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Currently Funded Research

Developing predictive models using natural language processing for 30-day rehospitalization among Medicare beneficiaries with heart failure

Funding: 2019 University of Utah Pilot Project Award, The Greater Plains Collaborative Clinical Research Network

Dates:  11/1/2019 – 1/31/2022

The goal of this project is to develop a predictive model using a combination of different types of clinical narrative notes (unstructured data) for 30-day rehospitalization specifically for older adults with heart failure. Limited characterized risk factors from the structured data may challenge health care providers’ ability to recognize, assess, and intervene in patients’ care. Factors associated with 30-day rehospitalization from clinical narrative notes will assist efforts to engage with patient’s care better as well as to enhance clinical decision support.

Faculty: PI—Youjeong Kang, Co-Investigators—Josef Stehik, Ramkiran Gouripeddi

Understanding perceptions and prevention intentions among reproductive-age women with cardiometabolic risk factors

Funding: College of Nursing Research Committee

Dates: 7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022

Faculty: Sara Simonsen

Understanding access and barriers to engagement in mental health services and research among racially and ethnically diverse rural childbearing women during a pandemic

Funding: College of Nursing Research Committee

Dates: 7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022

Faculty: Gwen Latendresse

Care Trajectories of Utah Nursing Home Residents at the End of Life and of their Family Caregivers: A Population-based Pilot Study

Funding: University of Utah Center on Aging

Dates: 7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022

This study aims to examine how the characteristics of the nursing home resident and their family affect the care trajectories and healthcare utilization at end-of-life (EOL), and how caring for a nursing home resident impacts family later health and well-being.

Faculty: Caroline Stephens

Intensifying Community Referrals for Health: The SINCERE Intervention to Address COVID -19 Health Disparities

Funding: NIH/NINR

Dates: 5/14/2021 - 3/31/2025

This real-world efficacy study (NIH stage 3) will determine the benefit of social needs (e.g., housing, food, and transportation) screening, community-based service referrals, and telephonic follow-up as a scalable, sustainable strategy for preventing COVID-19 transmission, and for addressing the secondary health effects of the social, behavioral, and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results of this study will provide much needed information regarding whether social needs screening and community service referrals improve health outcomes of vulnerable and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, an NIH-designated health disparity population, and whether intensive follow-up and collaborative goal- setting help overcome barriers to community service use by patients who are seen in the emergency department and seek COVID testing at community-based and mobile clinic locations.

Faculty: Andrea Wallace

Comparing The Efficacy, Cost, Feasibility And Acceptability Of Human Papillomavirus (Hpv) Self-testing To Visual Inspection With Acetic Acid (Via) In Rural Nepal

Funding: Sorenson Legacy Foundation

Dates: 3/1/2021 - 2/28/2023

Cervical cancer is preventable, yet nearly 2000 Nepali women are dying annually from cervical cancer. We aim to find a socio-culturally acceptable, effective, low cost cervical cancer screening method which can be successfully implemented in remote and low resource areas in Nepal.

Faculty: Bernard Fassl; Deanna Kepka


Creating, implementing, and evaluating a nurse apprentice program during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Funding: CONRC

Dates: 4/1/2021 - 6/3/2022

Using the Casey-Fink Graduate Nurse Experience Survey (revised)™, we will compare newly-graduated RNs who participated in the Nurse Apprenticeship (NA) program to newly-graduated RNs who did not participate in the NA program, using targeted time frames of two months, six months, and one-year post hire. Specifically, our objectives are to:  1. Evaluate experiences of those hired as nurse apprentices at UHealth using the Casey Fink Graduate Nurse Experience Survey (revised),™  2. Evaluate experiences of new graduate nurses hired at U Health who do not participate as apprentices, and  3. Compare the experiences of nurse apprentices with new-graduates who did not participate in the nurse apprentice program.

