Current research

Global health nursing research

Hospital in AfricaThe Center for Global Health Nursing works to promote preeminent nurse-led research to create ethical, long-term, and sustainable improvements to health and healthcare, locally and globally. UW School of Nursing faculty members are involved in research in the USA, Africa, South America and Asia. Global health research projects span all three school departments. Core areas of globally-focused research include:

  • Global is local
  • Applied global health systems
  • Aging and chronic conditions

Global is local

Global health considers the health of the entire planet, involving health and well-being within our own communities and cities, as well as those abroad. The Pacific Northwest is home to a diversity of cultures and communities, including American Indians, refugees and immigrants. Our research includes health disparities and vulnerable populations, access to health care, and community-based participatory research.

The following studies are examples research in this area.

Improving Healthcare for Cognitively Impaired Elders and Their Caregivers

Drs. Linda Teri and June Strickland are working together, with support from the Northwest Roybal Center (through funding from the National Institute on Aging), to improve healthcare for cognitively impaired elders and their caregivers.  This study builds on a multi-decade partnership with a number of Pacific Northwest American Indian communities and uses grounded-theory to assess the caregiving experiences of American Indian Elders.

Type-1 Diabetes among East African Immigrant Youth in Seattle

Dr. Rebecca O’Connor, through her NINR-funded fellowship, works with Children’s Hospital to explore high rates of type-1 diabetes among East African Immigrant youth in the Seattle area.  She is now working to identify and optimize community-specific interventions to improve health in this population.

Safety and Health of Latino Immigrant Forestry Services Workers in the Pacific Northwest

Dr. Butch de Castro’s NIOSH-funded study characterizes injury and illness experiences among immigrant Latino forest service workers in relation to workplace risk factors and outcomes in medical treatment, recovery/return-to-work, and safety mitigation. This study uses an engaged process based on participatory action research to assure the research is sensitive to worker and employer needs and leads to actionable results.

Applied global health systems

Dispensary, Mozambique

Looking through the window at a dispensary

Nurses and nursing scientists, as systems experts, are at the forefront of ensuring proven biomedical interventions work in real-world settings. This scope of research includes systems analysis, quality improvement, health systems and policy research, dissemination and implementation science, operations research and program evaluation.

The following studies are examples research in this area.

Standardized Patient Actors for Improved Adolescent HIV Care in Kenya (SPEED Study)

Dr. Pamela Kohler‘s SPEED Study, funded through NICHD, tests a clinical training intervention using standardized patient actors to train health workers in Kenya to provide adolescent-friendly HIV care. Trained actors portray adolescent cases, helping health workers to develop empathy and communication skills around challenging subjects like HIV disclosure, depression, and family relationships.

A Tablet-based Clinical Training Approach for Nurses Providing Option B+ Services

Dr. Sarah Gimbel’s  research focuses on intervention development and testing to strengthen nursing management of health systems. This NIAID-funded study is developing and evaluating a replicable model for on-the-job clinical training for nurses introducing Option B+ in central Mozambique that can be applied for enhancing prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV across diverse settings.

Tracking Risk Compensation over Time in a National MC Roll-Out in Zimbabwe

Drs. Danuta Kasprzyk and Daniel Montano have worked on numerous studies in Zimbabwe.  This NIMH-funded study explores risk behavior after male circumcision for HIV prevention.  Other CDC-supported work examines messaging and communications for male circumcision campaigns for HIV prevention.

Aging and chronic conditions

Lifespan health is one of the pillars of UW School of Nursing research. Our faculty have expertise in aging and physical well-being, care-giving of older adults, palliative care and cancer support. This work is increasingly global, with projects in China, Japan, Russia and Turkey.

Family Functioning focused Social Support for Breast Cancer Patients in China

Dr. Frances Marcus Lewis collaborates with Jun-E Liu from Capital Medical University in Beijing in this National Natural Science Foundation of China grant.  Their study explores the lived experiences of families adjusting to breast cancer and develops and evaluates a social support intervention for women with breast cancer in China.

Promoting Community-Based Elder Care in Chongqing, China

Drs. Basia Belza, Barbara Cochrane and Nancy Hooyman of the UW Social Work received funding from the UW Global Innovation Fund to pursue collaborations dedicated to community-based support for elders in China.

The Cancer Journey for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Through a NCI-funded Collaborative to Improve Native Cancer Outcomes, Dr. Ardith Doorenbos works across several universities to better understand cancer and cancer treatment experiences of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Doorenbos also conducts in palliative care research in Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.