Nursing Research

Currently Funded Research

  • Enhancing End-of-Life and Bereavement Outcomes Among Cancer Caregivers

    Funding: NIH National Cancer Institute (PO1-CA138317)

    Dates: 05/19/2010–04/30/2017 Combining the strengths of three interdisciplinary research teams, the goals of this program project are: 1. to advance the science of cancer end-of-life and bereavement care by exploring and intervening to improve the experience and outcomes for spouse/partner caregivers; 2. to expedite the formation of a new interdisciplinary science team from three separate programs of research, leveraging different perspectives to improve understanding and produce meaningful interventions that address the continuum of end-of-life and bereavement care; 3. to extend research questions beyond those possible through individual studies and existing research programs and; 4. to accelerate and expand the dissemination of effective end-of-life and bereavement models, methods and findings. Enhancing End-of-Life Study Research Portfolio

    Faculty: Kathi Mooney (PI); Lee Ellington (Project Leader); Michael Caserta (Project Leader); Dale Lund (Co-Leader); Margaret Clayton (Collaborating Scientist); Gary Donaldson (Statistician); Katherine Supiano (Collaborating Clinician); Rebecca Utz (Collaborating Scientist)

  • Pediatric Research using Integrated Sensor Monitoring Systems (PRISMS) Informatics Platform - Federated Integration Architecture

    Funding: NIH National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

    Dates: 9/30/2015 – 9/29/2019 The Pediatric Research using Integrated Sensor Monitoring Systems (PRISMS) program is a national NIH initiative to address challenges associated with using sensor systems for research on pediatric asthma and other conditions that are affected by the environment. The Utah PRISMS informatics center uses participatory user-center design methods to develop an information architecture and standardized processes for acquisition, integration, and management of sensor data, integrated with clinical data from longitudinal assessments of asthma symptoms, quality of life, health care usage, and other asthma related outcome metrics. The center has three synergistic and tightly integrated projects that make up an innovative sensor monitoring system: Project 1: A platform to support data acquisition from the child’s home and environment sensors, and to support data processing with user-friendly interfaces for presenting sensor data to families. Project 2: A high-resolution data integration platform, allowing sensor data to be integrated with clinical and other data sources, as well as mechanisms for securely transmitting data to the PRISMS data coordinating center. Project 2 leverages and extends the biomedical informatics infrastructure at the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS), called OpenFUrther ( Project 3: A platform for researchers to configure a variety of experimental designs. These projects will support future studies that will improve our knowledge of the impact of environmental exposures on children with asthma.

    Faculty: Katherine Sward (Contact PI); Julio Facelli (PI); Ramkiran Gouripeddi (Project Lead); Neal Patwari (Project Lead); Mollie Cummins; Miriah Meyer (Project Co-lead); Flory Nkoy (Project Co-lead); Bryan Stone; Scott Collingwood; Kerry Kelly; John Horel; Hanseup Kim; Bob Wong

  • Interdisciplinary Training in Cancer, Aging and End of Life Care

    Funding: NIH National Institute of Nursing Research

    Dates: 7/1/2013-6/30/2018 This training program addresses the National Institute of Nursing Research’s strategic areas including health promotion and disease prevention; improving quality of life through self-management, symptom management and caregiving; and end-of-life research. The program objectives are 1)To provide outstanding interdisciplinary didactic research training in the fundamental theories, methods, and skills necessary to conduct research in cancer, aging, and end-of-life care; 2)To facilitate the ability of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees to develop research expertise through ongoing project-oriented research experience in cancer, aging, and end-of-life care that integrates mentoring, practical experiences, feedback, and critique; 3).To prepare postdoctoral trainees for independent academic careers as scientists in cancer, aging, and end-of-life care; and 4) To mentor all trainees in the ethical conduct of research, especially in diverse vulnerable populations, including the elderly and individuals facing serious illness and death.

    Faculty: Susan L. Beck (Co-PIs); Ginette A. Pepper (Co-PIs)

  • Electronic Exchange of Poisoning Information

    Funding: U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) (1 R01 HS021472-01A1)

    Dates: 9/30/2013-9/29/2018 Poisonings are a leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. We will develop and evaluate a replicable, standards-based approach to health information exchange between emergency departments and poison control centers. Health information exchange has potential to strengthen continuity of care for poisoned patients, and improve communication and collaboration between emergency departments and poison control centers during disaster scenarios.

