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Smart Apartment Seed Grants

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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.

The Feasibility, Usability, and Acceptability of Using the Oculus Virtual Gaming Reality in Stroke Survivors for Upper Extremity and Cognitive Rehabilitation

  • Team: Principal Investigator: Seema Aggarwal, PhD, RN, AGNP-C. Co-investigators: Carina Katigbak, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAH, Cizik School of Nursing; Mary Russell, DO, and Sean Savitz, MD, McGovern Medical School; Jiang Xiaoqian, PhD, UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics; and Heather Smith, SLP, and Emily Stevens, OT, UT Physicians.
  • Funding: $40,000 from the Maria C. and Christopher Pappas Distinguished Chair in Nursing Endowment and the UTHealth Houston Consortium on Aging
  • Overview: Testing the effectiveness of a consumer-level virtual reality system as an economical option for providing outpatient stroke rehabilitation.

Care Matters: Using Ecological Momentary Assessment & Heart Rate Variability Monitoring to Identify the Timing and Experience of Caregivers' Stress

  • Team: Principal Investigator: Carina Katigbak, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAH. Co-investigators: Sahiti Myneni, PhD, UTHealth Houston School of Biomedical Informatics; and Jessica Lee, MD, McGovern Medical School. Collaboration partner: Harris Health LBJ House Call program.
  • Funding: $40,000 from the Maria C. and Christopher Pappas Distinguished Chair in Nursing Endowment and the UTHealth Houston Consortium on Aging
  • Overview: Analysis of data from ECG sensors worn by caregivers and their responses to survey questions answered via a phone app to study how physical surroundings and daily activities may contribute to their overall stress.

Simulation-Based Caregiving Skills Training for Family Members of High-Grade Glioma Patients

  • Team: Co-Principal Investigators: Meagan Whisenant, PhD, RN, and Kathrin Milbury, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Co-investigators: Shiao-Pei Weathers, MD, MD Anderson; and Kristin Ownby, PhD, RN, Cizik School of Nursing.
  • Funding: $275,000 R21 grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute
  • Overview: Pilot study testing methods to support caregivers of patients with brain tumors by employing educational materials, two simulation-based caregiving skill sessions led by registered nurses in the Smart Apartment at the Cizik School of Nursing, and two psychoeducation sessions that offer ways to cope emotionally and managing changing roles.