Faculty: Sue Chase-Cantarini

The Effect of Mobile Immersive Video and Motivation and Problem Solving on Enrollment in the Diabetes Prevention Program

Funding: Centers for Disease Control (75D30120C09181)

Dates: 9/1/2020 - 8/31/2022

Faculty: Bryan Gibson; Sara Simonsen

Have you heard of HB 60? Promoting Life Long Learning for Older Adults through Higher Education

Funding: Gerontological Society of America

Dates: 11/3/2020 - 8/31/2021

Faculty: Katarina Friberg Felsted; Jacqueline Eaton

Posttraumatic growth among sexual and gender minority families facing advanced cancer

Funding: American Psychological Foundation

Dates: 1/25/2021 - 1/24/2022

This preliminary study aims to 1) begin to establish an evidence-base of health disparities and unmet needs experienced by SGM families, 2) understand any differences in the experiences of SGM and non-SGM families facing advanced cancer, and 3) identify factors contributing to SGM families' stress and coping while faced with advanced cancer

Faculty: Sara Bybee; Lee Ellington

Project ARIISE

Funding: Macy Foundation (B20-03)

Dates: 7/1/2020 - 6/30/2023

Project ARIISE creates opportunities for community members and providers to collaboratively confront racial-ethnic disparities within the maternal health system - and to heal from previous cultural ruptures. This project aims to create a new level of skills and awareness for interprofessional students, OB and midwifery trainees, and the faculty that guide them in their readiness for ethical practice.  By the end of the intervention students will have practiced and improved their ability to recognize their own implicit biases, identify and repair microaggressions, and create safer, more attentive, and positive maternal health systems for Women of Color. 

Faculty: Susanna Cohen; Karen Tao

Integrating Simulations & Team-Based Training into Nurse Mentoring in Uttar Pradesh

Funding: UCSF/Gates Foundation (11678SC)

Dates: 10/16/2019 - 9/30/2021

Improve the quality of obstetric and neonatal care through mentoring and simulation training in Uttar Pradesh.

Faculty: Susanna Cohen

Insurance, Health Care, and Finances for Adolescent and Young Adults with Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Funding: Huntsman Cancer Institute (2021-001)

Dates: 2/1/2021 - 6/30/2022

The goal of this Grand Challenges Grant application is to understand the changing relationship of health care utilization, employment, finances, and insurance coverage among AYAs with cancer in Utah due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Faculty: Lauri Linder; Anne Kirchhoff

Intermountain Healthcare, Huntsman Cancer Institute, and University of Utah Partnership to Improve HPV Vaccination in Utah's Lowest Performing Health Districts for HPV Vaccination

Funding: Huntsman Cancer Institute (2021-002)

Dates: 2/1/2021 - 6/30/2022

Faculty: Deanna Kepka; Neal Davis

Practice-based Approaches to Promote HPV Vaccination in the Safety Net

Funding: Huntsman Cancer Institute

Dates: 8/24/2020 - 8/24/2021

Faculty: Deanna Kepka

Feasibility of SympotmCare at Home (SCH) in individuals with Post-Acute Sequelae of SARSCoV-  2 (PASC) symptoms

Funding: CONRC (24205)

Dates: 4/1/2021 - 3/31/2022

The overall aim of this study is to pilot test the SCH system of daily symptom monitoring and adaptive just-in-time interventions with individuals experiencing PASC symptoms. The Primary Aim is to:  • Determine the feasibility of SCH in individuals with PASC         o Examine barriers to the use of SCH with            and without adaptive, tailored, and just-in-            time SCH self-management intervention  • With a secondary aim of using daily symptom monitory over four weeks to identify the symptom pattern with and without adaptive, tailored, and just-in-time SCH self-management intervention.

Faculty: Paula Meek

Huntsman at Home- A nursing driven model of care for rural dwelling cancer patients and their families

Funding: Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation

Dates: 1/1/2020 - 12/31/2022

Faculty: Kathleen Mooney

Family Planning Elevated: A Statewide Contraceptive Initiative in Utah

Funding: Anonymous (5463 COMPANION) 

Dates: 11/1/2019 - 10/31/2021

Faculty: Susanna Cohen; David Turok

Opioid-related interoperability Training and research question

Funding: Utah Department of Health (2105704)

Dates: 3/1/2021 - 9/30/2021

The general purpose of this contract is set the parties' responsibilities for: 1) the development and delivery of two webinars to fulfill the OD2A training requirement, and 2) to help the Health Informatics Office identify 5-10 key research questions that can be derived from a linked prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) dataset.

Faculty: Catherine Staes

Grief from Overdose Death Project-Phase II Evaluation of Clinical Outcomes in an Hybrid Implementation-Effectiveness Model  

Funding: Utah DHHS/SAMHSA (AO02775 Amendment 3)

Dates: 9/30/2020 - 8/31/2022

The purpose of the project is to build on the successful efforts of the "Project to prepare clinicians to provide grief support to those bereaved by overdose death" that developed, implemented and evaluated an evidence-based, comprehensive model of grief support for those bereaved by death from drug overdose in Utah and targeted both direct service clinicians and other professionals working with persons bereaved by overdose death. The trajectory of that initial project ends with an evaluation of the feasibility, acceptability and uptake of The Grief Support Model, and self-reported skills and manual fidelity of facilitators. 

