Belinda Borrelli

Director of Center for Behavioral Sciences Research; Professor of Health Policy & Health Services Research

  • Title Director of Center for Behavioral Sciences Research;
    Professor of Health Policy & Health Services Research
  • Office 560 Harrison
  • Phone 617-358-6469

Professional Interests

Dr. Belinda Borrelli, PhD is Professor and Director of The Center for Behavioral Science Research at Boston University, in the Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. She is also the PI and Director of BU’s Mobile and Electronic Health-ARC. In 2013, she was invited to be a Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester, UK., and continues in that role. She was formally a Professor at Brown University, in both the School of Public Health and the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and since transitioning to BU, maintains an adjunct Professorship at Brown. Dr. Borrelli received her MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and completed her residency and fellowship training in Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at Brown University. She proceeded through the academic ranks at Brown University and became Full Professor there in 2009.

Dr. Borrelli is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in motivating behavior change, with 125+ peer-reviewed publications. She has held over 25 NIH grant awards as PI and Co-I, and numerous grant awards from other agencies and foundations. Over the past 20+ years, Prof. Borrelli’s research has focused on developing and testing treatments to motivate smoking cessation and secondhand smoke reduction, improving oral health and dietary behaviors, and promoting adherence to medications and treatment regimens for chronic diseases including sleep apnea, cystic fibrosis, and asthma. She specializes in integrating theory based treatments into public health contexts, and targeting underserved populations such as those with low income, inner city youth and adults, Latinos, people with mobility impairments, medically ill populations, older adults, and Native-Americans. Dr. Borrelli is also developing and testing mobile health platforms to initiate and sustain health behavior change (text messaging, apps, VR).

Dr. Borrelli has served on grant review panels in the US, Europe, and the UK and is a Fellow of the American College of Reviewers. She served as an advisor to the NIH on treatment fidelity, for both NIDCR and NHLBI, and has published several invited articles on best practice guidelines that have been widely disseminated. She provided expert testimony to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on motivating health behavior change. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association,the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco. Dr. Borrelli is a member of several journal editorial boards. She has been Associate Editor or Senior Associate Editor at leading journals in psychology (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,Health Psychology, and American Psychologist) and the most cited journal in addiction science (Addiction). She was  Co-Editor of a special issue of Health Psychology on mHealth and eHealth interventions. She has taught Motivational Interviewing to health care practitioners in the US and abroad, and has given over 90 invited talks nationally and internationally. She was named “TEDMED Research Scholar” in 2015. In 2017, she received BU’s Research Collaborator of the Year award, from the Office of Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research & The Evans Center. She served as primary mentor to over 35 interns, post-docs, and NIH K award recipients.

Representative publications from over 125 publications:

For full publication list, see: http://profiles.bu.edu/belinda.borrelli

Endrighi, R., Rueras, N., Dunsiger, S., & Borrelli, B. (2021). Perceived pain and smoking interrelations and expectancies are associated with pain and smoking cessation in individuals with mobility impairment. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 23(1), 179-185. PMID: 21287549.

Borrelli, B., Rueras, N., Jurasic, M. (2019).  Delivery of a Smoking Cessation Induction Intervention via Virtual Reality Headset during a Dental Cleaning. Translational Behavioral Medicine. 2019 Oct 28. doi: 10.1093/tbm/ibz144. PMID: 31665495 

Borrelli, B., Henshaw, M., Endrighi, R., Adams, W. G., Heeren, T., Rosen, R., . . . Werntz, S. (2019). An Interactive Parent-Targeted Text Messaging Intervention to Improve Oral Health in Children Attending Urban Pediatric Clinics: Feasibility Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research mHealth and uHealth. 7(11):e14247. 11 Nov 2019. doi:10.2196/14247. PMID: 31710306

Henshaw, M.M., Borrelli, B., Gregorich, S., Heaton, B., Tooley, E., Santo, W., Cheng, N.F., Rasmussen, M., Helman, S., Shain, S., & Garcia, R.I. (2018). Randomized Trial of Motivational Interviewing to Prevent Early Childhood Caries in Public Housing. Journal of Dental and Craniofacial Research. 3(4): 353-365. doi:10.1177/2380084418794377. PMID: 30238060. PMCID: PMC6139579.

Borrelli, B., Endrighi, R., Hammond, S.K. & Dunsiger, S. (2017). Smokers who are unmotivated to quit and have a child with asthma are more likely to quit with intensive Motivational Interviewing and repeated biomarker feedback. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology Nov 85(11): 1019-1028. PMID 29083219. PMCID: PMC5678980.

Borrelli, B., McQuaid, E.M., Tooley, E.M., Busch, A.M., Hammond, K., Becker, B. & Dunsiger, S.  (2016). Motivating Parents of Kids with Asthma to Quit Smoking:  The Effect of the Teachable Moment and Increasing Intervention Intensity Using a Longitudinal  Randomized Trial Design. Addiction 111, doi: 10.111/add.13389.

Fedele, D., Tooley, E.M., Busch, A., McQuaid, E.M., Hammond, K., & Borrelli,  (2016). Secondhand smoke exposure in minority children with asthma. Health Psychology, 35(2), 115-22. Borrelli, B., & Ritterband, L. (2015).  Special Issue on eHealth and mHealth:  Challenges for future directions for assessment, treatment, and dissemination.  Health Psychology. 34. 1205-1208.

