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Current Research Projects

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Come As You Are - Assessing the Efficacy of a Nurse Case Management HIV Prevention and Care Intervention Among Homeless Youth


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Come As You Are - Assessing the Efficacy of a Nurse Case Management HIV Prevention and Care Intervention Among Homeless Youth


Category: Biobehavioral

  • Team: Diane Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN, PHNA-BC, FAAN & Nikhil Padhye, PhD (Cizik School of Nursing); Adeline Nyamathi, ANP, PhD, FAAN (University of California Irvine); Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD (University of California San Francisco); Mary Paul, MD (Baylor College of Medicine); Yasmeen Quadri, MD (Healthcare for the Homeless Program of Harris County).
  • Funding: National Institute of Nursing Research 12/1/2018 - 11/30/2023
  • Link: clinicaltrials.gov link
  • Overview: The purpose of this randomized wait-list control trial is to test the efficacy of a nurse case management HIV prevention intervention (called CAYA [Come As You Are]) compared to usual care among youth experiencing homelessness aged 16-25 years old. The intervention incorporates motivational interviewing strategies combined with nurse case management and a smartphone-based daily diary and goal feature to develop and monitor participant-driven HIV prevention behavioral goals.
  • Supplements: Two supplements to this study leverage the cohort established for the larger grant. Ones is to assess the effects of and antibodies to COVID-19 among this vulnerable and hard-to-reach population, and the other takes a closer look at youth that identify as sexual and gender minorities to assess the relationship between stress and risk behaviors and acceptance of point-of-contact PrEP adherence biomarkers.

Associated Faculty

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An examination of associations between transition to practice measures and the COVID-19 Pandemic


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An examination of associations between transition to practice measures and the COVID-19 Pandemic


Category: Quality and Safety

  • Principal investigator: Maja Djukic, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Funded by National Council of State Boards of Nursing
  • Overview: This study compares transition-to-practice measures and outcomes for nurses onboarded from 2020-2022 compared with a control group who began their careers in 2017-2019. Learn more.

Associated Faculty

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Auricular point acupressure studies by Chao Hsing Yeh, PhD, RN, FAAN


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Auricular point acupressure studies by Chao Hsing Yeh, PhD, RN, FAAN


Category: Nonpharmacological pain treatment

Management of Chronic Low Back Pain in Older Adults Using Auricular Point Acupressure (R01)

  • PI: Chao Hsing Yeh, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Funding: National Institute on Aging
  • Overview: This study tests the efficacy of using acupuncture-like stimulation of the ear in relieving chronic lower back pain in older adults, using small seeds taped to the ear instead of needles. Inflammatory cytokines are measured to assess physiological response, and a smart-phone app facilitates real-time reports from patients.

Pilot Testing a Theory-Driven Self-Management Intervention for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain (R56)

  • PI: Chao Hsing Yeh, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Funding: National Institute of Nursing Research
  • Overview: Dr. Yeh’s team has developed a smart phone app for patients receiving auricular point acupressure as a nonpharmaceutical pain treatment. The pilot explores patient self-efficacy using the app alone and in combination with in-person training.

Auricular Point Acupressure to Manage Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathy (R01)

  • PI: Chao Hsing Yeh, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Funding: NIH – National Cancer Institute
  • Overview: This study integrates self-reported measures, quantitative sensory testing, endogenous biomarkers, and neuroimaging to investigate the efficacy and underlying mechanisms of using acupuncture-like stimulation of the ear to reduce pain, numbness, or tingling in the extremities for patients who have been treated with chemotherapy.

 

Associated Faculty

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Diabetes Learning In Virtual Environments Just In time for Community reEntry (Diabetes LIVE JustICE)


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Diabetes Learning In Virtual Environments Just In time for Community reEntry (Diabetes LIVE JustICE)


Category: Diabetes and virtual learning

  • PI: Louise Reagan, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, FAANP
  • Co-Investigators: Constance Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN; Allison Vorderstrasse, DNSc, APRN, FAAN
  • Funding: American Diabetes Association
  • Overview: The study tests a version of the Diabetes Learning in a Virtual Environment (LIVE) intervention, developed by Dr. Johnson, that has been customized for incarcerated persons to prepare them for diabetes self-management after release.

