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Doctoral Student Research

Exploring Partnerships:  Children’s Pain Management Practices in Botswana

Samuel T. Matula, affectionately known as Sam around the Fagin corridors, is a second year traditional PhD Student from Botswana. His research interests include health care of acutely and chronically ill children in primary, secondary and tertiary care settings in Lower and Middle Income Countries (LMIC), child global health issues and nursing practice in LMIC. For Sam’s dissertation work, he will study children’s pain management practices in Botswana with a goal of conducting a practice analysis of pain management practices in Botswana by exploring the patient (parents/children) satisfaction, health providers’ knowledge, skill, attitudes and practices in children’s pain management as well as assessing system factors, such as policies, guidelines and resources, aimed towards pain management. Sam’s work is aimed towards developing future interventions that can optimize children’s pain outcomes during hospitalization in Botswana.

Breaking the Silence: Black Women Nurses in their Own Words

Hafeeza Anchrum is a third year doctoral student in the School of Nursing. She is also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Her research interests include oral history, 20th century nursing, black women’s history, and black liberation politics. Her dissertation research focuses on the intersectional identities of black women who worked and trained at Mercy-Douglass Hospital and Nurse Training School in Philadelphia between 1945 and 1970. In addition, she is creating an oral history collection of 20th century black women nurses. She is currently a Ruth L. Kirschstein NSRA Pre-Doctoral Fellow in the Centers for Global Women’s Health and Health Equity Research and a fellow in the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing.

Do Executive Skills and Musical Sophistication Preserve Function in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment? 

Darina Petrovsky, PhD student, was recently awarded a prestigous fellowship from the National Institute of Aging to investigate the impact of Executive Function (EF) and musical sophistication on the relationship between underlying neurodegenerative processes (reflected in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) biomarkers) and functional status in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

This exciting and innovative work may lead to the development of novel music-based interventions centered around enhancing cognitive and functional outcomes in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

The Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Physical and Mental Health

<hr/>Liz Novack

Liz Novack is a 3rd year doctoral student and a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar. Her research focuses on understanding the impact of intimate partner violence on cardiovascular risk, depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and alcohol dependence.

Fidelity to Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Algorithms in Botswana

For her dissertation study in Botswana, Penn Doctoral Nursing Student, Lauren Johsnon, proposes to comprehensively assess providers’ fidelity to cervical cancer screening and treatment algorithms. Using a multi-methods approach, she aims to compare providers’ fidelity to screening and treatment algorithms between the pilot site and scaled-up sites, and determine through in-depth interviews providers’ perceived barriers to and facilitators of fidelity to screening and treatment algorithms.

Does Suboptimal Micronutrient Status in Early Childhood Affect Sleep Quality and Neurocognition Later in Adolescence?

 In her dissertation, doctoral student, Xiaopeng Ji, aims to test the cross-sectional and longitudinal relationship between serum micronutrient status (iron and zinc) and sleep quality, and the partial mediating effect of sleep quality on serum micronutrient status and neurocognitive function (measured by computerized neurobehavioral tasks) in adolescents in China.

The knowledge gained from this study will provide clues to the biological risk factors of poor sleep and cognitive dysfunction in adolescents and inform future interventions for the multifaceted and interrelated health issues of nutrition, sleep and cognition.

The Joy of Defending your Dissertation

Aparna Kumar Defends her Dissertation

Congratulations to Dr. Aparna Kumar, PhD, Doctorate of Nursing Science for succesfully defending her dissertation! Dr. Kumar’s research highlights the impact of nursing factors on the outcomes of adult medicare surgical patients with and without depression.

Implications for Practice: Decreasing patient to nurse ratios and increasing the proportion of baccalaureate nurses are potential strategies to decrease surgical patient mortality in older adults with and without depression.

First Advanced Practice Nurse to be Awarded the VIPER Fellowship in Pittsburgh

Dr. Tim Sowicz finishes his dissertation defense just in time to start his post-doctoral fellowshipDr. Tim Sowicz finishes his dissertation defense just in time to start his post-doctoral fellowship