Faculty: Kathie Supiano

Intimate Partner Violence Prevention and Reproductive Health for African Refugees Resettled in the United States

Funding: University of Utah Vice-President for Research

Dates: 9/1/2020 - 9/1/2021

This study aims to evaluate interactive theater as a means to address intimate partner violence and reproductive life planning among African refugees living in Utah. Intimate partner violence and access to reproductive healthcare are concerns that have been raised by members of this community. These issues have far-reaching public health consequences for African immigrant/refugee individuals, families, and communities.

Faculty: Sara Simonsen

Caregivers' Perceptions Regarding Intra-hospital Transitions and Discharge Readiness

Funding: CONRC (19072)

Dates: 4/1/2021 - 3/31/2022

This study's expected outcomes are to 1) establish a preliminary understanding regarding how to identify and measure the frequency of intra-hospital transitions and discharge readiness levels; 2) identify key factors of  intra-hospital transitions influencing caregivers' discharge readiness. Identifying key factors will provide a basis for the future development of an intra-hospital transition assessment instrument and a beginning ability to measure the potential influence of intra-hospital transitions on inpatient care coordination and caregiver  experiences.

Faculty: Alycia Bristol

Adapting and assessing the feasibility of a diabetes self-management education and support telehealth intervention for rural populations to reduce disparities in diabetes care

Funding: NIH NINR (1R56NR019466-01)

Dates: 9/10/2020 - 7/31/2022

The proposed project will use community based participatory research to adapt an existing diabetes self-management and education intervention with a telehealth intervention to be culturally relevant for rural populations. Participants and care partners will receive a one-time, 8-hour telehealth intervention at the rural clinic where they receive their care, from a multidisciplinary team specializing in diabetes. The overarching aim of this study is to provide a sustainable model to provide diabetes specialty care to rural populations. 

Faculty: Michelle Litchman

A Pilot Trial of a Financial Toolkit for Emerging Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

Funding: Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

Dates: 11/1/2020 - 10/31/2021

This pilot study examines financial stress and effects on self-management outcomes during the transition from pediatric to adult diabetes care using Community Based Participatory Research  methods. 

Faculty: Michelle Litchman

Value Driven Outcome Analysis of the Diabetes One-Day Education and Care Program

Funding: CONRC

Dates: 4/1/2021 - 3/31/2022

Our Specific Aim is to:  Aim 1. Measure the impact of the D1D program on direct healthcare cost outcomes through  retrospective cohort analyses. Those who attended the D1D program will be compared to those who were referred to D1D but did not attend. Value-driven outcomes data, examining a cost and healthcare utilization (hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and clinic visits), will be conducted. The University of Utah Health Economics Core will be used to support Aim 1 data collection and analyses.

Faculty: Michelle Litchman

Examining the Palliative, End-of-Life, and Spousal Spillover Effects for Immunotherapy in Advanced Cancer

Funding: University of Utah Research Foundation

Dates: 3/1/2021 - 2/28/2022

The premise of this proposal is to develop a dataset of immunotherapy decedents and the spouses to support the analysis of palliative care, end-of-life, and bereavement outcomes associated with immunotherapy receipt in advanced cancer. Despite immunotherapy being recognized as a game changing therapy in advanced cancer, the exceptional response of immunotherapy is limited to a minority of patients. Our pre-research query of the All Payers Claims Database and Utah Cancer Registry in five common cancers, melanoma, breast, lung, colorectal, and bladder cancers, showed that immunotherapy recipients died at a higher rate compared with non-immunotherapy recipients between 2013 to 2017. This study will examine the palliative and end-of-life outcomes of the 2,229 immunotherapy decedents, and explore stress-related physiological and psychological health outcomes of spouses of the married decedents.

Faculty: Djin Tay

Developing predictive models using natural language processing for 30-day rehospitalization among Medicare beneficiaries with heart failure.

Funding: University of Utah CCTS

Dates: 11/1/2019 - 10/31/2021

The number of heart failure (HF) patients in the U.S. is expected to double over the next two decades as the baby-boomer generation ages. Nearly 80% of all patients with HF are older adults ( ≥65 years of age) who are also Medicare beneficiaries. Prior studies have built predictive models that relied on structured data from electronic health records (EHRs) to predict the risk of 30-day rehospitalization for patients with HF. 

