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Research Highlights - 2022

Advancing nursing science

Dr. Daphne Hernandez, Dr. Jennifer E. S. Beauchamp, Dr. Doncy J. Eapen, Dr. Deniz Dishman

Newly funded studies

Daphne Hernandez, PhD, MSEd, FAAHB, is working on several research projects related to nutrition and food insecurity.

Hernandez is collaborating with colleagues from UTHealth School of Public Health on a five-year, $750,000 grant from the Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduates Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The project, Houston-area Opportunities for Undergraduate Student Training in Obesity & Nutrition (HOUSTON) Academy 2.0, provides undergraduate students in the Houston area with the opportunity to learn how proper nutrition can help prevent obesity and chronic diseases.

In her study “Exploring the Feasibility of Using Interprofessional Education to Deliver Nourishing Smiles to Underserved Adolescents in Houston Area Schools,” Hernandez is partnering with Margo Melchor, RDH, MEd, EdD, at UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry. Funded by the schools' Joint Seed Award Program, their project combines an oral health and a nutritional literacy program that nursing and dental hygiene students will deliver at a school in an underserved neighborhood.

Hernandez’s most recent study, “Exploring Food Pantry Clients’ Use of ‘Choice’ and ‘Non-choice,’” has been funded by Feeding America for $209,647. The study will look at food pantries associated with the Houston Food Bank to compare usage patterns of those that provide clients with prepacked food boxes and those that allow clients to choose their own foods from available supplies.

Jennifer E. S. Beauchamp, PhD, RN, FAAN, is using a $100,000 PARTNERS grant to develop a fun, interactive way to help survivors and informal caregivers who are coping with post-stroke loneliness and mental health issues with her study titled “Self-management EdUcation and SuPport to Promote PsychOsocial Health among StRoke Survivors and Informal Caregivers in a VirTual Stroke Community (SUPPORT): A Pilot Project.”

Doncy J. Eapen, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, received a $25,000 Heilbrunn Family Center for Research Nursing Scholars Award from Rockefeller University. The study, a partnership with the Children’s Learning Institute at UTHealth Houston, titled “Positive Parenting: Empowering Young Mothers Experiencing Homelessness with a History of Interpersonal Violence to Improve Parenting Strategies,” will help young mothers experiencing homelessness and domestic violence engage in positive parenting strategies.

Deniz Dishman, PhD, DNAP, CRNA, has teamed up with Brett Chiquet, DDS, PhD, at UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry on a research project funded through the schools' Joint Seed Award Program. Their joint study, “Identifying the Incidence of Post-Sedation Adverse Events in Pediatric Dentistry,” aims to adapt or develop a sensor device for at-risk children to wear after in-office sedation for dental procedures.

Continuing Grants

Management of Chronic Low Back Pain in Older Adults Using Auricular Point Acupressure (R01)
Principal investigator: Chao Hsing Yeh, PhD, RN, FAAN
Funded by the National Institute on Aging

Pilot Testing a Theory-Driven Self-Management Intervention for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain (R56)
Principal investigator:
Chao Hsing Yeh, PhD, RN, FAAN
Funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research

Auricular Point Acupressure to Manage Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathy (R01)
Principal investigator:
Chao Hsing Yeh, PhD, RN, FAAN
Funded by
the National Cancer Institute

Facial and Body Motion Technology to Detect Psychosocial Distress in Stroke Survivors and Informal Caregivers Living at Home
Principal investigator:
Jennifer E. S. Beauchamp, PhD, RN, FAAN
Co-investigators: Xiaoqian Jian, PhD; Jennifer Hughes, PhD; Sean Savitz, MD; Anjail Sharrief, MD, MPH; Christopher Fagundes, PhD
Funded by
Maria C. and Christopher J. Pappas Family Distinguished Chair in Nursing

Facilitating Comprehensive Self and Proxy Symptom Assessments for Children with Cancer (the SMART Pediatric Oncology Tracker of Symptoms) (K23)
Principal investigator: Stacey Crane, PhD, RN, CPON
Funded by
the National Institute of Nursing Research

An Examination of Associations between Transition to Practice Measures and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Principal investigator:
Maja Djukic, PhD, RN, FAAN
Funded by
the National Council of State Boards of Nursing

Strategies for Persistent Agitated Delirium in Palliative Care (R01)
Principal investigator: David Hui, MD
Co-investigator:
Sandra Hanneman, PhD, RN, FAAN
Funded by
the National Cancer Institute

Aging in Place with Cognitive Impairment: Toward User-Centered Assistive Technologies
Co-Principal investigator:
Patricia R. DeLucia, PhD, and Sabrina Pickens, PhD, MSN, GNP-BC, ANP-BC
Co-investigators: Philip Kortum, PhD; Stephanie Leal, PhD; and Fred Oswald PhD
Funded by Rice University ENRICH Program

Diabetes Learning in Virtual Environments Just In Time for Community ReEntry (Diabetes LIVE JustICE)
Principal investigator: Louise Reagan, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, FAANP
Co-investigators: Constance Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN; Allison Vorderstrasse, DNSc, APRN, FAAN
Funded by
the American Diabetes Association

Feasibility of a Patient-Centered, Telehealth-Delivered Diabetes Foot Care Educational Program
Principal investigator:
Hsiao-Hui “Joyce” Ju, DNP, RN, FNP-BC
Funded by
the Endocrine Nurses Society

Come as You Are – Assessing the Efficacy of a Nurse Case Management HIV Prevention and Care Intervention Among Homeless Youth (R01 grant with two supplements)
Principal investigator: Diane Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN, FAAN
Funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research

Adapting a Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Intervention for Emotion Regulation and Impulsivity in Homeless Young Adults: A pilot project (R34)
Principal investigator: Diane Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN, FAAN
Funded by
the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health

An AI-Powered Chatbot for Supporting the Medication Information Needs of Older Adults
Principal investigator:
Kirk Roberts, PhD, MS
Co-investigators:
Meghana Gudala, MBBS; Sunitha Mogalla, MBBS, PhD; Mary Ross, DrPH, MSN, RN, GCNS-BC; Mandi Lyons, DNP, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC; and Padmavathy Ramaswamy, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN
Funded by
Maria C. and Christopher J. Pappas Family Distinguished Chair in Nursing

Implementing Routine Symptom Monitoring and Management Using Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures to Improve Outcomes in Patients with Breast Cancer
Principal investigator:
Meagan Whisenant, PhD, APRN
Funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorder Training Program
Principal investigator:
Pauline Filipek, MD
Co-investigator: Omobola A. Oyeleye, EdD, JD, RN-BC
Funded by LoneStar LEND

Post-Master’s Certificate-Seeking Nursing Students’ Outcomes on Advanced HESI Examinations
Principal investigator:
Kathleen Siders, DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Funded by Zeta Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau

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