Recent global research by JHUSON nurses is helping to build new health care programs, new knowledge, and new hope and health for people around the world—and at home.
Reducing drug-resistant tuberculosis transmission may be as simple as opening outside windows and closing interior doors in primary health clinics, according to assistant professor Jason Farley, PhD, MPH, CRNP, recent graduate Carrie Tudor, PhD, MPH, RN, and others. Their work in South Africa identifies ways in which treatment centers may contribute to high rates of drug-resistant TB and suggests methods for curbing its transmission. Tudor says, “Poor infection control in primary care settings can put patients and nurses at high risk for TB.” Farley adds, “Adopting standard infection control practices can go a long way to reducing rates of drug-resistant TB in the community.” [“An infection control audit in 10 primary health-care facilities in the Western Cape Province of South Africa,” International Journal of Infection Control, July 2012.]
Associate professor Nancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RN, says “Recovery from sexual violence in war and post-conflict settings takes time and locally driven health strategies.” In “A Congolese community-based health program for survivors of sexual violence,” [Conflict and Health, August 2012], she describes a successful Democratic Republic of Congo mobile health program that treats sexual violence survivors. The improved access to care, with both follow-up and referrals, has had a positive impact, particularly for posttraumatic stress and similar problems. Glass says, “An ongoing program like this is helping women heal and re-engage in their communities.” Now the challenge is to overcome the fear of disclosure that stops teen violence victims from getting help.
In Health Care for Women International [online May 2012], assistant professor Nicole Warren, PhD, MPH, CNM, and colleagues report on challenges facing community-based midwives—matrones—in rural Mali who fight maternal mortality by bridging traditional village medicine and the broader health care community. “Our findings,” Warren says, “can help guide policy and programs to more effectively recruit, train, and support these essential health providers.” [“Matroniya: The Lived Experiences of Rural Auxiliary Midwives in Koutiala Mali.”]
Because many Jordanian women don’t take folic acid during pregnancy, that nation has a higher than average rate of infants born with spinal and brain birth defects. According to professor Christine Savage, PhD, RN, CARN, and a colleague, intervention should target women of childbearing age least likely to know about or use folic acid: those with limited prenatal care, prior pregnancies, and lower education. The women also are more likely to trust and act on information from care providers than from media-centered public health campaigns. Savage says, “By understanding what these women know, what they need to know, and from whom they need to hear it, we can develop more successful public health programs that advocate folic acid use during pregnancy.” [“Knowledge and practices of folate and multivitamin supplementation among Jordanian pregnant women,” Journal of Research in Nursing, May 2012.]
Between the need to work and to care for children, older parents, and in-laws, middle-aged Korean women, like many others, often consider their own health last. When diagnosed with diabetes, their physical and emotional health are at increased risk, according to assistant professor Jennifer A. Wenzel, PhD, RN, CCM, and postdoctoral nursing fellow Hyunjeong Park, PhD, RN, ANP. Many mid-life Korean women with diabetes report guilt or concern about the social and economic impact their disease may have on their families. To meet cultural and family expectations, social relationships often take precedence over diabetes management. The strain of managing diabetes in addition to other conflicting and demanding roles can push some women to the edge of despair. “Nurses are in a unique position to engage women in ways that may improve the emotional and physical health of the entire family,” Wenzel says. [“Experience of social role strain in Korean women with type 2 diabetes.” Journal of Advanced Nursing, online August 2012.
For over a decade, assistant professor Elizabeth Sloand, PhD, RN, PNP-BC, has worked toward improving healthcare conditions in Haiti—one of the world’s most impoverished nations with a public health system to match. In Qualitative Health Research [April 2012], she describes how local “fathers’ groups” can promote community adoption of important child health practices, like vaccinations. Sloand says, “Engaging fathers is a unique strategy that is helping to improve the health of entire communities.” [“Fathers' beliefs about parenting and fathers’ clubs to promote child health in rural Haiti”] With associate professor Joan Kub, PhD, APHN, BC; doctoral candidates Grace Ho, RN, BSN, and Rachel Klimmek, RN, BSN, OCN, and recent MSN/MPH graduate Anthony Pho, Sloand also explored nurses’ experiences caring for Haitian children after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. They found a critical need for medical disaster teams, wherever deployed, to have both expertise and tools to meet the special needs of children as well as adults.” [“Nursing children after a disaster: A qualitative study of nurse volunteers and children after the Haiti earthquake,” Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, July 2012.]
HIV-positive African-American and African-Caribbean women of childbearing age share many of the same issues and concerns for which counseling and education would be beneficial, according to Professor Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, CNE, and colleagues. [“Experiences of HIV-Positive African-American and African-Caribbean Childbearing in Women,” Journal of the National Black Nurses Association, July 2012.]
In “The Republic of Chile: An upper middle-income country at the crossroads of economic development and aging” [The Gerontologist, June 2012], Professor Laura Gitlin, PhD, and a colleague present a case study of the health care and service challenges and gaps Chile faces when confronted by a growing aging population and exponential economic and technological growth.
Demonstrating that nursing is a global profession in an increasingly-connected world with ready travel and emerging infectious diseases, Assistant Professors Nicole Warren, PhD, MPH, CNM, Jason Farley, PhD, MPH, CRNP, and others surveyed nearly 600 nursing faculty across the Americas. Their findings identified core global health competencies essential for undergraduate nursing students to have, and for nursing programs to teach. [“Global health competencies for nurses in the Americas,” Journal of Professional Nursing, July/August 2012.]