    Faculty: Mollie Cummins (PI); Barbara Crouch (COI); Guilherme Del Fiol (COI); Tom Greene (Statistician); Scott Narus (PI, Intermountain Health Care Site); Todd Allen (Consultant, Intermountain Health Care)

  • Engaging School-Age Children with Cancer in Designing a Symptom Assessment App

    Funding: NIH/NINR

    Dates: 9/25/2014-7/31/2017 Children receiving treatment for cancer experience multiple symptoms that negatively impact their quality of life; however, because of their developmental abilities, they may have difficulty relating their symptoms to healthcare providers. Mobile technology offers innovative options to create symptom assessment tools that support children in communicating their symptoms to healthcare providers and allow children’s symptom reports to be transmitted into electronic medical record systems. This award will engage children with cancer in designing a mobile technology symptom assessment app and evaluate the app’s feasibility and acceptability in a clinical setting from the perspectives of children with cancer, their parents, and healthcare providers.

    Faculty: Lauri Linder (PI)

  • Medication Reminder App to Promote Oral Medication Adherence by Adolescents and Young Adults

    Funding: Oncology Nursing Society

    Dates: 1/15/2015-1/15/2017 Oral medication adherence among AYAs with cancer is problematic, with nonadherence rates ranging from 27% to 60%. The study will use a SmartPhone medication reminder application (app) to promote oral medication adherence among adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer. We will explore the feasibility and acceptability of using a SmartPhone medication reminder app to promote oral medication adherence and characterize AYAs' use of the app. We will also examine relationships among perceived behavioral control for adherence, intention to adhere, and adherence behavior. Results of this study will provide pilot data to inform a future trial powered to detect a clinically significant effect.

    Faculty: Lauri Linder (PI); Yelena Wu (CO-PI, Family & Preventive Medicine); Rebecca Johnson (COI, University of Washington)

  • Improved Prenatal Genetic Screening Decision Making through Interactive Technology

    Funding: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

    Dates: 4/01/2015-3/30/2017 Our broad objective is to improve parental decision making about prenatal genetic screening. We will develop and assess a gaming prototype in collaboration with experts in serious game design. In this project, we will engage in a series of focus groups with stakeholders to design a game that promotes learning and engagement in different simulated choices in a non-directive fashion and allows a comparison of the game choices with an individual’s reproductive partner. A preliminary assessment of the gaming prototype will be conducted within a clinic setting on knowledge, satisfaction, and decisional conflict about prenatal genetic screening for pregnant women and their partners.

    Faculty: Erin Rothwell (PI); Jeffrey Botkin; Gwen Latendresse; Roger Altizer; Jose Zagal

  • Me & My Wishes: Long Term Care Resident Videos to Communicate Care Preferences

    Funding: National Palliative Care Research Center

    Dates: 07/01/2015 - 06/30/2017 The purpose of this study is to test feasibility and acceptability of a novel approach to improving communication and in accordance person-centered care by creating Me & My Wishes -- a resident=centered video recorded conversation with residents. Me & My Wishes conveys resident care preferences for today and at end of lif (EOL) and consists of four modules: 1) About Me, 2) Preferences for Today, 3) Preferences for lMedical Intervention and End-of-Life Care, and 4) Afterthoughts. The goal is for these videos to enable day-to-day and EOL care to be informed by the resident's perspectives.

    Faculty: Gail Towsley (PI)

  • Interactions between Life-Space and Quality of Life in Spousal Dyads Coping with Chronic Conditions

    Funding: University of Utah Consortium for Families and Health Research

    Dates: 8/2015 - 8/2016 Maintaining a healthy, active, and socially engaged lifestyle is vital to older adults’ quality of life (QOL) and critical to reducing health care costs. Life-space, or an individual’s general geographic range of activities during a specific period of time, is one validated method for measuring older adults’ mobility, activity levels, and health status. However, previous research has not considered the influence of family context on life-space. For many older adults, the spouse/partner is often the primary social contact and thus, there is likely a high correlation between individual life-spaces within the spousal dyad. Declining physical functioning of one spouse, such as when one spouse is at high risk to become frail, may directly impact the life-space and QOL of both spouses, especially if the other spouse is the primary caregiver. The objectives of this study are: 1) to evaluate the feasibility of integrating new indoor positioning technology with an existing validated smartphone-based system to monitor older adults’ life-space both within and outside the home; and 2) to describe the characteristics and interdependent effects of the declining health of one partner and the associations with the life-space and QOL of both partners, within the spousal dyad. Findings from this study will lay the groundwork for two future lines of research that 1) build understanding of the longitudinal relationships between declining health, life-space, and QOL of older spouses and 2) inform future interventions using life-space technology as it relates to caregiver health and QOL.