Associated Faculty

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Feasibility of a Patient-Centered, Telehealth-Delivered Diabetes Foot Care Educational Program


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Feasibility of a Patient-Centered, Telehealth-Delivered Diabetes Foot Care Educational Program


Category: Diabetes

  • PI: Hsiao-Hui “Joyce” Ju, DNP, RN, FNP-BC.
  • Funding: Endocrine Nurses Society.
  • Overview: This study explores the feasibility of using a series of video conferenced group meetings to teach adults experiencing diabetes about foot care.

Associated Faculty

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Identifying the Incidence of Post-Sedation Adverse Events in Pediatric Dentistry


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Identifying the Incidence of Post-Sedation Adverse Events in Pediatric Dentistry


Category: Nurse Anesthesia

  • Team: Co-principal investigators Deniz Dishman, PhD, DNAP, CRNA, Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston; and Brett Chiquet, DDS, PhD, UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry
  • Funding: SOD-CSON Joint Seed Award Program
  • Overview: This study aims to adapt or develop a sensor device for at-risk children to wear after in-office sedation for dental procedures. Learn more.

Associated Faculty

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Impact of depression and HIV symptoms on glycemic outcomes (A1c, BG) among patients living with HIV and type 2 diabetes


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Impact of depression and HIV symptoms on glycemic outcomes (A1c, BG) among patients living with HIV and type 2 diabetes


Category: HIV

  • Team: Principal investigator – Veronica J. Brady, PhD, RN, FNP-BC; Co-investigators - Amanda Willig, PhD, from the University of Alabama; Julie Zuniga, PhD, from The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing; and Stan Cron, MSPH, at Cizik School of Nursing.
  • Funding: Center for AIDS Research, University of Alabama
  • Overview: This study explores the intersection of HIV, diabetes, and depression and seeks to answer important questions about this subpopulation with regard to symptoms and glycemic outcomes.

Associated Faculty

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Nutrition and food insecurity studies by Daphne Hernandez, PhD, MSed, FAAHB


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Nutrition and food insecurity studies by Daphne Hernandez, PhD, MSed, FAAHB


Category: Nutrition and food insecurity

Exploring Food Pantry Clients’ Use of “Choice’” and “Non-choice”

  • Principal Investigator: Daphne Hernandez, PhD, MSEd, FAAHB
  • Co-Investigator: Allison N. Marshall, PhD, MPH, MSSW (UTHealth Houston, Cizik School of Nursing)
  • Funding: Feeding America
  • Overview: The study compares the pantry utilization, food insecurity, economic hardship, and health among clients who attend pantries where food boxes are pre-prepared to pantries where clients choose their own foods from available supplies.

Exploring the feasibility of using interprofessional education to deliver Nourishing Smiles to underserved adolescents in Houston area schools

  • Principal Investigator: Daphne Hernandez, PhD, MSEd, FAAHB
  • Co-Investigators: Margo Melchor, EdD, MED, RDH, (UTHealth Houston, School of Dentistry); Allison N. Marshall, PhD, MPH, MSSW, (UTHealth Houston, Cizik School of Nursing); John Wesley McWhorter, DrPH, MS, RD, LD, CSCS, (UTHealth Houston, School of Public Health); Maja Djukic, PhD, RN, FAAN, (UTHealth Houston, Cizik School of Nursing); Allison Edwards, DrPH, MS, RN, CNE, (UTHealth Houston, Cizik School of Nursing)
  • Funding: SOD-CSON Joint Seed Award Program
  • Overview: Through short lectures, videos, and hands-on activities, this seven-week program provides under-resourced high school students with the opportunity to build oral hygiene and nutrition literacy skills. Learn more.

Houston-area Opportunities for Student Training in Obesity & Nutrition (HOUSTON) Academy 2.0

  • Principal Investigator: Daphne Hernandez, PhD, MSEd, FAAHB
  • Co-Investigators: John Wesley McWhorter, DrPH, MS, RD, LD, CSCS, and Dolores Hernandez Woods, MA, RDN (UTHealth Houston, School of Public Health)
  • Funding: Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduate (REEU) Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2022-68018-36607
  • Overview: Houston-area Opportunities for Undergraduate Student Training in Obesity & Nutrition (HOUSTON) Academy 2.0, is a 12-month interprofessional training program for undergraduate students who are interested in a health care profession. The program provides nutrition education, applied research, and community engagement opportunities led by nursing, dental, medicine, and public health scientists and professionals at The University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston (UTHealth - Houston). Undergraduate students selected for the program are provided with a scholarship. Learn more.