Faculty: Youjeong Kang

Research Collaborative for Family Caregivers of Older Adults

Funding: NIH NIA (1K07AG068185-01)

Dates: 9/1/2020 - 4/30/2025

With the number of U.S. family caregivers shrinking and the demands on their health and wellbeing increasing, we are facing a family caregiver public health crisis. By connecting new and established interdisciplinary researchers, we can spark new and innovative solutions for the benefit of family caregivers and their care recipients. This K07 Academic Leadership Career Award proposes to formalize connections and promote collaborations across disciplines and academic entities at the University of Utah and Utah Health Sciences to provide the necessary infrastructure, mentoring, content and methodologic expertise to improve the support of family caregivers of older adults.

Faculty: Lee Ellington

Utah's Geriatric Education Consortium Competing Continuation

Funding: HRSA (2 U1QHP287410400)

Dates: 7/1/2019 - 6/30/2024

Utah has one of the fastest growing aging populations. Its 85-years and older population is projected to increase 8-fold between 2006 and 2050. As a result, the use of long-term services and supports (LTSS) is increasing and the capacity and competencies of the interprofessional   (IP) LTSS workforce, families, and caregivers will need to be expanded to provide value-based, person-centered care. The purpose of the Utah Geriatric Education Consortium is to enhance healthcare provider workforce capacity to integrate geriatrics and primary care outcomes of older adults utilizing LTSS, and to increase patient, family, and caregiver engagement across rural and urban Utah. To achieve this purpose, we will expand on our successes over the past 4 years in building sustainable partnerships with HealthInsight, our quality improvement organization, and add new long-term care (LTC) and LTSS primary care partners, including home health/hospice and assisted living. 

Faculty: Linda Edelman

Primary Care Nurse Education and Training for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control in Rural and Underserved Utah

Funding: HRSA (1 UK1HP31735-01-00)

Dates: 7/1/2018 - 6/30/2022

Increase access to community-based primary care to residents of Utah living in rural and underserved areas through strengthening the capacity and competencies of primary care nurses through education and professional development.

Faculty: Linda Edelman

Developing an innovation arts-based drama intervention to reduce stress in family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. 

Funding: NIH NIA (1K01AG065623-01A1)

Dates: 1/15/2021 - 12/31/2025

Persons with dementia experience behavioral symptoms such as agitation, combativeness, depression, and apathy. These behaviors increase caregiver stress, which leads to negative outcomes, such as poor health, depression, and increased caregiver burden. This project seeks to develop and test an intervention to prepare caregivers for behavioral symptoms in order to reduce stress and improve the overall quality of life for both the caregiver and the person with dementia.

Faculty: Jacqueline Eaton

Development of the Latin-American Spanish LEAD Guide

Funding: CONRC

Dates: 10/1/2020 - 9/30/2021

Faculty: Kara Dassel

End-of-Life Care Planning Intervention

Funding: Alzheimers Association (AARG-20-685951)

Dates: 7/1/2020 - 6/30/2023

This conceptual model and evaluation of the LEAD intervention will inform future hypothesis development and testing. This intervention advances the science of dementia EOL care planning and addresses public health  challenges by guiding and supporting families through challenging EOL care planning conversations,  facilitating the documentation and transfer of knowledge regarding EOL care preferences and values (13) and ultimately improving quality of life for individuals with ADRD and their care-partners (4).

Faculty: Kara Dassel

The Going Home Toolkit—A Digital Resource Planner for Hospital Discharge

Funding: AHRQ

Dates: 6/1/2020 - 6/30/2022

We aim to create a fully functional prototype of the GHT by automatically linking this new electronic resource planner to a patient's personal health record in a public sandbox environment, and to community-based resources available through the 211 referral service. The 211 service provides a free-of-charge, comprehensive list of community service providers throughout the intermountain west providing over 10,000 resources for social needs (e.g., transportation, financial advice, food and housing assistance, etc.). In a funded AHRQ study (R21HS26505, PI Wallace), the research team and 211 have partnered to test social needs screening and referral in the University of Utah Health Care (UHealth) emergency department using tablet computers.21 This project would complement this work by understanding how the 211 community-based resource database, organized by zip codes and common taxonomy, can be integrated into a more comprehensive, tailored, digital resource planner for patients returning home after hospitalization.

