Faculty at the University of Arizona College of Nursing are more than just teachers, they also are researchers who tackle numerous health issues and challenges facing Americans. The college prides itself on innovation and leadership, providing opportunities for its researchers to reduce risk and promote health to vulnerable populations. Four new Laurence B. Emmons Research Grants have been awarded to assist with each researcher’s efforts to collect pilot data and apply for larger grants to complete their studies.
Carrie Merkle, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Shu-Fen Wung, PhD, RN, ACNP, FAHA, FAAN, received $20,000 to help women incorporate lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of breast cancer. “It is clear that women can help themselves prevent breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and other health problems by maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthful diet and exercise,” Dr. Merkle said. The study will develop a scale on inflammation from biomarkers, detectable and measurable substances, in the blood of women with and without breast cancer to determine if a higher level of inflammation is a risk for breast cancer.
Kimberly Shea, PhD, RN, was awarded $20,000 for a pilot study to improve symptoms and the overall quality of life in heart-failure patients by developing an effective and accessible self-care management intervention. “We are looking at creative uses of technology to help motivate patients to follow and be responsible for their health-care regimens,” Dr. Shea said.
Rebecca Ross, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, RN, received a $20,000 award for a pilot study that will help to more quickly diagnose patients with fibromyalgia. “Fibromyalgia is often a diagnosis of exclusion and takes an average of five years to obtain a correct diagnosis, which frequently results in overutilization of health-care system resources, unnecessary emotional and financial burden to individuals and increased costs to society,” Dr. Ross said. The study will investigate novel biomarkers of oxidative stress that could lead to a faster diagnosis and help gauge the effectiveness of interventions.
Kate Sheppard, PhD, RN, FNP, PMHNP-BC, was awarded $7,500 for development of a concept of compassion fatigue, a gradual lessening of compassion over time, among registered nurses. “There is evidence in the literature that illustrates a lack of clarity as to the concept of compassion fatigue, specifically as it applies to registered nurses,” Dr. Sheppard said. The study will look to evaluate current literature surrounding compassion fatigue, as well as conducting interviews with registered nurses about their own experiences.
The Emmons Research Grant was established as an endowment through a donation in 1991 to assist doctorally prepared faculty to complete pilot studies necessary to apply for larger, externally-funded research grants. The extramural proposals should be ready for submission within 12-18 months after the award.
Faculty at the University of Arizona College of Nursing envision, engage and innovate in education, research and practice to help people of all ages optimize health in the context of major life transitions, illnesses, injuries, symptoms and disabilities. Established in 1957, the college ranks among the top nursing programs in the United States. For more information about the college, please visit its website, www.nursing.arizona.edu.