Dr. Jonathan A. Shaffer serves as a core faculty member in the Clinical Health Psychology doctoral program within the Department of Psychology where he is involved in teaching, mentoring, and research. He is a licensed clinical psychologist with training in cardiovascular behavioral medicine and quantitative methodology.
His research focuses on: (1) the role of biopsychosocial factors in cardiovascular disease and (2) the design and evaluation of psychosocial and behavioral interventions for cardiovascular disease. Dr. Shaffer has conducted and analyzed studies that examine the associations among quality of life, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and physical activity in patients with acute coronary syndromes and heart failure.
Dr. Shaffer’s Ludeman Family Center for Women's Health Research seed grant project focuses on the development of a mobile psychosocial intervention application for women with spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), a rare type of heart attack that generally afflicts young women with few risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Preliminary evidence suggests that SCAD patients may be at increased risk for developing anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been successfully used to treat depression and anxiety in patients with cardiac disease, and preliminary evidence suggests that a CBT-based intervention for SCAD patients may be beneficial. Dr. Shaffer’s project aims to adapt an in-person CBT intervention into an online app for women with SCAD as part of a larger program of research that aims to increase the availability and dissemination of the intervention.