Associated Faculty

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Self-management EdUcation and SuPport to Promote PsychOsocial Health among StRoke Survivors and Informal Caregivers in a VirTual Stroke Community (SUPPORT): A Pilot Project.


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Self-management EdUcation and SuPport to Promote PsychOsocial Health among StRoke Survivors and Informal Caregivers in a VirTual Stroke Community (SUPPORT): A Pilot Project.


Category: Stroke

  • Principal investigator: Jennifer E.S. Beauchamp, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Funding: PARTNERS
  • Overview: This project involves customizing the Learning in a Virtual Environment (LIVE) intervention to develop a fun, interactive way to help survivors and informal caregivers who are coping with post-stroke loneliness and mental health issues. Learn more.

Associated Faculty

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Smart Apartment Seed Grants


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Smart Apartment Seed Grants


Category: Aging

Three grants have been awarded to interdisciplinary teams from multiple institutions for pilot studies of technological tools to help older people live independently. These technologies will be tested in the Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth’s Smart Apartment.

Facial and Body Motion Technology to Detect Psychosocial Distress in Stroke Survivors and informal Caregivers in Living at Home

  • Team: Jennifer E. S. Beauchamp, PhD, RN, FAAN, Cizik School of Nursing, PI; Assistant Professor Shayan Shams, PhD, UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI), Co-PI. The Co-Investigators are:
    • UTHealth SBMI – Associate Professor Xiaoqian Jian, PhD
    • UTHealth McGovern Medical School: Clinical Assistant Professor Jennifer Hughes, PhD; Professor and Frank M. Yatsu, MD, Chair in Neurology Sean Savitz, MD; and Associate Professor Anjail Sharrief, MD, MPH
    • Rice University School of Social Sciences – Christopher Fagundes, PhD
  • Funding: Maria C. and Christopher J. Pappas Family Distinguished Chair in Nursing, May 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021
  • Overview: This pilot study recruits stroke survivors and their informal caregivers to help test technologies in the simulated home environment to look for signs of psychosocial distress, which can contribute to poor outcomes.

An AI-powered chatbot for supporting the medication information needs of older adults

  • Team: Assistant Professor Kirk Roberts, PhD, MS, UTHealth SBMI, PI. The Co-Investigators are:
    • UTHealth SBMI – Assistant Professor Muhammad Amith
    • Cizik School of Nursing – Associate Professor Mary Ross, DrPH, MSN, RN, GCNS-BC; and Assistant Professor Mandi Lyons, DNP, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC
  • Funding: Maria C. and Christopher J. Pappas Family Distinguished Chair in Nursing, May 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021
  • Overview: Researchers aim to develop a voice-activated artificial intelligence “robot” that could be integrated into smart speakers (like Alexa, Siri, or Google Home) and/or other devices to answer medication-related questions.

Aging in Place with Cognitive Impairment: Toward User-Centered Assistive Technologies  

Rice University Department of Psychological Sciences

  • Team: Patricia R. DeLucia, PhD, in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Rice University, PI; Cizik School of Nursing Assistant Professor Sabrina Pickens, PhD, MSN, GNP-BC, ANP-BC, Co-PI. The Co-Investigators are:
    • Cizik School of Nursing – Assistant Professor Barbara Hekel, PhD, MS, MPH, RN
    • Rice University – Associate Professor Philip Kortum, PhD, Assistant Professor Stephanie Leal, PhD, and Professor Fred Oswald, PhD.
  • Funding: Rice University ENRICH Program, May 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021
  • Overview: This study will identify and assess the needs, availability and usefulness of assistive technologies among white, Hispanic, and African American patients with mild cognitive impairment to moderate dementia.