    Faculty: Linda Edelman (PI); Neng Wan (PI, Department of Geography); Kara Dassel (Co-I); Tara Queen (Co-I); Maija Reblin (Co-I, University of Southern Florida); Alex Terril (Co-I, division of Occupational Therapy); Gail Towsley (Co-I)

  • The Influence of Disease Type on End-of-Life Care Preferences

    Funding: University of Utah Center on Aging-Pilot Grant

    Dates: 2015-2016 This project will determine the end-of-life treatment preferences of healthy adults in anticipation of specific disease types.

    Faculty: Kara Dassel (PI); K. Supiano, R. Utz; M. Battin (co-Is)

  • Bridging Physical and Cultural Determinants of Postpartum

    Funding: NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

    Dates: 7/27/2015 - 6/26/2020 Major risk factors for Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP), which is experienced by both nulliparous and parous women, include first vaginal childbirth, family history, and age. Some studies find an association with Hispanic heritage. Preventive measures are few and untested, since it is infrequent for women to visit a physician regarding symptoms of a vaginal bulge until the vaginal wall descends to or below the level of the hymen. Little is known about how women become aware of changes in vaginal support, its meaning for them in its interpersonal and sociocultural context, and subjective inklings of onset. The goal of this ethnographic study is to understand the cultural context of early pelvic floor changes, as they are experienced postpartum by Mexican-American and Euro-American women. By understanding how changes are perceived and understood to develop, culturally appropriate information and prevention strategies can be developed for women with early changes in vaginal support after childbearing.

    Faculty: Marlene Egger (Co-Project Lead); Lauren Clark (Co-Project Lead); Ana Sanchez-Birkhead (COI)

  • The Effect of Electronic Informed Consent Information (EICI) on Residual Newborn Specimen Research

    Funding: NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

    Dates: 9/1/2015 - 5/31/2019 Obtaining adequate informed consent from potential research participants is a significant challenge for biobank-dependent research. To maintain public trust and support, it is important to establish an informed decision-making process for the collection and use of biospecimens collected within clinical settings. For the majority of all infants born in the US, residual dried blood biospecimens are generated after newborn screening is completed. Some programs have chosen to store these specimens for several uses including biomedical research. For example, the Michigan BioTrust retains and catalogs newborn screening residual biospecimens for use in medical and public health research studies. Identifying ways to improve comprehension about broad consent for future biobank-dependent research is a national priority. The purpose of this application is to 1) identify information needed to make an informed decision about consent for future use of residual bloodspot biospecimens; 2) create an electronic informed consent information (EICI) tool for use in the clinical setting; 3) and evaluate the EICI approach and feasibility.

    Faculty: Erin Rothwell (Mult-PI); Jeffrey Botkin (Mult-PI); Bob Wong (Co-I); Louisa Stark (Co-I); Kevin Pompei (Co-I)

  • University of Utah College of Nursing Subcontract to Interoperability of Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchange

    Funding: Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (Primary award to the Utah Health Information Network, Teresa Rivera PI)

    Dates: 7/27/2015 - 7/27/2017 We propose to extend health information exchange for emergency departments and poison control centers to the entire state of Utah.. We will expand current software, process and infrastructure development effort to enable: (1) the transmission of a CCDA consultation note from the Utah Poison Control Center to UHIN’s cHIE, where it can be accessed by any authorized health care provider, (2) the transmission of a CCDA consultation note from the UPCC to state and local health departments for notifiable cases, and (3) UPCC management of CCDA discharge summaries from emergency departments, sent to UPCC via UHIN’s cHIE.

    Faculty: Mollie Cummins (UU subcontract PI); Guilherme Del Fiol; Barbara Crouch

  • Community Partnership for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research in Hispanics with Type 2 Diabetes

    Funding: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Tier III

    Dates: 07/01/2016 – 06/30/2017 Dr. Allen and team will work with community partners and a Community Advisory Board to determine effectiveness of technology solutions to deliver diabetes education and track self-management behaviors among Hispanics. Hispanics have disproportionate rates of Type 2 diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) compared to Non-Hispanic whites and suffer more diabetes complications.

