News & Events

Presentation by Robert Burr, MSEE, PhD

Dr. Robert L. Burr is a bioengineer/biomathematician on the research faculty of the University of Washington Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, with a special interest in time series analysis and signal processing of physiological signals and behavioral state sequences.

His lecture entitled “Heart Rate Variability Measurement in Sleep Research” will be presented on Friday, June 1, 2012, from 2-3pm in the Health Sciences Building room T661. Heart rate variability (HRV) describes a broad class of measures summarizing the beat-to-beat dynamics of the cardiac cycle interval, which, in turn, may reflect modulation of the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system.

In most people adhering to a normative diurnal schedule, nocturnal HRV is qualitatively different from that expressed during the daytime. And during sleep, many HRV indices vary substantially by sleep stage and by time of night.

Some of the methodological implications of this linkage between HRV and sleep will be discussed in the context of examples from current and recent sleep research projects in the School of Nursing.

Dr. Nate Watson from the UW SLEEP Center at Harborview and CRMSD is featured in a segment about sleep on CBS This Morning. Learn more about the amount of sleep you ought to be getting…if you wonder how much sleep you need, and are going on vacation or taking some downtime during quarter break, take Nate's advice to discover for yourself how much sleep you should be getting….

March 5–11, 2012 is National Sleep Awareness Week! The mission of the University of Washington Center for Research on Management of Sleep Disturbances (UW-CRMSD) is to improve health, well being, and quality of life through the enhancement of sleep quality across the lifespan. The faculty and staff of the UW-CRMSD wants you to experience optimal sleep this week and every week, and points you to these resources: and

Sleep-wake Disturbances in Individuals with Chronic Illness

The University of Washington School of Nursing Center for Research on the Shared Management of Sleep Disorders (CRMSD), in collaboration with the ITHS, will fund one-year pilot research projects related to sleep-wake disturbances in individuals with chronic illness. Applications can be from investigators in the Puget Sound region, and should be designed to obtain preliminary data that will serve as the basis for a major external grant application. A total of $20,000 direct costs will be available for one pilot project award for a period of one year, plus access to ITHS core services and resources Preference will be given to junior investigators and senior investigators moving into the area of sleep research. Small Pilot Timeline.

Sleep Study Applications do NOT require a Pre-Application and are due on March 16, 2012.

Apply for funds PLUS ITHS core services (or core services alone)

In addition to (or in place of) requesting $10,000 for a small pilot, or in addition to requesting $20,000 for a sleep & chronic illness pilot, you may request additional funding in the form of one or more of the specific ITHS services. Please see core services available at:

For more information, please go to:

PROMIS Measures

Studies funded through the CRMSD will include PROMIS instruments measuring sleep and wake disturbance, fatigue, depression, pain impact, and global health. PROMIS (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System) is a national resource funded by NIH for the development and implementation of accurate and efficient measurement of symptoms and health outcomes based on WHO’s framework of physical, mental, and social health. Six research sites and a statistical coordinating center comprise the PROMIS network which has worked extensively to develop publically available computerized adaptive tests (CAT) assessing common patient outcomes. The University of Washington is one of the PROMIS sites. Detailed information regarding the PROMIS network and instrument development is available on line at

Work of the PROMIS network has centered on development of test items with particular emphasis on psychometrics and item performance. Formulation of measurement scales involves distilling multiple existing measures into brief, limited item assessments with documented measurement characteristics. Instruments have been broadly tested among diverse samples. In addition to the instruments that will be used in CRMSD studies (listed above) additional instruments in the PROMIS address anger, anxiety, pain behavior, physical function, and satisfaction with social activities and social roles. 

PROMIS, an outgrowth of the NIH Roadmap, is an initiative to improve the toolbox of health researchers. The PROMIS instruments offer an excellent opportunity to collect comparable data across the breadth of projects supported by CRMSD. Pooled data from the projects will be accessible to additional researchers through data sharing. Additionally data collected from the PROMIS instruments can be evaluated in light of findings from nationwide studies using the same instrumentation. The CRMSD will serve as a focal point promoting usage of this national resource.