Safe Haven for Abuse Victims a Life or Death Matter. Housing availability can mean the difference between survival and further abuse or death for women who have survived intimate partner violence (IPV), according to professor Nancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RN, nursing doctoral graduate Jessica Draughon, PhD, MSN, RN, senior research program coordinator Amber Clough, MSW, and a colleague. Based on in-depth interviews with IPV survivors, the study confirms the critical nature of safe housing and identifies significant barriers to it. One is a disconnect between local housing and domestic violence service systems. Over 2 million injuries are attributed to IPV annually. For some, the drive to escape abuse results in creative but ultimately temporary solutions, such as living in a car or an abandoned building. “From a public health perspective, IPV survivors need safe housing as a first step in recovery. We can and must do better,” Glass says. “Funding, policy, and service delivery must be restructured to better meet these survivors’ complex physical, behavioral, environmental, and social needs. With growing numbers of IPV survivors likely to be identified through [Affordable Care Act] women’s health screening requirements, the time is now for action.” [“‘Having housing made everything else possible’: Affordable, safe and stable housing for women survivors of violence,” Qualitative Social Work, published online September 20, 2013.]...Click here to read more.
When it comes to health, you are what you eat, as the adage goes. But many Americans have little choice in the matter, with race being an even bigger determinant than poverty....Click here to read more.
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.]
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.]
To combat the ongoing epidemic of childhood obesity, two Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing students, Janna Stephens, RN, BSN, and Michelle Brei, APRN, CPNP, are using smartphones and websites to engage and invite young audiences.
Stephens, a PhD student, is reaching out through a smartphone app that provides tips for healthy food and physical activity. The app also allows users to interact through Facebook and Twitter as well, helping them view losing weight as a more fun and positive experience.
“To engage this population in studies about weight loss, the intervention needs to be something that will stimulate them and [be] something they want to do,” Stephens said. “Adolescents spend hours on their smartphones and use applications to do just about everything. So why not weight loss? The use of smartphone applications to aid in weight loss gives adolescents the power to monitor their intake instantly and to gain real-time feedback related to eating and exercise behaviors.”
She’ll recruit overweight and obese adolescents from Baltimore City and place them into groups at random. Some of the adolescents will use the app to help with weight loss and some will not.
Brei, a doctor of nursing practice student, is developing an interactive website for adolescents at Yale Health in order to reduce pediatric obesity. Her motivation for creating this platform stems from what she witnesses regularly.
“As a pediatric nurse practitioner in primary care, I see children struggle with maintaining a healthy weight on a daily basis. Childhood obesity has become an epidemic,” Brei said. “I felt strongly that greater prevention efforts were needed to keep children healthy.”
The site, which will launch in the fall, will be child-friendly and include games about nutrition along with entertaining videos. Part of the website’s interaction will offer healthy recipes, educational materials, links to vetted websites with resources, and printable tracking charts for following healthy lifestyle goals. Much of the site design has been guided by feedback from focus groups of parents and children.