Faculty: Andrea Wallace

Developing and Testing the Enhancing Active Caregiver Training (EnACT) Intervention for Dementia Family Caregivers

Funding: NIH/NIA

Dates: 01/15/2021 - 12/31/2025

Persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) experience behavioral symptoms such as agitation, combativeness, depression, and apathy. These behaviors increase caregiver stress, which leads to negative outcomes such as poor health, depression, and increased caregiver burden. This project seeks to develop and test an intervention to enhance active caregiver skill training to prepare caregivers to better manage behavioral symptoms in order to improve ADRD caregiver wellbeing.

Faculty: Jacqueline Eaton

Symptom Care at Home-Heart Failure: Developing and piloting a symptom monitoring and self-management coaching system for patients with heart failure

Funding: NIH/NHLBI (1K23HL148545-01A1)

Dates: 04/15/2020 - 03/31/2025

Keeping heart failure (HF) patients at home with a low symptom burden after hospital discharge is challenging. Evidence shows that delay in HF symptom recognition and poor self-management are associated with unplanned emergency department visits and rehospitalizations. Clinical trials aimed at preventing rehospitalization using telemonitoring have shown limited utility suggesting that monitoring physical changes alone may not be sufficient to maintain stability of HF patients at home. A recent cancer study has demonstrated that patients receiving cancer chemotherapy achieved a 40% reduction in symptoms using Symptom Care at Home (SCH), a computer-interface telephonic interactive voice response system pairing patient-reported symptoms with automated real-time, self-management coaching. While a few HF studies have used interventions that monitored symptoms, no studies have tested a system that monitors and provides real-time, self-management coaching tailored to specific patient-reported outcomes(PRO). The objective of this study is to pilot an adaption of the SCH system to HF resulting in preliminary data to support a fully-powered randomized control trial to test an adapted SCH-HF system that could be widely disseminated. Specific Aims over two-parts are: Aim 1] Tailor the real-time self-management coaching system to integrate HF symptom monitoring and self-management coaching into the SCH-HF system; and Aim 2] Conduct a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of the SCH-HF system. This study is significant because it expands our understanding into HF symptom monitoring and management using PRO in the home setting. The proposal is innovative because it integrates HF clinician and patient perspectives to develop a daily home monitoring and real-time self-management coaching system. Primary mentor: Kathi Mooney Co-mentor: Josef Stehlik Advisor: Gary Donaldson Advisor: Sandra Dunbar

Faculty: Youjeong Kang

Rural ImPAcTT: Assessing the Feasibility and Acceptability of the Improving Palliative Care Access Through Technology (ImPAcTT) Intervention in a Rural Nursing Home

Funding: University of Utah Vice-President for Research

Dates: 3/1/2020 - 2/28/2022

To investigate potential barriers and facilitators of telehealth delivery of PC services in rural NHs. Building on our network of NHs through our UofU Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), we will conduct semi-structured interviews with NH staff, residents, and families to explore potential barriers and facilitators to using telehealth to increase access to PC expertise, support, and education in rural NHs.   To determine the feasibility and acceptability of the ImPAcTT intervention in a rural NH setting and to estimate its effect on symptom distress, advanced care planning, staff PC knowledge, resident/family satisfaction, and acute care utilization. We will conduct a pilot implementation trial of the multi-component ImPAcTT intervention to evaluate our ability to safely recruit and retain study participants, collect appropriate and accurate data, and determine preliminary estimates of an effect size of the intervention.

Faculty: Caroline Stephens

Interdisciplinary Training in Cancer, Caregiving and End-of-Life Care

Funding: NIH/NINR (T32NR013456)

Dates: 7/1/2018-6/30/2023

The number of patients with chronic and life-limiting illnesses, like cancer, and their family caregivers are increasing, and their health and psychosocial needs are having a profound impact on health services. Our NIH-funded training program is shaping the next generation of scientists to provide evidence on how to best help patients and families sustain health and well-being, foster patient and family engagement, manage symptoms associated with chronic disease, and die free of pain and family burden. This program will support eight pre-doctoral and eight post-doctoral trainees.

