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(859) 323–0242

(859) 323–1057




PhD, University of Kentucky, 2010
MSN, University of Kentucky, 2006
BSN, Calvin College, 2002


Depression in people with heart disease


Rebecca  Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN

Assistant Professor

Rebecca Dekker received her BSN from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and her Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Kentucky. She is currently an assistant professor in the College of Nursing, where she teaches pathopharmacology to undergraduate nursing students and conducts cardiovascular nursing research.

Dr. Dekker's expertise is related to depression in people with heart failure. Over the past four years, Dr. Dekker has received funding to conduct three randomized, controlled trials testing cognitive behavior therapy for the treatment of depression in this population. Her current study is funded by a $355,000 training grant from the National Institutes of Nursing Research. As part of this training grant, Dr. Dekker is training in cognitive behavior therapy at the acclaimed Beck Institute, as well as taking graduate courses in clinical trial research at the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Dekker is a team member in the RICH (Research and Intervention for Cardiovascular Health) Heart Program, a highly successful and productive research collaborative dedicated to mentorship and cardiovascular research.

Dr. Dekker has been recognized for her excellence in research and scholarship by many organizations including the American Heart Association (2012 Marie Cowan Promising Young Investigator Award), the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (2007 and 2008 Research Competition Finalist), the Society for Heart-Brain Medicine (2009 Young Investigator Award).


Thylen, I. , Dekker, R. L., Jaarsma, T. , Stromberg, A. , Moser, D. K. (2014). Characteristics associated with anxiety, depressive symptoms, and quality-of-life in a large cohort of implantable cardioverter defibrillator recipients. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 77 (2), 122-127.

Alhurani, A. S., Dekker, R. L., Abed, M. A., Khalil, A. , Al Zaghal, M. H., Lee, K. , Mudd-Martin, G. T., Biddle, M. J., Lennie, T. A., Moser, D. K. (2014). The association of co-morbid symptoms of depression and anxiety with all-cause mortality and cardiac rehospitalization in patients with heart failure. Psychosomatics.

Dekker, R. L., Lennie, T. A., Doering, L. V., Chung, M. L., Wu, J. R., Moser, D. K. (2014). Coexisting anxiety and depressive symptoms in patients with heart failure. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 13 (2), 168-76.

Dekker, R. L. (2014). Patient perspectives about depressive symptoms in heart failure: A review of the qualitative literature. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 29 (1), E9-15.

Wu, J. R., Lennie, T. A., Dekker, R. L., Biddle, M. J., Moser, D. K. (2013). Medication adherence, depressive symptoms, and cardiac event-free survival in patients with heart failure. Journal of Cardiac Failure, 19 (5), 317-24.

Chung, M. L., Dekker, R. L., Lennie, T. A., Moser, D. K. (2013). Antidepressants do not improve event-free survival in patients with heart failure when depressive symptoms remain. Heart & Lung, 42 (2), 85-91.



Dekker, R.L., Tovar, E.G., Doering, L.V., Bailey, A.L., Campbell, C., Wright, J.H., Bishop, M., Moser, D.K. (2014, October).  A single cognitive behavior therapy session improves short-term depressive symptoms in hospitalized patients with heart failure. 2014 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago, IL.

Dekker, R.L., Ashford, K.B., Lennie, T.A., Chung, M.L., Biddle, M.J., Mudd-Martin, G.T., Bailey, A.L., Moser, D.K. (2014, October).  Elevated cardiovascular risk factors among Appalachian women with a history of pregnancy complications. 2014 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago, IL.

Adams, K.L., Dekker, R.L., Lennie, T.A., Chung, M.L., Dracup, K., Moser, D.K. (2013, November).  African American race is independently associated with poorer outcomes in patients with heart failure even in the presence of multiple risk factors for poor outcomes. 2013 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, American Heart Association, Dallas, TX.

Moser, D.K., Dekker, R.L., Mudd-Martin, G.T., Chung, M.L., Biddle, M.J., Bailey, A.L., Casey, B.R., Westneat, S., Rayens, M.K., Novak, M.J., Lennie, T.A. (2013, November).  Improving depressive symptoms among rural patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease in the most mentally distressed area in the country. 2013 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, American Heart Association, Dallas, TX.

Dekker, R.L. (2013, May).  Using social media to get birth evidence to mothers. 2013 Virtual International Day of the Midwife, , .

Srihakim, N., Kuchmy, D., Dekker, R.L. (2013, April).  Factors associated with early readmission among patients with heart failure. Annual Clinical and Translational Science Conference, Lexington, KY.

Srihakim, N., Kuchmy, D., Dekker, R.L. (2013, March).  Factors associated with early readmission among patients with heart failure. College of Nursing Student Scholarship Showcase, University of Kentucky College of Nursing , Lexington, KY.

King, S., Lester, K., Dekker, R.L. (2013, March).  Social media and evidence-based maternity care. College of Nursing Student Scholarship Showcase, University of Kentucky College of Nursing , Lexington, KY.

Dekker, R.L., Lennie, T.A., Doering, L.V., Chung, M.L., Wu, J.R., Moser, D.K. (2012, November).  Depressive symptoms are the strongest predictor of anxiety symptoms in patients with heart failure. 2012 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, American Heart Association , Los Angeles, CA.



Cognitive Therapy for Depressive Symptoms in Hospitalized Patients with Heart Failure.
Project Period: April/ 1/ 2012 - June/ 30/ 2015
Total Award: $355552.00
Sponsor: National Institute of Nursing Research