Natalie Purcell, PhD, MPA

Associate Adjunct Professor
Social Behavioral Sciences

I am a sociologist who specializes in the study of violence, trauma, and pain across healthcare contexts. My work uses mixed methods drawn from the social sciences and the humanities, as well as program-evaluation and implementation-science techniques. Since joining the VA in 2011, my research has centered on understanding the impact of violence and combat trauma in the lives of US military veterans, identifying and evaluating care interventions to address violence-related trauma and pain among veterans, and identifying ways to reduce violence against healthcare workers. My work at VA involves not only violence and trauma-related research, but also transformation of the institutional culture to promote organizational health and patient centered care.


Barriers to positive airway pressure adherence among veterans with sleep apnea: a mixed methods study.

Translational behavioral medicine

Goldstein LA, Purcell N, Sarmiento KF, Neylan TC, Maguen S

Assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pragmatic clinical trial participants.

Contemporary clinical trials

Coleman BC, Purcell N, Geda M, Luther SL, Peduzzi P, Kerns RD, Seal KH, Burgess DJ, Rosen MI, Sellinger J, Salsbury SA, Gelman H, Brandt CA, Edwards RR

"Then COVID happened…": Veterans' Health, Wellbeing, and Engagement in Whole Health Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Global advances in health and medicine

Purcell N, Sells J, McGrath S, Mehlman H, Bertenthal D, Seal KH

Women Veterans' Experiences with Integrated, Biopsychosocial Pain Care: A Qualitative Study.

Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.)

Nicosia FM, Gibson CJ, Purcell N, Zamora K, Tighe J, Seal KH

How VA Whole Health Coaching Can Impact Veterans' Health and Quality of Life: A Mixed-Methods Pilot Program Evaluation.

Global advances in health and medicine

Purcell N, Zamora K, Bertenthal D, Abadjian L, Tighe J, Seal KH

Reducing Barriers to Behavioral Treatments for Insomnia: A Qualitative Examination of Veterans' Perspectives of BBTI.

Behavioral sleep medicine

Holder N, Kanady JC, Straus LD, Khan AJ, Purcell N, Huggins J, Gloria R, Neylan TC, Lujan C, Maguen S

Whole Health Options and Pain Education (wHOPE): A Pragmatic Trial Comparing Whole Health Team vs Primary Care Group Education to Promote Nonpharmacological Strategies to Improve Pain, Functioning, and Quality of Life in Veterans-Rationale, Methods, and I

Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.)

Seal KH, Becker WC, Murphy JL, Purcell N, Denneson LM, Morasco BJ, Martin AM, Reddy K, Iseghem TV, Krebs EE, Painter JM, Hagedorn H, Pyne JM, Hixon J, Maguen S, Neylan TC, Borsari B, DeRonne B, Gibson C, Matthias MS, Frank JW, Krishnaswamy A, Li Y, Bertenthal D, Chan A, Nunez A, McCamish N

An Integrated Pain Team Model: Impact on Pain-Related Outcomes and Opioid Misuse in Patients with Chronic Pain.

Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.)

Gibson CJ, Grasso J, Li Y, Purcell N, Tighe J, Zamora K, Nicosia F, Seal KH

Tailored to Fit: How an Implementation Framework Can Support Pragmatic Pain Care Trial Adaptation for Diverse Veterans Affairs Clinical Settings.

Medical care

Purcell N, Becker WC, Zamora KA, McGrath SL, Hagedorn HJ, Fabian ER, McCamish N, Seal KH

Profiles of moral distress and associated outcomes among student veterans.

Psychological trauma : theory, research, practice and policy

Griffin BJ, Williams CL, Shaler L, Dees RF, Cowden RG, Bryan CJ, Litz B, Purcell N, Burkman K, Maguen S

Patient Experiences With Integrated Pain Care: A Qualitative Evaluation of One VA's Biopsychosocial Approach to Chronic Pain Treatment and Opioid Safety.

Global advances in health and medicine

Purcell N, Zamora K, Gibson C, Tighe J, Chang J, Grasso J, Seal KH

Moral Injury: An Integrative Review.

Journal of traumatic stress

Griffin BJ, Purcell N, Burkman K, Litz BT, Bryan CJ, Schmitz M, Villierme C, Walsh J, Maguen S

"Opening a Door to a New Life": The Role of Forgiveness in Healing From Moral Injury.

Frontiers in psychiatry

Purcell N, Griffin BJ, Burkman K, Maguen S

Healing from Moral Injury: A Qualitative Evaluation of the Impact of Killing Treatment for Combat Veterans.

Journal of Aggression Maltreatment & Trauma

Natalie Purcell, Kristine Burkman, Jessica Keyser, Phillip Fucella, Shira Maguen

Behavioral threat assessment and management: Lessons learned in one VA health care system.

Journal of Threat Assessment and Management

Natalie Purcell, Michael L. Drexler

Violence in a U.S. Veterans Affairs healthcare system: worker perspectives on prevalence, causes, and contributors.

Policy and Practice in Health and Safety

Natalie Purcell, Eric Shovein, Claire Hebenstreit, Michael Drexler

Veterans’ Perspectives on the Psychosocial Impact of Killing in War.

The Counseling Psychologist

Natalie Purcell, Christopher J. Koenig, Jeane Bosch, Shira Maguen

Violence and the Pornographic Imaginary: The Politics of Sex, Gender, and Aggression in Hardcore Pornography

Violence and the Pornographic Imaginary: The Politics of Sex, Gender, and Aggression in Hardcore Pornography.

Purcell, N.