Yale School of Nursing, Yale University's Graduate Nursing Programs

Yale School of Nursing

Joanne DeSanto Iennaco, PhD, PMHNP-BC, APRN

IennacoAssociate Professor of Nursing and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialty Coordinator

Division of Primary Care

Yale School of Nursing - Rm 22001
Yale University West Campus
P.O. Box 27399
West Haven, CT 06516


203.737.5710 fax


Joanne DeSanto Iennaco is an associate professor and specialty coordinator in the psychiatric-mental health specialty. She holds a PhD in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University's School of Public Health. Iennaco is dually certified as a family psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner and an adult psychiatric-mental health clinical nurse specialist. Iennaco is co-investigator on a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant focused on Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for substance abuse, involving curriculum integration of a brief negotiated intervention using motivational interviewing. Her research program focuses on the measurement and effects of exposures at work. Her recent study, the Aggression Exposure Study, involves measuring and understanding the effects of aggression exposure on workers in the inpatient psychiatric setting. She has also worked with Yale's Occupational and Environmental Medicine research team where she studies the effect of psychosocial exposures in the workplace on health. 

Prior to pursuing her PhD, Iennaco was a tenured associate professor of nursing at St. Joseph's College in Maine, where she was the program director for the BSN opportunities program. In addition to teaching psychiatric and community health nursing, she directed a project to develop a college-wide service-learning infrastructure, promoting community partnerships and service-learning integration by faculty. She was honored with a Faculty Service-learning Award in 1998 and an Outstanding Faculty Award in 1999. Iennaco is a member of the Society for Epidemiologic Research, the American Public Health Association, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Society for Occupational Health Psychology, Sigma Theta Tau International, and the CT APRN Society. 

Clinical Practice
Iennaco’s clinical work is in Acute Services at the Connecticut Mental Health Center in New Haven. She has worked at the Fair Haven Community Health Center, in Adult Inpatient Psychiatric, Admissions, Emergency Department, and Day Treatment settings, and as a visiting mental health nurse.

Please visit Iennaco’s teaching blog where student work is highlighted, Exploring Mental Health: http://exploringmentalhealth.commons.yale.edu/ and her personal blog: Mental Notes by Joanne

Research Interests
Research interests include psychiatric epidemiology and occupational mental health.  Specific areas include depression, anxiety, stress, suicide, violence, and the interface between mental and physical health.

Selected publications
Iennaco, J.D., Tebes, J.K., & Jacobs, S.C. (in press). Public Health Concepts in Public Psychiatry, Chapter 7 in The Yale Textbook of Public Psychiatry, by Jacobs, S.C., & Steiner, J.L., editors. Oxford University Press.

Tsai, J., Iennaco, J.D., Giard, J., & Hoff, R.A. (in press). Evidence-based Public Psychiatry, Chapter 17 in The Yale Textbook of Public Psychiatry, by Jacobs, S.C., & Steiner, J.L., editors. Oxford University Press.

Fisk, D., Iennaco, J.D., LaPaglia, D., & Aniyizhai, A. (in press). Outpatient Behavioral Health Care Services, Chapter 12, in The Yale Textbook of Public Psychiatry, by Jacobs, S.C., & Steiner, J.L., editors. Oxford University Press.

Steiner, J.L., Bellamy, C., Hoge, M.A., Iennaco, J.D., Klee, A., Ponce, A.N., Rohrbaugh, R.M., Ross, D.A., Styron, T.H., & Jacobs, S.C. (in press). Education and Workforce Development in Public Psychiatry, Chapter 16 in The Yale Textbook of Public Psychiatry, by Jacobs, S.C., & Steiner, J.L., editors. Oxford University Press.

Iennaco, J.D. (2015). Aggression and Violence, Chapter 25; The Nursing process in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Chapter 9; The Nurse-Patient Relationship and Therapeutic Communication, Chapter 8. In Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: From Suffering to Hope, by Potter, M & Moller, M editors. Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Bowers, L., Stewart, D., Papadopoulos, C., & Iennaco, J.D. (2013). Correlation between levels of conflict and containment on acute psychiatric wards: The City-128 study.Psychiatric Services in Advance, February 1, 2013, doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201200328.

