Fewer than 10 percent who would benefit from alcohol treatment actually get care. Associate professor Deborah S. Finnell, DNS, RN, and a colleague describe how a discussion about alcohol’s effect on the brain and how the brain can heal may help individuals bridge this “treatment gap.” The conversation, one-on-one or through a video now being tested, can help dispel the fear and stigma that keep heavy drinkers from taking action. Finnell says, “Alcohol use shouldn’t be about shame and blame. It’s a chronic disorder, like diabetes or hypertension. We nurses can help these individuals understand and manage their illness, rather than to hide from it.” [“Providing information about the neurobiology of alcohol use disorders to close the ‘referral to treatment gap.’ ” Nursing Clinics of North America, September 2013.]

Living Better Despite Dementia

Quality of life for people with dementia has less to do with the extent of mental decline than with factors in the home environment, according to professor Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, assistant professor Nancy Hodgson, PhD, RN, and colleagues. Gitlin says, “Dementia care needs to be much more than just medical treatments. It needs to include ongoing assessment of how people are living at home and the use of behavioral interventions to enhance daily living and quality of life of both patients and families.” Hodgson adds, “Nurses are ideally positioned to help identify and reduce factors that can damage quality of life by sharing strategies with caregivers to enhance communication, improve sleep hygiene, and reduce environmental hazards.” [“Correlates of quality of life for individuals with dementia living at home: The role of home environment, caregiver, and patient-related characteristics.” American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, published online July 2013.]

The Skinny on Teen Obesity Surgery

Young people are increasingly turning to weight loss surgery to fight obesity. A literature review by assistant professor Shawna Mudd, DNP, CPNP-AC, PNP-BC, and a colleague in the Journal of Pediatric Healthcare points out, however, that guidelines vary markedly. While experts agree that adolescents should have achieved close to full physical and emotional maturity to be appropriate candidates for this surgery, other factors, from surgery setting to surgery type to follow-up care, remain the subject of ongoing debate among researchers and professional organizations. According to Mudd, research is needed to assess the degree to which adolescents can make informed decisions and comply with post-surgery lifestyle changes. She says, “It’s important that nurse practitioners and other primary care providers to obese adolescents be aware of current guidelines and their limitations.” [“Current guidelines for weight loss surgery in adolescents: A review of the literature.Journal of Pediatric Health Care, published online July 2013.]

Forward Thinking

A thought-provoking editorial in the Journal of Clinical Nursing Care by Dean-designate Patricia M. Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, outgoing Dean Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN, FAAN, and a colleague challenges nurses to become a force for change during implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Such engagement will result in better health care across America. [“Editorial: Looking to the future with courage, commitment, competence and compassion,” October 2013.]

In Other Nursing Research News

The quality, effectiveness, and safety of care by nurse practitioners and physicians are comparable, according to a meta-analysis by associate professor Julie Stanik-Hutt, PhD, ACNP, CCNS, associate professor Kathleen M. White, PhD, RN, and colleagues. These findings and others are reported in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. [“The quality and effectiveness of care provided by nurse practitioners: A systematic review of US research studies, 1990-2009.” September 2013.] Assistant professors Jason E. Farley, PhD, MPH, CRNP, and Hayley Mark, PhD, MPH, RN, doctoral student Jeanne Murphy, MSN, CNM, and others assess progress in dispelling myths and advancing facts about pregnant women with HIV among clinicians. [“Knowledge, attitudes and practices of OB/GYN nurses and auxiliary staff in the care of pregnant women living with HIV.Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, published online July 2013.] Just-retired professor Maryann Fralic, DrPH, RN, and a colleague report that specific, effective techniques used during nursing shift changes can help improve patient results and reduce costs. [“Using ‘best-fit’ interventions to improve the nursing intershift handoff process at a medical center in Lebanon.Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, October 2013.] In “Addressing moral distress: Application of a framework to palliative care practice,” professor Cynda Rushton, PhD, RN, and colleagues suggest a way to help critical care clinicians maintain compassion, resilience, and emotional health in the face of patient suffering. [Journal of Palliative Medicine, September 2013.] Assistant professor Shawna Mudd, DNP, CPNP-AC, PNP-BC, graduate student Nasreen Bahreman, associate professor Julie Stanik-Hutt, PhD, ACNP, CCNS, and a colleague describe an international collaboration to help meet the global demand for nurse practitioners and others with advanced skills. [“International residency for the development of the emergency department clinical nurse specialist role,International Emergency Nursing, July 2013.]

Other Articles Co-authored by JHUSON Faculty:

•    Professors Nancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RN, and Jacquelyn C. Campbell, PhD, RN, “Culturally competent intimate partner violence risk assessment: Adapting the danger assessment for immigrant women.Social Work Research. [Published online August 2013.]
•    Nancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RN, “A training intervention for supervisors to support a work-life policy implementation.” Safety and Health at Work. [Published online September 2013]
•    Jacquelyn C. Campbell, PhD, RN, “Intimate partner sexual violence: A comparison of foreign- versus US-born physically abused Latinas.” Journal of Urban Health. [Published online August 2013]
•    Associate professor Julie Stanik-Hutt, PhD, ACNP, CCNS: “Group cognitive behavioral therapy to improve the quality of care to opioid treated patients with chronic non-cancer pain: A practice improvement project.” Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. [July 2013]