Charles R. Jonassaint, PhD, MHS

  • Associate Professor of Medicine, Tenure
  • Assistant Professor of Social Work and Clinical and Translational Science

Charles Jonassaint, PhD, MHS is a practicing clinical health psychologist focusing on the implementation of behavioral intervention technologies in low-resource settings. He is currently funded through an NHLBI K23 grant to lead a program of research in sickle cell disease focused on designing and testing evidence-based mHealth tools for improving stress and pain management. Dr. Jonassaint is also the co-inventor of two mobile apps for assessing patient-reported outcomes, innovations that are specifically designed to meet the needs of underserved populations. He is the co-inventor of an SCD specific self-management app called SMART: The Sickle Cell Disease Mobile Application to Record Symptoms via Technology. Testing of SMART has led to two publications and is now being used in four funded studies at three institutions. His team has also developed a novel tool for assessing pain called Painimation, a tablet-based app that allows patients to use animations and graphical images to describe their pain experience.

Dr. Jonassaint is an active Twitter user: follow him at @drjonassaint

Education & Training

  • BA (Psychology), Minot State University, 2002
  • PhD (Clinical Psychology), Duke University, 2009
  • Internship, Duke University Medical Center, 2009
  • MHS (Epidemiology), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2012
  • Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, 2013

Representative Publications

Jonassaint CR, Belnap BH, Huang Y, Karp JF, Abebe KZ, Rollman BL. Racial differences in the effectiveness of internet-delivered mental health care. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2019.

In a secondary analysis of a three-arm randomized controlled clinical trial, we found that for African American patients, computerized cognitive behavioral therapy was associated with significant 6-month decease in depression and anxiety.

Jonassaint CR, Rao N, Sciuto A, Switzer GE, De Castro L, Kato GJ, Jonassaint JC, Hammal Z, Shah N, Wasan A. Abstract animations for the communication and assessment of pain in adults: cross-sectional feasibility study. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2018;20(8):e10056.

Painimation, a tool that uses graphic illustrations and animations to assess pain quality, intensity, and course, may be a faster and more patient-centered method for assessing pain as it’s not limited by age, literacy, or language.

Jonassaint CR, Kang C, Abrams DM, Li JJ, Mao J, Jia Y, Long Q, Sanger M, Jonassaint JC, De Castro L, Shah N. Understanding patterns and correlates of daily pain using the Sickle cell disease Mobile Application to Record Symptoms via Technology (SMART). British Journal of Haematology. 2018;18 (2):306-308.

This study supports the use of a mobile e‐diary app to describe day‐to‐day patterns in sickle cell disease‐related pain symptoms and identify the clinical and demographic factors associated with differences in daily pain level among adult patients.

Jonassaint CR, Birenboim A, Jorgensen DR, Novelli EM, Rosso AL. The association of smartphone-based activity space measures with cognitive functioning and pain sickle cell disease. British Journal of Haematology. 2018;181(3):395-397.

Using technologies, such as GPS activity space, will be important in determining which patients are most in need of intervention and how patients respond to changes in treatment without patients having to record, track and recognize these symptoms themselves.

Click here for a more complete bibliography of Dr. Jonassaint’s works.

Research Interests

  • Mobile health
  • Behavioral health interventions
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Pain communication