Dr. Riegel teaches at all levels of the nursing curriculum. She teaches N753, Evolving Nursing Science, as well as a seminar in the doctoral program on responses to chronic illness. Graduate students at all levels take these seminars. She also teaches a seminar on self-care to undergraduate students.
Since 1994, Dr. Riegel has led interdisciplinary research in chronic heart failure, an extremely common and debilitating syndrome. Approximately 5.7 million adults in the United States have heart failure and about half of those who develop heart failure die within five years of diagnosis. Poor self-care is thought to be a major contributor to these poor outcomes. In her research, Dr. Riegel has tested various disease management approaches, developed theory and psychometrically sound methods of measuring the self-care, and explored a wide variety of factors affecting self-care of persons with various chronic conditions. The factor affecting self-care typically include sleep problems, lack of confidence in the ability to perform self-care, and lack of caregiver support, among others. She is considered a world expert in the field and now co-directs the International Center for Self-Care Research http://www.selfcareresearch.org/.