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  •  | June 26, 2016

    Background: Our program of research focuses on thermal and circulatory stability in extremely premature infants. In prior studies, we found that infants have long periods of time in which foot temperature (FT) is higher than central temperature. We thus wanted to determine whether blood flow in the foot is increased when FT is elevated. Perfusion index (PI) can be used as a clinical indicator of peripheral perfusion, but reports on use of PI in premature infants are lacking. We employed exploratory methodology to examine foot perfusion and temperature in very low birth weight infants.

    Aims: For premature infants after birth: (1) describe foot PI values for the first 2 weeks of life and (2) describe the relationship of longitudinal FT and PI. Study

    Design: Case study design with longitudinal FT and PI in 17 infants born at <29 weeks’ gestation with birth weight < 1,200 g for 2 weeks after birth. Results: Infants averaged 851 g at birth and were 24–29 weeks’ gestational age. The mean PI across all infants for 14 days was 1.04, SD ¼ 0.79. Using a repeated measures multilevel model approach confirmed that FT and PI were positively related in these infants. 

    Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that perfusion is increased in the periphery in extremely premature infants when FT is increased. PI measures can be used as a trend for peripheral perfusion, and these values increase over the first 2 weeks of life in infants weighing more than 750 g.

  •  | May 17, 2016

    PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To describe the development of a self-efficacy instrument that measures perceived ability to manage symptoms and quality-of-life problems resulting from the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

    DESIGN: Items were developed and content validity assessed. A 14-item scale was psychometrically evaluated using internal consistency reliability and several types of construct validity.

    SAMPLE: 1,127 female breast cancer survivors (BCSs).

    METHODS: Written consents were mailed to the research office. Data were collected via mail and telephone.

    MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Demographics, symptom bother, communication with healthcare provider, attention function, fear of recurrence, depression, marital satisfaction, fatigue, sexual functioning, trait and state anxiety, and overall well-being.

    FINDINGS: Data demonstrated that the breast cancer self-efficacy scale (BCSES) was reliable, with an alpha coefficient of 0.89, inter-item correlations ranging from 0.3-0.6, and item-total correlation coefficients ranging from 0.5-0.73. Three of 14 items were deleted because of redundancy as identified through high (> 0.7) inter-item correlations. Factor analysis revealed that the scale was unidimensional. Predictive validity was supported through testing associations between self-efficacy and theoretically supported quality-of-life variables, including physical, psychological, and social dimensions, as well as overall well-being.

    CONCLUSIONS: The BCSES demonstrated high internal consistency reliability, unidimensionality, and excellent content and construct validity. This scale should be integrated into interventions that target self-efficacy for managing symptoms in BCSs.

    IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Nurses working with BCSs may use this tool to assess areas in which survivors might need to build confidence to adequately cope with their specific survivorship concerns.

    KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION: The use of the BCSES can inform nurse researchers about the impact of an intervention on self-efficacy in the context of breast cancer survivorship, improving the ability to deliver effective interventions. The scale is brief and easy to administer. Results of this study demonstrate clear psychometric reliability and validity, suggesting that the BCSES should be put to use immediately in interventions targeting the quality of life of BCSs.

  •  | March 31, 2016

    Background:Nurse practitioners (NPs), if utilized to their optimal potential, could play a key role in meeting the growing demand for primary care.

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to propose a comprehensive model for maximizing NP contributions to primary care which includes the factors affecting NP care and patient outcomes and explains their interrelated impact.

    Method: We synthesized the results of the published literature to develop a model, which emphasizes NP scope of practice regulations, institutional policies, NP practice environment, and NP workforce outcomes as determinants of NP care and patient outcomes.

    Discussion: Our model provides a framework to help explain how variations in scope of practice regulations at the state-level and institutional policies within organizations directly and indirectly influence the practice environment of NPs, NP workforce outcomes, and patient care and outcomes.

    Conclusion: Aligning policy change, organizational innovations, and future research are critical to NP optimal utilization and patient care and outcomes.

  •  | February 11, 2016

    Purpose/Objectives: To develop a better understanding of how older adult survivors of early-stage breast and prostate cancer managed the work of recovery.

    Research Approach: Multiple case study design embedded in a larger randomized, controlled trial of a nurse-led patient navigation intervention.

    Setting: Community-based research conducted via in-home visits and by phone with participants residing in non-metropolitan areas of a mid-Atlantic state.

    Participants: Rural-dwelling adults aged 60 years or older with early-stage breast or prostate cancer and the people who support them (11 dyads).

    Methodologic Approach: An approach to grounded theory analysis was used to evaluate the fit between existing theoretical knowledge and case findings and to generate new knowledge about the cancer recovery process.

    Findings: Working toward normalcy was a core process of cancer recovery prompted by participants’ internal experiences and external interactions with their environments. This ongoing, iterative, and active process involved multiple concurrent strategies that were not necessarily medically oriented or cancer specific. Working toward normalcy resulted in movement along a continuum of self-appraisal anchored between participants experiencing life as completely disrupted by cancer to a life back to normal. A greater sense of normalcy was associated with higher engagement in valued activities and increased physical and psychological well-being.

    Conclusions: In addition to the core process of working toward normalcy, multiple theories from nursing, sociology, psychology, and gerontology helped to explain case findings. This knowledge could serve as a foundation on which to design survivorship care that supports the goals of cancer survivors working toward normalcy post-treatment.

    Interpretation: Post-treatment wellness goals can include a desire to reestablish or maintain a sense of normalcy. Nursing actions that promote survivors’ efforts to be perceived as capable, stay engaged in valued activities and roles, maintain a sense of control over their lives and bodies, and make plans for the future may help meet this goal. Existing theories about identity, dignity, inner strength, and the work of illness can inform nursing interventions.

  •  | January 11, 2016

    Cigarette smoking has been shown to be a health hazard. In addition to being considered a negative lifestyle behavior, studies have shown that cigarette smoking has been linked to genetic underpinnings of hypertension. Because African Americans have the highest incidence and prevalence of hypertension, we examined the joint effect of genetics and cigarette smoking on health among this understudied population. The sample included African Americans from the genome wide association studies of HyperGEN (N = 1083, discovery sample) and GENOA (N = 1427, replication sample), both part of the FBPP. Results suggested that 2 SNPs located on chromosomes 14 (NEDD8; rs11158609; raw p = 9.80 × 10−9, genomic control-adjusted p = 2.09 × 10−7) and 17 (TTYH2; rs8078051; raw p = 6.28 × 10−8, genomic control-adjusted p = 9.65 × 10−7) were associated with SBP including the genetic interaction with cigarette smoking. These two SNPs were not associated with SBP in a main genetic effect only model. This study advances knowledge in the area of main and joint effects of genetics and cigarette smoking on hypertension among African Americans and offers a model to the reader for assessing these risks. More research is required to determine how these genes play a role in expression of hypertension.