Borrelli, B., Tooley, E. M., & Scott-Sheldon, L. A. J. (2015). Motivational Interviewing for Parent-Child Health Interventions: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Invited Paper, Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, 37(3), 254-265.

Borrelli, B., Bartlett, K., Tooley, E.M., Armitage, C.J., & Wearden, A. (2015).  Prevalence and Frequency of mHealth and eHealth Use Among Smokers in the US and UK and Differences by Motivation to Quit.  Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(7):e164  doi: 10.2196/jmir.4420

Eakin, M.N, Rand, C.S., Borrelli, B., Bilderback, A., Hovell, M., & Riekert, K.A. (2014). Effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing to Reduce Head Start Children’s Secondhand Smoke Exposure: A Randomized Clinical Trial.  American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 189(12), 1530-1537.

Borrelli, B., Busch, A., & Dunsiger, S. (2014).  Cigarette Smoking among Adults with Mobility Impairments: A General Population-Based Survey in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. 104(10), 1943-1949.

Eakin, M.N, Rand, C.S., Borrelli, B., Bilderback, A., Hovell, M., & Riekert, K.A.  (2014). Effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing to Reduce Head Start Children’s Secondhand Smoke Exposure: A Randomized Clinical Trial.  American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 189(12), 1530-1537.

Borrelli, B., McQuaid, E.L. & Wagener, T.L. (2014) Asthma vs. healthy children: Differences in smoke exposure and caregiver perceived risk. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 16(5), 554-561.

Borrelli, B., Busch, A., Trotter, D. (2013). Methods used to quit smoking by people with physical disabilities. Vol 58(2), Rehabilitation Psychology, 117-123.

Aloia, M.S., Arnedt, T., Strand, M. Millman, R.P.,  Borrelli, B. (2013). Motivational Enhancement to improve adherence to positive airway pressure in patients with obstructive sleep apnea:  A randomized controlled trial. Sleep 36(11).

Busch, A. M. & Borrelli, B. (2012) Valued Life Activities and Readiness to Quit Smoking among Mobility Impaired Smokers. Health Psychology, 13(1), 122-125.

Borrelli, B. (2011). The Assessment, Monitoring, and Enhancement of Treatment Fidelity in Public Health Trials. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 71, S52-S63.

Halterman, J.S.,  Szilagyi, P., Fisher, M., Fagnano, P., Tremblay, K.M., Conn, H., Wang, B., &  Borrelli, B. (2011). A Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve Care for Urban Children with Asthma: Results of the School-Based Asthma Therapy (SBAT) Trial. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 165(3), 262-8.

Borrelli, B., Hayes, R., Gregor, K.,  Lee, C., & McQuaid, E. (2011).  Differences in smoking behavior and attitudes among Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Non-Latino White caregivers of children with asthma.  American Journal of  Health Promotion25(5) Suppl. S91-S95.

Borrelli, B., McQuaid, E., Novak, S., Hammond, K., & Becker, B.  Motivating Latino Parents of Children with Asthma to Quit Smoking:  A Randomized Trial. (2010). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(1) 33-43.  JIF=6.071

Borrelli, B.  (2010).  Smoking cessation:  Next steps for future research and innovative treatments.   Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 1-12.

Borrelli, B., Hayes, R., Dunsiger, S. & Fava, J. (2010). Risk Perception and Smoking Behavior In Medically Ill Smokers:  A Prospective Study.  Addiction,105, 1100-1108.

Borrelli, B., McQuaid, E., Novak, S., Hammond, K., & Becker, B.  Motivating Latino Parents of Children with Asthma to Quit Smoking:  A Randomized Trial. (2010). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(1) 33-43.

Boudreaux, E.D., Cydulka, R., Bock, B., Borrelli, B., & Bernstein, S.L. (2009).  Conceptual models of health behavior:  Research in the emergency care setting.  Academic Emergency Medicine, 16, 1120-1123.

Halterman, J.S., Borrelli, B.,  Tremblay, P., Conn, K.M., Fagnano, M., & Montes,G., Hernandez, T. (2008). Screening for Environmental Tobacco Smoke exposure among inner city children with asthma. Pediatrics122:1277-1283.

Borrelli, B., Riekert, K.A., Weinstein, A. & Cardella, L. (2007).  Clinical Strategies for Motivating Asthma Medication Adherence:  Motivational Interviewing.  Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol 120 (5), 1023-1030

Borrelli, B. & Novak, S. (2007).  Nurses’ knowledge about the risk of light cigarettes and other tobacco ‘harm reduction’ strategies.  Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Vol 9(6), 653-662.

Borrelli, B., Novak., S., Hecht, J., Emmons, K., Papandonatos, G., & Abrams, D. (2005)  Home health care nurses as a new channel for smoking cessation treatment:  Outcomes from Project CARES (Community-nurse Assisted Research and Education on Smoking).  Preventive Medicine41, 815-821.

Borrelli, B., Sepinwall, D., Ernst, D., Bellg, A.J., Czajkowski, S., Breger, R., DeFrancesco, C., Levesque, C., Sharp, D.S., Ogedegbe, G., Resnick, B., Orwig, D.  (2005). A New Tool to Assess Treatment Fidelity and Evaluation of Treatment Fidelity Across Ten Years of Health Behavior Research. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(5), 852-860.

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