Lisa Segre, PhD

Distinguished Scholar in Nursing Science

Dr. Segre is a professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa. A graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s doctoral program in Community-Clinical Psychology, Dr. Segre’s program of research focuses on the identification and treatment of postpartum depression, particularly among impoverished ethnic-minority mothers.

In her early studies, Dr. Segre sought to identify factors that raised risk for maternal depression among Iowa women and assessed their preferences for depression treatment. In collaboration with the Iowa Department of Public Health, she led the implementation of maternal depression screening across Iowa, using a Train-the-Trainer mechanism to distribute expertise to collaborators/providers in the field.

These prior studies all supported the primary focus of her program of research: implementing and evaluating Listening Visits, a supportive listening intervention developed in the UK for delivery by point-of-care providers such as nurses and home visitors. The underlying rationale for this intervention is that women often just need someone to listen to them as they sort out their own situations, rather than necessarily requiring mental-health specialist care. Given the significant barriers preventing many at-risk women from receiving depression treatment, Dr. Segre sought to close the treatment gap by providing a non-stigmatizing, accessible treatment option.

To assess the effectiveness of Listening Visits when used locally by U.S. providers, Dr. Segre completed four clinical trials with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research: an open trial in collaboration with the Des Moines Healthy Start Program  (2007-09); a four-site randomized controlled trial in three Iowa home-visiting programs and a Chicago ob-gyn clinic (2009-12); an open trial (2010-2012) as well as a feasibility RCT (2018-2020) situated in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

With evidence for the effectiveness of Listening Visits when delivered by U.S. home visitors, Dr. Segre collaborated with the Iowa Department of Public Health to implement this strategy in the state’s 21 maternal health agencies. In 2019, the University of Iowa’s vice president for research formally recognized the impact of Dr. Segre’s research on the lives of Iowa mothers with the Distinguished Achievement in Publicly Engaged Research Award. In 2021, the College of Nursing selected Dr. Segre as the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar in Nursing Science Award.

Curriculum Vitae

Research areas
  • Development and evaluation of maternal depression screening and treatment programs with an emphasis on low income and ethnic minority women
Lisa Segre
PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology, University of Illinois
MA in Clinical-Community Psychology, University of Maryland