Photo of Martha Driessnack, P.h.D., P.P.C.N.P.-B.C.

Martha Driessnack P.h.D., P.P.C.N.P.-B.C.

  •      (503) 418-1271

    Portland Campus

    • Associate Professor School of Nursing

My program of research revolves around the active engagement of children both in health care research and practice through the development of child-sensitive approaches to data collection and assessment. To date, much of my work has centered on the integration of children's drawings into the interview process, or what I refer to as the Draw-and-Tell Conversation (DTC). This journey has taken me into conversations with children about fear, disease causation, risk, and/or inheritance, and health-related literacy. I am currently focused on how we engage children in the assessment and management of their pain experiences, both acute and chronic, and how current approaches impact children's life and future pain experiences. I am always in awe of the degree to which children are able to communicate and the nuanced insights they provide. To learn more about my work and focus:

Listen to my talk, entitled Understanding Genetics: With a little help from Harry Potter and friends, at The University of Florida's Health Science Center Library who was hosting "Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine," a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine. The talk uses characters and stories from the Harry Potter series to explain complex genetic concepts, including patterns of inheritance, variable expressivity, incomplete penetrance, epigenetics and eugenics.

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  • B.S.N., The Ohio State University 1977
  • M.S.N., Yale University 1979
  • Ph.D., Oregon Health & Sciences University 2005
  • Fellowship:

    • Post doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Genetics - University of Iowa
  • Certifications:

    • NIH/NINR - Summer Genetics Institute


Selected publications

  • Driessnack, M. (2017). “Who are you from?” The importance of family stories. Journal of Family Nursing, 23(4), 434-449. doi: 10.1177/1074840717735510  

  • ONLINE FIRST - "Who are you from?" - The importance of family stories. Journal of Family Nursing. Download and share -

  • Furukawa, R., Driessnack, M., & Kobori E. (2018). The impact of video-mediated communication on separated perinatal couples in Japan. Journal of Transcultural Nursing doi: 10.1177/1043659617692394 [Epub 2017 Feb 17]

  • Lassetter, J.H., Macintosh, C.I., Williams, M., Driessnack, M., Ray, G., & Wisco, J.J. (2018). Psychometric Testing of the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Self-Efficacy Questionnaire and the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Behavior Recall Questionnaire for Children. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 23(2), e12207. doi: 10.1111/jspn.12207 [Epub 2018 Jan 5]

  • Barfield, P., & Driessnack, M. (2018). Children with ADHD draw-and-tell what makes their life really good. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 23(2), e12210. [Epub 2018 Feb 28] doi: 10.1111/jspn.12210

  • Carney, P.A., Bearden, D.T., Osborne, M.L., Driessnack, M. Stilp, C.C., Baggs, J.Gedney, Austin, J.P., Tonning, K., & Boyd, J. (2018). Economic models for sustainable interprofessional education. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 32 (6), 745-751. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2018.1509846 [Published online before print Aug 15, 2018]  

  • Driessnack, M. (2018). Interprofessional Practice & Education: A Primer. Journal of Nursing  Science, 36 (3), 4-8.

  • Hershberger, P.E., Driessnack, M., Kavanaugh, K., & Klock, S.C. (2019). Oocyte donation disclosure decisions: A longitudinal follow-up study at middle childhood. Human Fertility. doi: 10.1080/14647273.2019.1567945.


  • "Draw-and-tell conversations with children about fear" Qualitative Health Research December 2006
  • "The disclosure of incidental genomic findings" Journal of Community Genetics October 2013
  • "We are different" Nurse Educator September 2011
  • "Revi são dos desenhos de pesqui sa relevantes para enfermagem" Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem September 2007
  • "Genetics specialists' perspectives on disclosure of genomic incidental findings in the clinical setting" Patient Education and Counseling January 2013
  • "Remember me" Holistic Nursing Practice July 2004
  • "Experiences of teens living in the shadow of Huntington disease" Journal of Genetic Counseling August 2008
  • "Using drawings as a research method with adults." Qualitative Health Research September 2004
  • "Researcher and institutional review board chair perspectives on incidental findings in genomic research" Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers June 1 2012
  • "A committee approach maintaining cultural originality in translation" Applied Nursing Research  2014
  • "Facilitative Drawings With Children Versus Human Figure Drawings" Journal of Pediatric Nursing December 2007
  • "Disclosure of incidental genomic findings involving children" Personalized Medicine August 2013
  • "Letter to the Editor" Nursing Outlook March 2006
  • "A closer look at the recommended criteria for disclosing genetic results" Journal of Genetic Counseling August 2013
  • "Lost in translation?" Communicating nursing research March 2007
  • "Factorial structure of the perception of risk factors for type 2 diabetes scale" Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice December 2010
  • "Growing Up at the Intersection of the Genomic Era and the Information Age" Journal of Pediatric Nursing June 2009
  • "Bedside peritoneal drainage in very low birth weight infants" American Journal of Surgery  2001
  • "Strategies used by teens growing up in families with huntington disease" Journal of Pediatric Nursing September 2013
  • "Supporting face-to-face communication between clinicians and children with chronic headaches through a zoomable multi-touch app"   2012
  • "Stop, look, and listen" Annual review of nursing research  2011
  • "Children 'draw-and-tell' their knowledge of genetics." Pediatric nursing July 2013
  • "Children's drawings as facilitators of communication" Journal of Pediatric Nursing December 2005
  • "Using the colored eco-genetic relationship map with children" Nursing Research September 2009
  • "Consulting with children in the development of self-efficacy and recall tools related to nutrition and physical activity" Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing January 1 2015
  • "Corticosteroids in the management of unresected plasma cell granuloma (inflammatory pseudotumor) of the lung" Journal of Pediatric Surgery  1991
  • "A practical first step to integrating genetics into the curriculum" The Journal of nursing education May 2012
  • "Development of the HD-Teen Inventory" Clinical Nursing Research May 2012
  • "Video-Mediated Communication to Support Distant Family Connectedness" Clinical Nursing Research February 2013
  • "Revisão dos desenhos de pesquisa relevantes para enfermagem" Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem June 2007

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