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Three Penn Nursing Research Projects Receive LDI Special Rapid-Response COVID-Related Grants

The University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) has awarded thirteen COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Grants designed to produce policy insights directly relevant to the ongoing pandemic and its broad range of health effects. Penn Nursing is represented with three research projects.

Multi-State Study of Nurse Burnout in US Minority-Serving and non-Minority-Serving Hospitals, Before and After COVID-19

This study will focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated nurse burnout, particularly in minority-serving institutions (MSIs) where the coronavirus burden is falling more heavily. The researchers will conduct a survey in collaboration with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing – the only organization with a national database of virtually all registered nurses’ email addresses. The goal will be to evaluate working conditions before the pandemic, as well as how levels of burnout/intent to leave have changed in MSIs and non-MSIs after the pandemic peak. This study’s principal investigator is Karen Lasater, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor and LDI Senior Fellow.

In Whose Best Interest: Nursing Regulation During a Crisis

How much do state regulations of clinicians’ practice protect the public good and how much do they reflect disciplinary self-interest? Using nursing as a case study, this research project proposes to compare nursing’s response in the 1918 Flu pandemic, a time when the discipline was lightly regulated, to today’s Covid-19 crisis, occurring at a time of heavy regulation. The principal investigators of this study are Cynthia Connolly, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Rosemarie B. Greco Term Endowed Professorship in Advocacy; Professor of Nursing; Associate Director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing; and LDI Senior Fellow; Patricia D’Antonio, PhD, FAAN, RN, the Carol E. Ware Professor in Mental Health Nursing; Chair of the Department of Family and Community Health; Director of the Bates Center; and LDI Senior Fellow; and Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN; Endowed Chair, Nightingale Professor in Honor of Nursing Veterans; Professor of Nursing; Chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences; and LDI Senior Fellow.

COVID-19 Risk Perception, Knowledge, and Behaviors in 6 States

Despite efforts of public health officials and the media to share current and accurate information about COVID-19, there are many instances of conflicting information and misinformation being disseminated. Researchers, public health experts, and policymakers lack reliable information on a range of epidemiological factors. This study will assess risk perceptions, knowledge, and behaviors related to prevention and response to the pandemic, and the psychological impacts of quarantine and/or diagnosis of COVID-19. This study’s principal investigator is Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor; the George A. Weiss University Professor in the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Nursing; and LDI Senior Fellow. Her co-investigator is John Holmes, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in the Perelman School of Medicine; Professor in the School of Nursing; and a LDI Senior Fellow.

The grant program was created in March, three weeks after reports of the first COVID-19 related deaths in the US, and as the contagion raged out of control in Wuhan China. LDI then put out an urgent request for grant proposals to its Fellows. LDI Executive Director Rachel Werner, MD, PhD, explained that proposed projects “should address population health, health care, and system delivery issues needed to understand and address the current COVID-19 pandemic or improve responses to future infectious disease outbreaks, particularly related to disparities and underserved populations.”

Some $73,000 in awards for the 13 projects were announced by the first week of May. All of the projects are due to be completed within six months of their award.