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Recent Research Publications and Funding

  •  | February 1, 2006 6:00AM

     This qualitative study examined the medication-taking behaviors and attitudes of participants determined to be 100% adherers to antiretroviral therapy from a NIH-funded study testing a 12-week telephone adherence intervention. Using open-ended questions, interviewers collected data on a sample of 13 informants, whose medication adherence to a randomly selected antiretroviral medication was 100%, based on a 30-day data collection using electronic event monitoring (EEM). The analysis revealed 'successful medication management' as the core category or main theme. The participants achieved success with medication adherence through managing specific areas (regimen, self and environment). By adopting realistic expectations and pragmatic attitudes, adherence is fostered when medication taking is a priority, when patients believe in the efficacy of their medications and when there is a strong patient/provider relationship. Future research is needed to develop tailored interventions using strategies identified by this population. Further in-depth examination of medication-taking behaviors in 100% adherers may be useful in developing individualized programs to maximize adherence to antiretroviral therapy in the clinical setting.

  •  | January 30, 2006 6:00AM

    A number of theoretical fatigue frameworks have been developed by nurse scientists with the intention of guiding research, practice, and education in fatigue. However, there is a significant gap between theory development and research utilization of fatigue frameworks in clinical and intervention trials. The purpose of this report is to assess an example of an inductive fatigue framework and a deductive symptom management model: The Integrated Fatigue Model (IFM) and the revised University of California, San Francisco, Symptom Management Model (UCSF-SMM), to investigate their potential to guide future nursing research projects on fatigue. The IFM is a fatigue-specific comprehensive framework of 14 biological and psychosocial patterns that influence signs and symptoms of fatigue and trigger six fatigue dimensions. The developers emphasized that patterns could be interrelated and influence the dimensionality of fatigue. The UCSF-SMM is a multidimensional symptom management model embedded within the three nursing domains: person, environment, and health and illness. The model places symptom perceptions, symptom management strategies, and outcomes within these nursing domains to be the key components of a highly complex symptom management process. The IFM is an important development in the understanding and conceptualization of fatigue in cancer and in HIV/AIDS. However, it does not reach the level of integration of the UCSF-SMM in taking fatigue research a significant step forward by integrating symptom impact, symptom management, and symptom outcomes. Both models have significant weaknesses because of their complexity.  

  •  | January 1, 2006 6:00AM

     The purposes of this study were to identify strategies successful in the recruitment of African American (AA) women to a home-based walking program and to examine factors that contribute to attrition, eligibility, and ineligibility during the recruitment screening protocol. Of the 696 women who contacted the researchers, 281 (40.4%) women enrolled in the study, 227 (32.6%) were lost to attrition, and 188 (27%) were ineligible. Those not enrolled due to attrition during screening or ineligibility reported more family risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and lived in neighborhoods with higher poverty. Although our recruitment strategies may have been successful in attracting low-income AA women, we were not as successful in preventing their attrition during the screening protocol, particularly for those living in poorer neighborhoods.

  •  | January 1, 2006 6:00AM

     This study examines ethnic and gender differences in open-ended immediate responses to an online prompt provided by a nationwide sample of 1,559 individuals in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These responses were used to predict longitudinal outcomes over the following 2 years. Results show that African Americans and women responded with more emotions (e.g., sadness, sympathy) than did Whites and men. African Americans and women also endorsed violent retaliation less often than did their White, male counterparts. Responding with sadness and sympathy and endorsing violent retaliation were, in turn, associated with higher distress and posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms over time. Results reveal considerable ethnic and gender differences in immediate responses to traumatic events that have long-term mental health consequences.

  •  | August 1, 2005 4:00AM

     BACKGROUND: Hypothermia incurred during delivery room resuscitation continues to cause morbidity in infants <29 weeks gestation. Three recent trials have shown that wrapping such infants instead of drying prevents heat loss, resulting in higher infant temperatures at Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admission.

    OBJECTIVE: To describe current NICU practices with respect to wrapping preterm infants to prevent heat loss in the delivery room.

    STUDY DESIGN: E-mail survey of neonatologists from national registry using a web-based survey tool.

    RESULTS: Of 411 e-mails successfully delivered, 125 (30%) responded. Most (87%) represented level III NICUs. Almost one-fifth of respondents (20%) use occlusive material instead of drying preterms in the delivery room. Considerable variation exists regarding choice of wrap and duration of use. Few adverse events were reported.

    CONCLUSION: "In all" was added -This implies 20% of all NICU's changed practice, 20% of level III NICUs responding have changed delivery room resuscitation practices rapidly in response to new evidence. No "gold" standard exists nationally and there is considerable variation in practice. Neonatal resuscitation guidelines for premature infants should include recommendations regarding choice occlusive wrap and application techniques.

  •  | August 1, 2005 4:00AM

     Accurate self-administration of antiretroviral medication therapy for HIV/AIDS is a significant clinical and ethical concern because of its implications for individual morbidity and mortality, the health of the public, and escalating healthcare costs. However, the traditional construction of patient medication adherence is oversimplified, myopic, and ethically problematic. Adherence relies on existing social power structures and western normative assumptions about the proper roles of patients and providers, and principally focuses on patient variables, obscuring the powerful socioeconomic and institutional influences on behaviour. Some professionals advocate for alternate approaches to adherence, but many of the available alternatives remain conceptually underdeveloped. Using HIV/AIDS as an exemplar, this paper presents medication practice as a theoretical reconstruction and explicates its conceptual and ethical evolution. We first propose that one of these alternatives, medication practice, broadens the understanding of individuals' medication-taking behaviour, speaks to the inherent power inequities in the patient-provider interaction, and addresses the ethical shortcomings in the traditional construal. We then integrate medication practice with feminist thought, further validating individuals' situated knowledge, choices, and multiple roles; more fully recognizing the individual as a multidiminsional, autonomous human being; and reducing notions of obedience and deference to authority. Blame is thus extricated from the healthcare relationship, reshaping the traditionally adversarial components of the interaction, and eliminating the view of adherence as a patient problem in need of patient-centred interventions.