Faculty: Lee Ellington (Co-PIs); Kathi Mooney (Co-PIs)

Primary Care Nurse Education and Training for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control in Rural and Underserved Utah (NEPQR)

Funding: HRSA (Nurse, Education, Practice, Quality and Retention) (UK1HP31735)

Dates: 07/01/2018-06/30/2022

The purpose of this project is to increase the access to community-based primary care to residents of Utah living in rural and underserved areas through strengthening the capacity and competencies of primary care nurses through education and professional development. HRSA has designated areas within 26 of 29 Utah counties as Primary Care Professional Shortage Areas. These areas include pockets with urban counties, as well as rural and frontier counties where available services and geographic distance limit access to primary care. While Utah’s population is increasingly diverse, the nursing workforce does not mirror ethnic diversity. The project will enhance the capacity of the College of Nursing (CON) at the University of Utah to recruit and educate nurses from rural and underserved areas through an academic-clinic partnership with the Association of Utah Community Health (AUCH) and over 50 community clinics, including Federal Health Centers. The NEPQR Team will partner with the Utah Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), whose mission is to improve the distribution and diversity of health professionals and to transform health systems, facilitating networks with rural primary care clinics, thereby exposing pre-licensure students to rural primary care practice.

Faculty: Linda Edelman (Project Director); Brenda Luther; Connie Madden; Teresa Garrett; Sue Chase-Cantarini; Barbara Wilson; Sara Hart; Jorie Butler; Jane Wolfarth; Nancy Nelson; Blair Crickmore; David Contreras

Reconfiguring the Patient Room as a Fall Protection Strategy to Increase Patient Stability during Ambulation

Funding: AHRQ (R18HS025606)

Dates: 09/30/2018-09/29/2023

Despite decades of research into patient falls, falls and the injuries incurred continue to be a serious threat to patient safety. Fall rates continue to be unacceptably high. The purpose of this project is to increase the safety of a hospital room for patient mobility, using innovative simulation strategies and patient-centric design. An innovative simulation environment will be built to enable rapid assessment of room layout and fixture positioning and patient stability. The results from multiple simulations will be used to fabricate a prototype room layout that will be tested by patients with Parkinson disease and reviewed and updated with input from other relevant stakeholders. A final room prototype will be built and tested. Results will be translated and shared with all stakeholders and disseminated for implementation.

Faculty: Janice Morse (Co-PI); Andrew Merryweather (Co-PI); Bob Wong; Bo Foreman

HIV Needs Assessment and Analysis

Funding: Utah Department of Health

Dates: 01/01/2018-12/31/2022

This project will develop a needs assessment that will assess social, behavioral, and healthcare needs of persons living with HIV in Utah and of persons at high risk for HIV infection in Utah. We will pilot test and refine the assessment based on participant feedback, then assess the socio-demographic characteristics and contextual factors in relation to barriers to care, HIV testing practices, adherence to HIV therapy, viral load levels, and quality of life.

Faculty: Deanna Kepka (PI)

Virtural Coaching to Maximize Dementia Caregivers’ Respite Time-Use: A Stage 1 Pilot Test for Feasibility and Efficacy

Funding: NIH/NIA (R01AG061946)

Dates: 09/30/2018-05/31/2023

Caregivers to the 5.7 million persons in the United States with Alzheimer’s Disease are susceptible to adverse physical and mental health outcomes, given the often prolonged and challenging care and support they provide to patients in their homes and community. Respite (defined as “time away from caregiving”) is the most often requested service by caregivers. Our project uses a community-engaged design process and a scientifically-rigorous pilot study to evaluate an intervention to coach caregivers on how to maximize the benefits associated with respite time. This type of online-delivered intervention is inherently scalable to real world practice and is expected to help caregivers maintain their overall wellbeing over time, so they can continue providing the estimated 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care with an annual economic value of $232 billion.

Faculty: Rebecca Utz (PI); Michael Caserta; Alexandra Terrill; Bob Wong; Eli Iacob; Louisa Stark

Nursing Working Force Diversity Project: Partnering for Success of Diverse Students: Investing in the Future of Nursing

HRSA (Nursing Workforce Diversity) (D19HP31822)

Dates: 07/01/2018-06/30/2021

The overall goal of the project is to design a sustainable infrastructure and processes that facilitate successful baccalaureate registered nurse program completion to create a nursing workforce that reflects the population we serve. The project team will launch initiatives intended to increase recruitment and enrollment of racially and ethnically diverse and/or economically/educationally disadvantaged students, increase completion rates of both traditional and RN-BSN diverse students, and improve the student experience of inclusion in the College of Nursing.