Iennaco, J., Dixon, J., Whittemore, R., Bowers, L., (January 31, 2013). Measurement and Monitoring of Health Care Worker Aggression Exposure. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 18, No. 1, Manuscript 3.

Primich, C., & Iennaco, J. (2012). Diagnosing adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: the importance of establishing daily life contexts for symptoms and impairments. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 19, 362-373.

Iennaco, J. D. (2011). Case 7.1: Bipolar disorder (pp. 175-184); Case 7.3: Schizophrenia (pp. 195-201); Case 7.4: Schizoaffective disorder (pp. 203-213). In L. Neal-Boylan (Ed.), Clinical case studies in home health care  Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Iennaco, J. D. (2011). Section 2.10: Confusion; Section 2.9: Anxiety; Section 2.9: Depression. In L. Neal-Boylan (Ed.), Clinical case studies for the family nurse practitioner. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Iennaco, J.D., Cullen, M.R., Cantley, L., Slade, M.D., Fiellin, M., & Kasl, S.V. (2010). Effects of externally rated job demand and control on depression diagnosis claims in an industrial cohort. American Journal of Epidemiology, 171(3), 303-311. (Advance Access published December 24, 2009 doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp359). 

Hamrin, V., & Iennaco, J.D. (2010). Psychopharmacology of pediatric bipolar disorder. Expert Reviews in Neurotherapeutics, 10(7), 1053-1088.

Williams, E.C., Moriarty Daley, A. & Iennaco, J.D. (2010). Nurse practitioner assessment of non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors in adolescents. The American Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 14(6), 18-20, 23-26 .

Hamrin, V., Iennaco, J., & Olsen, D. (2009). A review of ecological factors affecting inpatient psychiatric unit violence. Implications for relational and unit cultural improvements. Issues in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing, 30(4): 214-226.

Cullen, M. R., Vegso, S., Cantley, L., Galusha, D., Rabinowitz, P., Taiwo, O., Fiellen, M., Weinberg, D., Iennaco, J. D., Slade, M. D. & Sircar, K. (2006). Use of medical insurance claims data for occupational health research. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine48, 1054-1061.

Selected Presentations
Understanding Aggression Exposure in Health Care Workers.  The 13th Annual Chia Family Health Fellowship Conference. Living Well: Addressing Quality of Life and Mental Health in China (Keynote Presentation 10/24/2014).

Evidence Based Practice Skills Boot Camp. American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Conference.  San Antonio, TX (Pre-conference Workshop 10/13).

When is Monitoring of Restraint Episodes Misleading? American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Conference.  San Antonio, TX (Paper Presentation 10/13).

Partnering with an Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital to Evaluate Measures of Aggressive Behavior. 7th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry. Prague, Czech Republic (Paper Presentation 10/11)

Comparing Differences in Measures of Aggressive Behavior in Inpatient Psychiatric Settings.   17th International Network for Nursing Research (NPNR).  Keble College, Oxford, UK. (Paper Presentation 9/11)

Effects of Aggression Exposure on Worker Health Outcomes in the Inpatient Psychiatric Setting. Work, Stress, and Health 2011: Work and Well-Being in an Economic Context. Orlando, FL (Paper Presentation 5/11)

Effects of Gender on the Relationship Between Job Strain and Depression. 2010 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, Washington, DC (Paper Presentation, 9/10).

Accounting for Change in Objectively Rated Demand and Control Exposure on Depression Diagnosis in a Heavy Industrial Cohort.  Work, Stress, and Health 2009: Global Concerns and Approaches, San Juan, Puerto Rico (Paper Presentation, 11/09).

Effects of Demand and Control at Work on Ischemic Heart Disease Claims in a Heavy Industrial Cohort.  Work, Stress, and Health 2009: Global Concerns and Approaches, San Juan, Puerto Rico (Paper Presentation, 11/09). 

Virtue Ethics and the Relational Approach: Violence and the Response on Psychiatric Units. First International Conference on Workplace Violence in the Health Sector, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Paper Presentation with V.Hamrin, 10/08).