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July News and Research Briefs Highlight Faculty Accomplishments

News Release index

Posted: 7/10/2006

The latest "Hopkins Nursing News and Research Briefs" covers Afghanistan midwifery, cardiovascular research with Koreans, spiritual nursing care, a new Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, and personal health care records.

Improved Midwife Training Curriculum Developed for Afghanistan Midwifery
JHPIEGO, an international health affiliate of The Johns Hopkins University, has enlisted the Hopkins School of Nursing (JHUSON) in spearheading efforts to improve the curriculum for midwifery education in Afghanistan, a country that has suffered from the highest infant and child mortality rate and second highest maternal mortality rate in the world.  Few midwives, who deliver many of the nation's infants, were trained during the civil war. And, because of restrictions on education during the political unrest, many students did not receive basic science, math and pre-clinical skills needed to provide basic maternal and newborn care.  JHUSON will help in the creation of visual teaching tools and learning activities in general science and math, anatomy and physiology, microbiology and pharmacology to create a more comprehensive program.  Assistant Professor Dr. Nancy Woods pointed out that the new curricula is an interdisciplinary collaboration, noting, "It is crucial  that we take full advantage of the multi-disciplinary expertise available to us to create the best possible programs and products to save lives beyond our borders." The updated curriculum will be translated into Dari and used in more than 20 midwifery schools in Afghanistan.  For more information, go to http://www.jhpiego.org.

Research Shows Sharp Rise in Coronary Heart Disease in Korea
According to a study published in the International Journal of Cardiology (110 - [2006]), Assessing Risk Factors of Coronary Heart Disease and its Risk Prediction Among Korean Adults:  The 2001 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, JHUSON Associate Professor Miyong T. Kim, RN, PhD, FAAN, and co-authors note there has been a steeply increasing incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in developing countries undergoing rapid westernization, including Korea. The in-depth assessment of CHD based on the 2001 Korea National Health and Examination Survey concludes: "…contrary to the popular notion of relatively better coronary heart health status in Asian countries, the results of this analysis indicate that the overall coronary health of the adult Korean population is comparable to that of other developed countries." Cited as factors contributing to the problem were poor management of high blood pressure, fairly high low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and a strikingly high smoking rate among men (61.6 %).  Diabetes mellitus was also implicated. http://www.internationaljournalofcardiology.com/article/PIIS0167527305010703/abstract

Should Oncology Nurses Provide Spiritual Care?
Anne E. Belcher, PhD, RN, AOCN, CNE, FAAN, JHUSON Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, points out in ONS News (Vol 21, No.5) that many oncology nurses report a reluctance to assess patients' spiritual needs or intervene when spiritual distress is diagnosed. She states that nurses should feel empowered to provide the spiritual care that people with cancer need and want.  In the article, Dr. Belcher addresses significant issues related to spirituality and nursing including defining the differences between spirituality and religion, characteristics of spiritual well-being and the conduct of a spiritual assessment, how a nurses' spiritual perspective impacts practice, barriers to spiritual care as identified by nurses in general and oncology nurses in particular, and how nurses develop expertise in spirituality and incorporate it into their practice. 

Rushton Named Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow
Cynda H. Rushton, DNSc, RN, FAAN, JHUSON Associate Professor, has been named one of 20 nurses nationwide selected as a "2006 Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow."  The three-year fellowship program is designed to strategically position the voice of nursing across key sectors of the economy in a health care system undergoing unprecedented change and challenges.  Dr. Ruston said: "Nurses must play a pivotal role in leading the redesign and success of health care now and in the future." She added she was honored to have the intensive opportunity to develop critical leadership skills and work with a nationally recognized team of coaches and instructors drawn from the health care industry and other sectors of the economy. 

The Emergence of Personal Health Records Will Change Health Care
According to lead author and JHUSON professor Marion J. Ball, EdD, FHIMSS. CHIME, consumer and patient demand for Personal Health Records (PHRs) will change health care just as automatic teller machines changed banking.  Writing in the Journal of Healthcare Information Management (Vol. 20 No. 2), she states PHRs are made possible through the development of Electronic Health Records. But unlike electronic health records, which are typically maintained by physicians or other health care provider organizations, PHRs will be directed by consumers/patients and maintained by independent Regional Health Information Organizations. Various models are described in the article but all offer the consumer the benefits of encompassing both the basic health information contained in electronic health records as well as information needed to help the consumer manage a broad array of health-related personal data that can be immediately accessed when needed. http://www.himss.org/ASP/publications_jhim_issue.asp?issue=3/1/2006