She is currently developing an intervention to support caregivers of advanced heart failure patients through a grant funded by the PROMOTE Center (1P30NR018093-01). This intervention will focus on decreasing caregiver burden, improving cardiovascular risk through preventive health behaviors and improving quality of life. In addition, Dr. Abshire is a collaborator on the PRECURSORS study, examining end-of-life decision making in a large cohort study of Johns Hopkins physicians. 

Additional Resources

Below are selected resources. For more information, please see full CV.

  • Videos
  • Publications/Research
    Abshire, M., Dinglas, V. D., Cajita, M. I. A., Eakin, M. N., Needham, D. M., & Dennison Himmelfarb, C. Participant retention practices in longitudinal clinical research studies with high retention rates. BMC Medical Research Methodology (in press).

    Casida, J. M., Wu, H. S., Abshire, M., Ghosh, B., & Yang, J. J. (2016). Cognition and adherence are self-management factors predicting the quality of life of adults living with a left ventricular assist device. The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 36(3), 325-330.

    Abshire, M., Prichard, R., Cajita, M., DiGiacomo, M., & Himmelfarb, C. D. (2016). Adaptation and coping in patients living with an LVAD: A metasynthesis. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care, 45(5), 397-405.

    Abshire, M., Xu, J., Dennison Himmelfarb, C. R., Davidson, P. M., Sulmasy, D., Kub, J., Hughes, M., & Nolan, M. (2015). Symptoms and fear in patients with heart failure approaching end of life: A mixed methods study. Journal of Clinical Nursing 24(21-22), 3215-3223.

    Abshire, M., Dennison Himmelfarb, C. R., & Russell, S. D. (2014). Functional status in left ventricular assist device–supported patients: A literature review. Journal of Cardiac Failure, 20(12), 973-983
  • Awards/Honors
    2016 Nursing Research Award, 2nd place, and Travel Award, HFSA
    2015-2016 Margaret Tyson Scholarship, Nurses Educational Funds
    2014-2015 President, Doctoral Student Organization, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing