Norma G Cuellar, DSN, RN
Adjunct Professor of Nursing

Contact Information
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4217

My research focuses on the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in patients with sleep problems, specifically Restless Legs Syndrome. Since RLS is not correctly diagnosed until older age, my focus is on gerontological perspectives of both CAM and RLS.

Dr. Cuellar is currently involved with teaching Nursing 270 Health Care of the Older Adult in the undergraduate program. She also guest lectures in a variety of courses on CAM perspectives, including culture, research, aging, pain, and use across the lifespan.

Dr. Cuellar is currently involved in a variety of research projects related to sleep, CAM, RLS, and the older adult. She is currently in the process of completing two studies. The first looks at older adults and compares symptoms of primary and secondary RLS. The second project examines the prevalence of RLS in type 2 diabetics and outcomes of sleep and glycemic control. Preliminary data on this study shows that 43% of type 2 diabetics report symptoms of RLS. This finding may impact how we care for diabetics and implications for diabetic educators to teach their patients how to manage diabetes when RLS is exacerbated. The 3rd study is examining the use of valerian on sleep in persons with RLS. Dr. Cuellar has 2 other grants in review building on the valerian study in patients with RLS and the second grant examining the effects of mindfulness meditation on sleep in postwar Iraqi and Afghanistan veterans with PTSD.

• Currently Funded Grants

• Center for Biobehavioral Research


July 2004 - John A. Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing. Hartford Institute/AJN Geriatric Nursing Research Scholar. New York University.

Publications (select year)
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2004  | 2003  | 2002  | 2001  | 2000 and Prior  | In Press  | More Publications 

RLS is a disorder that affects up to 15% of the population. It is often misdiagnosed leaving patients with few options for symptom relief. Just recently, the first FDA drug has approved the first phamarcologic agent for the treatment of RLS. This has brought an increased public awareness of RLS, challenging health care providers to learn more about RLS and the sleep disorder that can impact sleep, depression, life satisfaction, quality of life, and other co-morbid chronic health conditions.