  •  | July 1, 2005 4:00AM

     Nurses are increasingly the primary contact for clients concerned about health problems related to their environment. In response to the need for nursing expertise in the field of environmental health, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) have designed core competencies for the nursing profession. The IOM competencies focus on four areas: (1) knowledge and concepts; (2) assessment and referral; advocacy, ethics, and risk communication; and (4) legislation and regulation. The competencies establish a baseline of knowledge and awareness in order for nurses to prevent and minimize health problems associated with exposure to environmental agents. To address the known difficulties of incorporating new priorities into established practice, nurses attending an environmental health short course participated in a nominal group process focusing on the question, "What specific actions can we take to bring environmental health into the mainstream of nursing practice?" This exercise was designed to bring the concepts of the national initiatives (IOM, NINR, ATSDR) to the awareness of individual nurses involved in the direct delivery of care. Results include 38 action items nurses identified as improving awareness and utilization of environmental health principles. The top five ideas were: (1) get environmental health listed as a requirement or competency in undergraduate nursing education; (2) improve working relationships with interdepartmental persons-a team approach; (3) strategically place students in essential organizations such as NIOSH, ATSDR, or CDC; (4) educate nurse educators; and (5) create environmental health awards in nursing. The 38 original ideas were also reorganized into a five-tiered conceptual model. The concepts of this model include: (1) developing partnerships; (2) strengthening publications; (3) enhancing continuing education; (4) updating nursing practice; and (5) strengthening schools of nursing. The model serves as a road map for action in building environmental health capacity within mainstream nursing.

  •  | July 1, 2005 4:00AM

     Background The purpose of this study was to examine whether the characteristics of retail food stores where African-American women shopped mediated the association between their income and intake of fruits and vegetables. Food store characteristics included store type (supermarket, specialty store, limited assortment store, independent grocer), store location (suburbs, city of Detroit), and perceptions of the selection/quality and affordability of fresh produce for sale.

    Methods The analysis drew upon data from a probability sample of 266 African-American women living in 2001 in eastside Detroit, which had no supermarkets. Structural equation modeling was used to calculate a path model of direct and indirect effects.

    Results Women shopping at supermarkets and specialty stores consumed fruit and vegetables more often, on average, than those shopping at independent grocers. More positive perceptions of the selection/quality, but not affordability, of fresh produce at the retail outlet where they shopped was positively associated with intake, independent of store type and location as well as age, per capita income, and years of education. The results suggested an indirect association between income and fruit and vegetable intake; women with higher per capita incomes were more likely to shop at supermarkets than at other grocers, which in turn was associated with intake.

    Conclusions Previous studies have shown that few supermarkets are located in the city of Detroit, a symptom of economic divestment over the past several decades. Results of this study suggest this may have negative implications for dietary quality, particularly among lower-income women.

  •  | May 24, 2005 4:00AM

     Purpose To explore the licensing, certification, governance and education requirements of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) in the state of Montana. Services provided and privileges retained in employment were also analyzed.

    Data Sources This was a descriptive study using a survey of rural hospital administrators (N=34).

    Conclusions Survey results show that 92.5% of PAs in Montana meet their supervision requirement by a telephone contact provision outlined by the state board of medicine. In contrast, 54.2% of NPs, who are autonomous by legal definition, have a telephone supervision requirement imposed on them by their employers.

    Implications for Practice These findings have implications for the current and prospective professionals and the businesses for which they work. Nurse practitioners and their professional organizations need to consider the implications these findings have on the professional image and marketability of all NPs.

  •  | May 1, 2005 4:00AM

     PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To describe knowledge of hereditary, familial, and sporadic breast cancer risk factors among women in the community and to identify characteristics associated with this knowledge.

    DESIGN: Descriptive, cross-sectional.

    SETTING: Community settings in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    SAMPLE: 184 women who had never been diagnosed with cancer, were 30-85 years old (mean = 47 + 12), and agreed to complete a questionnaire in English. Participants were from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds (i.e., 43% European descent, 27% African descent, 16% Asian descent, and 14% Hispanic descent). Many (49%) were college graduates, and 24% had a median annual family income of $30,000-$50,000.

    METHODS: Survey.

    MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Knowledge of hereditary, familial, and sporadic breast cancer risk factors and characteristics associated with this knowledge.

    FINDINGS: Although most women recognized heredity as a risk factor, some did not understand the impact of paternal family history on risk. Some women did not recognize the relationship between breast and ovarian cancer, risk factors associated with the Gail model, and that aging increases risk. Education level was the most important characteristic associated with knowledge of risk factors.

    CONCLUSIONS: Although age and family history are independent predictors of sporadic, hereditary, and familial breast cancer risk, women in the community could not distinguish between the three forms of the disease. Although the sample included a large number of educated women, their knowledge of breast cancer risk factors appeared incomplete.

    IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Advanced practice nurses should provide individualized risk assessment and education regarding breast cancer risk factors.