    Faculty: Nancy Allen (PI); Jeannette Villalta (Co-I)

  • Cancer Prevention among Service Industry Employees: Multi-level Intervention Development

    Funding: Geographical Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program (GMaP) Region 6 Pilot Award

    Dates: 07/01/2016 –06/30/2017 The objectives of this study are to assess to the effectiveness of our Cancer Prevention Care Management Program for Hotel and Cleaning Workers and to identify strategies to expand this program into a multi-level intervention for cancer prevention among service industry employees in both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan settings in the Intermountain West. The findings from this study will allow us to develop the first evidence based multi-level intervention designed to improve cancer screening and cancer prevention behaviors among vulnerable low income and Latino service industry employees in our region.

    Faculty: Deanna Kepka (Co-I); Anne Kirchhoff (Co-I); Judy Ou (Co-I)

  • Labor and Delivery Nurse Staffing: A Patient Safety Intervention

    Funding: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

    Dates: 07/01/2016 – 06/30/2018 This innovative study will determine whether a relationship exists between labor and delivery nurse staffing and adverse maternal and newborn outcomes. Understanding the link between perinatal nurse staffing and maternal and neonatal wellbeing is fundamental to enhancing outcomes and promoting patient safety in the childbearing family. If the relationships indicate these outcomes are staffing sensitive, it will allow further studies that examine whether manipulating staffing levels can mitigate adverse birth outcomes.

    Faculty: Barbara Wilson (PI); Richard Butler (Health Economist and Professor at Brigham Young University); Jean Millar (Women’s and Newborns Service Line Director/Operations Officer for Intermountain Healthcare) ; Kristi Nelson (Program manager for the System in Women’s and Newborn Services, Intermountain Healthcare)

  • Automatic Self-Monitoring for Adolescent Depression (ASAP)

    Funding: Primary Children’s Hospital Foundation (PCHF) Early Career Development Research Award

    Dates: 7/1/2016 – 6/30/2018 This project proposes to develop a new screening approach for adolescent depression leveraging the potential of social media data. The goal of ASAP is to engage adolescents to self-monitor depressive symptoms, by automatically and periodically analyzing the individual’s posts and providing feedback to the adolescent. The objective of this ASAP proposal is to generate preliminary data essential for developing ASAP, including (1) to build a lexicon dictionary used for analyzing adolescent depression from tests; and (2) to identify social media use behaviors related to adolescent depression.

    Faculty: Jia-Wen Guo (PI); Katherine Sward, (Primary mentor); Wendy Chapman, (Co-mentor); Brooks Keeshin (Co-mentor); Mike Conway (Advisor)

  • SymptomCare@Home (SCH): Deconstructing an Effective, Technology-assisted, Symptom Management Intervention

    Funding: National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute

    Dates: April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2021 Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy experience multiple poorly controlled symptoms at home in the interim weeks between clinic visits and the next infusion. Their care during this interim time period is suboptimal. Technology can be utilized to bridge the gap between patient symptom needs at home and oncology team response. Automated patient-reported symptom home monitoring and management systems offer a new approach to symptom care. Our research team has developed and tested SymptomCare@Home (SCH). This multi-component automated system monitors daily patient-reported symptoms at home, provides tailored automated self-management coaching based on the specific symptoms reported and transmits unrelieved symptom alert reports to an oncology provider who, using the SCH decision support system provides follow-up telephone-delivered symptom care.

    Faculty: Kathi Mooney (PI)

  • Salud Juntos: A Promotora-Led Home-Based Cancer Care Support Solution

    Funding: National Institutes of Minority Health and Health Disparities

    Date: July 22, 2016 - February 28, 2018 Salud Juntos is a promotora-led home-based cancer care support solution project intended to reduce health disparities by developing medical technologies that are effective, affordable, culturally acceptable, and easily accessible to those who need them. The project is based on the well-established partnership between BrightOutcome and Dr. Ana Maria Lopez, Associate Vice President for Health Equity and Inclusion, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, and Director of Cancer Health Equity, Huntsman Cancer Institute. The research team will co-develop a bilingual high tech and high touch medical care support portal for Latinos, the most rapidly growing group in the U.S. The overarching goal of Salud Juntos is to improve cancer patients’ outcomes and self-efficacy by empowering cancer patients with self-management skills and bringing cancer care support directly to them at home via both promotoras and technology. Such supportive care, regardless whether delivered by promotoras or by technology, addresses both physical and psychosocial concerns and needs of cancer patients by offering timely patient education materials, engaging local/community support resources, facilitating patient-provider communication, and involving patients caregivers, friends and families.

    Faculty: Ana Maria Lopez (Site Pi); Ana Sanchez-Birkhead (Co-I); DerShung Yang