Faculty: Marla De Jong (PI); Rebecca Wilson; Connie Madden; Sara Hart; Eli Iacob; Sumiko Martinez; Savannah Manwill; Kristen Mahoney; Luz Seoane; Shelley Gabriel

Telementalhealth: A Promising Approach to Reducing Perinatal Depression in Utah's Rural & Frontier Communities

Funding: Utah Department of Health

Dates: 07/01/2019 – 06/30/2024

Developing and implementing a telehealth distance platform for the delivery of mental health services can address some of the barriers to assessing care for childbearing women in rural and frontier Utah. Telehealth has begun to revolutionize the delivery of services to address a variety of health care needs, but is just beginning to be explored as a platform for the delivery of maternity and mental health services. All pregnant and postpartum women (up to 1 year after birth) receiving services at any of the collaborating public health clinics will be included in a universal screening program to detect depression during and after pregnancy. Women who screen "positive" for depression will be invited to participate in the telementalhealth program.

Faculty: Gwen Latendresse (PI)

Addressing Barriers to Primary Care Work Force Needs in Rural and Underserved Settings with Academic-Clinical Partnerships and Innovations in Technology

Funding: HRSA, Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Grant Program (T94HP32908)

Dates: 07/01/2019 – 06/30/2023

This project addresses the growing demand for primary care (PC) services in Utah’s rural communities. The overall purpose is to create sustainable academic-clinical partnerships that result in an increase in advance-practice nurse (APN) graduates who are well prepared to deliver high quality primary care in rural Utah communities. The project has four objectives: 1) increase the availability of rural immersive clinical training sites for APN students by strengthening existing academic-clinical partnerships that serve rural communities in Utah; 2) prepare primary care APN students to practice in rural community settings through enhanced didactic education, longitudinal immersive clinical experiences, traineeships, and scholarly projects that address the specific health care needs of rural populations; 3) train, support, and evaluate primary care APN preceptors in rural communities; and 4) identify, implement, and evaluate approaches to connecting APN graduates with employment in rural and underserved communities.

Faculty: Gwen Latendresse (PI); Tek Kilgore; Valerie Flattes; Kimberly Garcia; Katie Ward; Rebecca Wilson; Lisa Gren; Gillian Tufts

Randomized Trial of Telehealth Group Intervention to Reduce Depressive Symptoms in Diverse Populations

Funding: NIH/NINR (R01NR017620)

Dates: 12/16/2018-11/30/2021

This study is the first to use a videoconference intervention (VCI) to engage women in a facilitated group approach to reducing perinatal depressive symptoms (PDS) and to evaluate the impact among diverse groups. The approach is cost effective and reduces barriers to access to mental health services, particularly for women living in low-resource and minority communities, and those without adequate transportation, childcare, or work release time. The VCI can be replicated in any setting (e.g. rural or urban), and can be adapted to the needs of diverse communities. The study advances the field by establishing whether a group telehealth intervention reduces PDS, and whether this differs based on the population. If effective and implemented broadly, far fewer women and families would suffer the negative consequences of depression.

Faculty: Gwen Latendresse (PI); ElLois Bailey; Xiaoming Sheng; Marcela Smid; Jamie Hales

Social Needs and Resources in the Evaluation and Enhancement of Discharge Support: The NEEDS Study

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R01HS026248)

Dates: 09/01/2019-06/30/2022

The objective of this project is to provide inpatient health care teams with information about patients’ social needs and supportive resources, evaluating whether it facilitates clinical decision-making, impacts readiness for hospital discharge and, ultimately, reduces hospital readmission. This study will test the effect of assessing and communicating patients’ social needs and supportive resources on health team- patient- caregiver- outcomes; test the effect of social needs and supportive resources assessment on discharge planning processes; and examine provider and patient experiences of social needs and supportive resources assessment.

Faculty: Andrea Wallace (PI)

Social Media Use and Social Support Among Adolescent Siblings of Children with Cancer

NIH/NIN (F31NR018987)

Dates: 01/01/21 - 12/31/21

Social support is a crucial part of adolescent development and a well-established influence on health outcomes. Siblings of children with cancer are at elevated risk of poor psychosocial adjustment due to the disruptions within the family and their parent's cancer caregiving burdens. The purpose of this study is to understand the role of social media on the perceptions of social support as well as its role within their social networks to facilitate social support and improve health.

Faculty: Sarah Wawrzynski (PI), Kristin Cloyes (Mentor)