About Pilot Study Program
HER provides junior and/or new investigators with funds to establish their programs of research in self-management interventions that are transdisciplinary in approach. Click here to learn more about the Pilot Study Program and list of ongoing studies.
Updates on New Pilot Studies
Heather Cuevas, PhD, RN (PI)
Adapting a Cognitive Training Intervention for Diabetes Self-Management. (Sept. 2016 – Nov. 2017)
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) increases the risk for cognitive impairment and doubles the rate of cognitive decline after diabetes is diagnosed. In turn, the presence of cognitive dysfunction can make diabetes self-management more difficult. Few interventions have attempted to focus on cognitive function in the context of diabetes and none, to date have tested an intervention to improve cognition in order to improve diabetes self-management. Therefore the aims of this project are: (1) to refine an existing cognitive rehabilitation intervention and tailor it for persons with T2DM by using current literature and interview data from 10 participants with T2DM and (2) to conduct a feasibility study of the adapted intervention with 20 participants with T2DM. The intervention consists of 8 weekly group educational sessions to teach compensatory cognitive strategies. Additionally, participants will use a web-based, game-like program to build on the didactic information and practice activities to improve cognitive health. The project will provide baseline data for further research on diabetes self-management in the context of cognitive dysfunction.
Tracie Harrison, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN (PI)
Self-Management of Disablement and Aging in Mexican Americans with OA
Osteoarthritis (OA), a chronic degenerative disease of the joints, affects 27 million Americans and is the most common cause of disablement in aging Americans (Arthritis Foundation, 2008). Women and minorities have higher rates of OA than do non-Hispanic White (NHW) men, with worse functional limitations and disability. Currently, 3.1 million Latinos in the U.S. have arthritis, and this causes severe joint pain and limitations for at least one in five (Murphy et al., 2011). Therefore the aims of this study are: 1) To refine and validate an established tool that measures self-management outcomes in MA men and women with disabling OA in both Spanish and English; 2) To explore associations between disablement (impairment, function, and disability), self-management outcomes for relationships and gender differences; 3) To explore associations between disablement and biological, social, cultural, and psychological factors; and 4) To test whether self-management strategies predict self-management and disablement outcomes in men and women with OA, and whether self-management strategies moderate the relationships between disablement and related biological, cultural, and psychological factors. In this pilot study, Dr. Harrison will examine complex psychosocial influences on disablement by integrating a new means to understand pathways to better outcomes; i.e., self-management of disability.
Updates on Ongoing Pilot Studies
Julie Zuniga, PhD, RN (PI)
Self-Management of Diabetes for Persons with HIV (Sept. 2015 – Nov. 2016)
In her current pilot, Dr. Zuniga is testing the efficacy of an intervention to improve self-management in persons living with a dual diagnosis of HIV/AIDS and Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM). After receiving feedback and input from a focus group of patients with HIV-T2DM, Dr. Zuniga, guided by her transdisciplinary team, will adapt an evidence-based intervention consisting of two 3 hour sessions of structured psych-behavioral group education utilizing gamification strategies. Six weekly telephone-counseling sessions will follow the 6-week group education. At this point in the study, the research team has completed recruitment (n=27). 25 participants who have completed the intervention and data collection is on track to be completed by the end of September. An abstract for the study was accepted as a podium presentation at the “American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting in Denver.”
Marge Benham-Hutchins, PhD, RN (PI)
Bridging the Gap: Chronic Disease Self-Management Transitions (Sept. 2015 – Nov. 2016)
Dr. Benham-Hutchins’ current pilot builds on previous work while shifting from a provider centric to a patient centric focus through incorporation of patient perspectives. This includes patient participation in the research process and a focus on patient identified information requirements to support self-management of chronic conditions across care settings. This study will help identify key information content for effective, transdisciplinary patient-centered handoffs during hospitalization as well as priorities to support transitional self-management. At this point in the study, all data collection has been completed and she is preparing transcripts for qualitative analysis (n=37). Qualitative analysis is in progress, and preliminary findings were presented at the Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS) 31st Annual Conference, Dallas, TX.