skip to navigation skip to content
For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop


Joseph Merighi

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Ph.D., Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley
M.S.W., Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley
M.A., Clinical Psychology, Connecticut College
B.S., Psychology and Life Sciences, Juniata College

Additional study: Fédération Universitaire et Polytechnique de Lille, École des Hautes Études Industrielles, Lille, France.

Areas of Interest

Social work practice in health care settings
Psychosocial aspects of end-stage renal disease
International social work


My research examines the professional roles and contributions of social work practitioners in health care settings, with a particular emphasis on nephrology social workers in dialysis clinics. To execute my research agenda, I conduct quantitative and qualitative studies that describe the changing landscape of social work practice in nephrology settings and explore how social workers enhance the physical and psychosocial well-being of patients with end-stage renal disease. For example, some of my work has quantified at a national level dialysis social workers’ job roles and responsibilities, patient caseloads, workload demands, and emotional exhaustion. Together, these efforts will help strengthen the overall quality and delivery of psychosocial services to patients, provide better work environments for nephrology social work practitioners, and contribute to improved health outcomes of people with kidney disease.

Selected Publications

  1. Dechaine, C. L., Merighi, J. R., & O’Keefe, T. (In press). Healing the heart: A qualitative study of challenges and motivations to cardiac rehabilitation attendance and completion among women and men. Sex Roles. doi: 10.1007/s11199-017-0873-5

  2. Ceckowski, K. A., Little, D. J., Merighi, J. R., Browne, T., & Yuan, C. M. (2017). An end-of-life practice survey among clinical nephrologists associated with a single nephrology fellowship training program. Clinical Kidney Journal, 10(4), 437−442.

  3. Kim, J., Lee, H. Y., Christensen, M. C., & Merighi, J. R. (2017). Technology access and use, and their associations with social engagement among older adults: Do women and men differ? Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 72(5), 836−845. 

  4. Lee, H. Y., Kim, J. H., & Merighi, J. R. (2015). Physical activity and self-rated health status among older cancer survivors: Does intensity of activity play a role? Oncology Nursing Forum, 42(6), 614-624.

  5. Merighi, J. R., & Browne, T. (2015). Nephrology social workers' caseloads and hourly wages in 2014: Findings from the NKF-CNSW Professional Practice Survey. Journal of Nephrology Social Work, 39(1), 33–60.

  6. Merighi, J. R. (2014). Behavioral self-management of end-stage renal disease: Implications for social work practice. In D. I. Mostofsky (Ed.), The handbook of behavioral medicine (Vol. 2, pp. 871-891). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

  7. Merighi, J. R. (2012). Changes in dialysis social workers’ caseloads, job tasks, and hourly wages since the implementation of the 2008 Conditions for Coverage. Journal of Nephrology Social Work, 38, 8–20.

  8. Merighi, J. R., Schatell, D. R., Bragg-Gresham, J. L., Witten, B., & Mehrotra, R. (2012). Insights into nephrologist training, clinical practice, and dialysis choice. Hemodialysis International, 16, 242–251.

  9. Merighi, J. R., & Collins, K. (2011). Critical concerns and contributions of nephrology social workers: Reactions to the 2008 Conditions for Coverage. Journal of Nephrology Social Work, 35, 9–16.

  10. Browne, T., & Merighi, J. R. (2010). Barriers to adult hemodialysis patients’ self-management of oral medications. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 56(3), 547–557.

  11. Fuller-Thomson, E., Sawyer, J., & Merighi, J. R. (2010). Lifetime prevalence of comorbid mood disorders in a representative sample of Canadians with Type 1 diabetes. Journal of Diabetes and Its
    , 24, 297–300.

Selected Presentations

  1. Merighi, J. R. (2017, November). Social workers and kidney disease care in the United States: Professional roles and challenges. Invited presentation given at Beijing Normal University, School of Social Development and Public Policy, Beijing, China.

  2. Merighi, J. R., Benbenek, M., & Remke, S. (2017, August). Assessing the interprofessional competence of advanced practice nursing and Master of Social Work students using clinical simulations. Paper presented at the 20th Biennial International Symposium of the International Consortium of Social Development, Zagreb, Croatia.

  3. Moore Greene, G., Voorhes, P., Merighi, J. R., & McCool, M. (2016, October). Using Symptom Targeted Intervention to improve psychosocial outcomes of solid organ transplant patients. Paper presented at the Society for Transplant Social Work Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

  4. Merighi, J. R., Remke, S. S., & Browne, T. (2015, September). Social work leadership on interprofessional health care teams. Roundtable discussion at Collaborating Across Borders V, Roanoke, VA.

  5. Merighi, J. R., & Browne, T. (2015, July). Disparities in social work practice in for-profit and non-profit dialysis settings in the United States. Paper presented at the 19th International Symposium of the International Consortium for Social Development, Republic of Singapore.

  6. Merighi, J. R., & Browne, T. (2014, April). Findings from the national 2014 nephrology social work caseload and salary survey: Implications for practice and advocacy. Paper presented at the National Kidney Foundation Clinical Meetings, Las Vegas, NV.