Associated Faculty

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South East Texas Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program Grant (SETx-GWEP)


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South East Texas Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program Grant (SETx-GWEP)


Category: Aging

  • PI: Janice Knebl, DO; Co-investigator Jessica Hartos, PhD.
  • Funding: Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program-HRSA-19-008 subcontract to Baylor College of Medicine, grantee institution.

Associated Faculty

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Strategies for Persistent Agitated Delirium in Palliative Care (R01)


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Strategies for Persistent Agitated Delirium in Palliative Care (R01)


Category:

  • Team: Principal Investigator: David Hui, M.D., Associate Professor, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center; co-investigator, Sandra K. Hanneman, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Funded by National Cancer Institute
  • Overview: This clinical trial studies the effects of pharmacological interventions and dosages to reduce agitated delirium-related distress and alleviate end-of-life suffering. Dr. Hanneman leads a team using biomarker assessment of inflammatory cytokine responses to the study’s various treatment arms.

Associated Faculty

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Symptom science studies by Meagan Whisenant, PhD, RN


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Symptom science studies by Meagan Whisenant, PhD, RN


Category: Cancer

Implementing Routine Symptom Monitoring and Management Using Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures to Improve Outcomes in Patients with Breast Cancer

  • Funding: First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Member Awards by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), through 2025.
  • Overview: Whisenant’s team is working to develop systems for collecting real-time symptom data from breast cancer patients in the outpatient setting at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Nellie B. Connally Breast Center.

Characterizing symptoms among subpopulations of persons living with human immunodeficiency virus

  • Team: Principal investigator - Meagan Whisenant, PhD, APRN; Co-investigators - Roberto Arduino, MD; Jordan Lake, MD, and Karen Vigil, MD, from McGovern Medical School, and Tito Mendoza, PhD, and Xin Shelley Wang, MD, from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  • Funding: Texas Development Center for AIDS Research
  • Overview: This grant funds collection of preliminary data to support future NIH grant applications to identify molecular and genetic contributions to symptom burden, develop interventions for symptom management, and validate a measurement tool that can be used in clinical trials. Learn more.

Associated Faculty

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Symptom Tracking for Pediatric Oncology


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Symptom Tracking for Pediatric Oncology


Category: Cancer

Facilitating Comprehensives Self and Proxy Symptom Assessments for Children with Cancer” (K23 NR019294)

  • Funding: National Institute of Nursing Research, April 1, 2021-March 31, 2024
  • LinkNIH grant funds Crane’s ongoing pediatric cancer symptom research
  • Overview: Dr. Crane’s team is pilot testing a web-based interface designed to make it easier for kids with cancer and their parents to report symptoms in real time with the ultimate goal of improving kids’ outcomes. 

Associated Faculty

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TEC-HIV: Telehealth use and engagement in care in young adults living with HIV


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TEC-HIV: Telehealth use and engagement in care in young adults living with HIV


Category: HIV

  • Principal investigator: Emily Barr, PhD, MSN, CPNP, CNM
  • Funding: Texas Development Center for AIDS Research
  • Overview: Only 40-50 percent of people ages 15-24 who are living with HIV will continue receiving care within a year after transitioning to adult services. This project will survey HIV care providers and review charts from high-volume HIV clinics in the Houston area to assess the barriers and benefits of telehealth for engaging with this vulnerable population. Learn more.

Associated Faculty

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The Influence of Menstrual Cycle on Hippocampal Volume and Diffusivity


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The Influence of Menstrual Cycle on Hippocampal Volume and Diffusivity


Category: Concussion

  • Funding: Dean’s Research Award (Intramural), through spring 2021
  • Overview: Approximately 1.7 million concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, occur annually in the U.S. Several studies have found that females have a higher risk for concussion, more severe symptoms, and a more protracted recovery than males. One potential explanation for these differences may be related to female reproductive hormones. The purpose of this study is to obtain preliminary data regarding the influence of female reproductive hormones on imaging biomarkers (Diffusion Tensor Imaging) and neurocognition in concussed females. This study will help us determine the feasibility, sample size and power needed for future studies examining the role of sex hormones in concussed females. The findings from the current study can inform future research on sex differences in patients with concussion and potential targeted therapies for the treatment of concussion.

Associated Faculty