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April Nursing News and Research Briefs


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Posted: 4/6/2007

Emergency Department Computer-Based Screening Reveals Undetected Intimate Partner Violence-According to a study published this month in Annals of Emergency Medicine,  Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON)  nurse researcher Jacquelyn C. Campbell, PhD, RN and colleagues have determined that a computer-based health survey can lead to significantly higher intimate partner violence (IPV) screening and detection rates.   When comparing usual care and screening of women seeking emergency department (ED) care at a major hospital, the authors of “Intimate Partner Violence and Emergency Department Screening:  Computerized Screening Versus Usual Care,” found that the self-administered health survey containing IPV questions produced dramatic results in reports of IPV risk. Among those taking the self-administered screening, 19% were found to have experienced IPV, while only 1% of those in the usual care group were detected.  Social work referrals were also much higher in the computer screened group than for those who received usual care.  However, the authors found that even when patients reported risk for IPV, 48% of the time ED care givers did not discuss the issue with the patient.  In their conclusions, Campbell and colleagues underscore the need for enhanced screening and detection methods and for follow-up on social work referrals and more social work coverage to meet client needs. The authors note that among the estimated 1.5 million women who each year experience physical or sexual assault by an intimate partner and seek care for their injuries in hospital EDs, few spontaneously mention IPV as the cause unless specifically asked.  As a result, IPV too often goes undetected-and unaddressed.  Campbell adds that in an earlier intimate partner homicide study, she and colleagues found that 43% of the women who were killed had been seen in the health care system-most often in the ED-in the year before they were murdered by their husband or boyfriend, concluding that “these women might have been saved if we had identified them as abused.”

Effective Health Research Strategies Address Barriers to “Hard-to-Reach” Korean Americans-JHUSON faculty members Hae-Ra H. Han, PhD, RN and Miyong T. Kim, PhD, RN and co-authors describe in this month’s Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health the personal and community level obstacles that hinder inclusion of Korean Americans in health promotion research programs.  In “Barriers to and Strategies for Recruiting Korean Americans for Community-Partnered Health Promotion Research,” the authors analyzed 14 prior studies involving more than 2,400 Korean Americans.  Barriers to recruitment efforts among this “hard-to-reach” population include cultural beliefs and attitudes-particularly what authors describe as “a crisis-oriented system of care in which preventive medicine or health promotion is ignored”-reliance on traditional medicine; language, gender, and age-related issues; low or no health care insurance coverage; and a general lack of understanding about research studies.  The successful strategies outlined for countering these obstacles are cultural competencies; culturally sensitive information materials; a better understanding of traditions, values, lifestyles, and practices; using ethnic media and ethnic churches as communications tools; building community partnerships; community asset mapping; and utilizing bilingual nurses.  The authors advise that successful strategies will be undertaken by researchers-even those who are bilingual and bicultural themselves-who continuously assess both barriers and strategies and employ  a “cultural humility” that does not assume inherent cultural knowledge as the norm.  Han and Kim note that “this socially/linguistically isolated population may not have been ‘hard-to-reach’ after all.  Rather, they may simply have been ‘hardly reached’ by researchers.”

In Other Nursing News

JHUSON associate professor Marguerite Littleton-Kearney, PhD, RN, has been awarded a five-year $1.25 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study how hormone therapy might reduce the severity of stroke.  Kearney is examining the effects of both progesterone and estrogen on brain blood flow after cerebral ischemia and will attempt to determine the mechanism by which hormones preserve brain blood flow.

JHUSON faculty members Elizabeth Hill, PhD, RN and Sarah Szanton, PhD(c), have been named 2007-2008 Johns Hopkins University Clinical Research Scholars.  Hill’s research will focus on interventions to prevent unintentional injury in elders; Szanton’s work will concentrate research on health disparities in cardiovascular disease and aging.

JHU School of Medicine has awarded a $16,000 Predoctoral Clinical Research Training Grant to JHUSON doctoral student Marguerite Baty, MSN/MPH.  Baty is studying intimate partner violence in pregnant and parenting women and works in conjunction with the JHUSON DOVE (Domestic Violence Enhanced Home Visitation) project, a community nursing initiative designed to decrease intimate partner violence.

June 4-8, 2007 nurses from throughout the country and around the globe will visit JHUSON and the Johns Hopkins Hospital during Inside Johns Hopkins Nursing: Visitors Week 2007.  Hosted by the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing, the week offers visitors an opportunity to experience the knowledge and expertise of Hopkins nursing staff, faculty, and students.  For more information and registration details, visit http://www.ijhn.jhmi.edu/NurseVisitorsWeek/default.htm.

The Maryland Daily Record has named JHUSON faculty member Lori A. Edwards, MPH, APRN, RN the Health Care Nurse Hero of the Year.  Edwards was recognized for her leadership in community nursing and her work with the JHUSON Community Outreach Program which places more than 150 student nurse volunteers in over 40 community agencies.