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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing

The UC Irvine Program in Nursing Science was established in 2007.  In 2016, the William and Sue Gross Family Foundation committed $40 million to UC Irvine to establish a nursing school and assist in the construction of a new building. The School of Nursing provides academic and professional education in the discipline of nursing.

The School of Nursing prepares graduates for basic clinical and advanced practice roles. It also prepares them for educational, administrative and research positions across the healthcare delivery system, as well as faculty positions in academic institutions. Degrees offered include B.S., M.S., and PhD in Nursing Science.

Cover page of Reporting Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault: A Mixed Methods Study of Concerns and Considerations Among College Women of Color.

Reporting Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault: A Mixed Methods Study of Concerns and Considerations Among College Women of Color.

(2021)

Introduction: The purpose of this study was to explore how women of color affiliated with a large public university in the United States evaluated involving authorities in cases of intimate partner violence (IPV) and/or sexual assault (SA) and to discover if structural stressors such as racism or sexism influenced their thinking. Methodology: Surveys on perceived ethnic discrimination, depression, trauma history, stress, social support, resilience, and sleep disturbance were completed by 87 self-identified women of color. All women also participated in one of several focus groups on IPV and SA. Results: Roughly half of participants had experienced SA and about a third experienced IPV. Participants identifying as Latinx/Hispanic or Black/African American reported the greatest experiences of structural stressors and also felt there was not always a potential safety gain with reporting IPV and/or SA. Discussion: The results of this study suggest universities must create more culturally competent environs of safety for women of color.

Cover page of Palliative key aspects are of importance for symptom relief during the last week of life in patients with heart failure.

Palliative key aspects are of importance for symptom relief during the last week of life in patients with heart failure.

(2021)

Aims

This study aimed to describe symptom prevalence of pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, and nausea and to identify factors associated with symptom relief in patients with heart failure during their last week of life.

Methods and results

This nationwide study used data from the Swedish Register of Palliative Care and the Swedish Causes of Death Certificate Register. The sample included 4215 patients with heart failure as the underlying cause of death. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to analyse data. Pain was the most prevalent symptom (64.0%), followed by anxiety (45.1%), shortness of breath (28.8%), and nausea (11.4%). Pain was the most often totally relieved (77.5%), followed by anxiety (68.4%), nausea (54.7%), and shortness of breath (37.1%). Key aspects of palliative care such as documented palliative care in the patient record, individual medication prescriptions by injection, symptom assessment with validated scales, documented end-of-life discussions with patients and/or family members, and external consultation were significantly associated with symptom relief. Relief of pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, and nausea were significantly better managed in nursing homes and hospice/inpatient palliative care compared with care in hospitals.

Conclusions

The results show that key aspects of palliative care during the last week of life are significantly associated with symptom relief. Increased access to palliative care could provide a way to improve care during the last week of life for patients with heart failure. Home-based settings provided more symptom relief than hospitals, which may indicate that the latter focuses on treatments and saving lives rather than promoting life before death.

Cover page of Using Multimodal Assessments to Capture Personalized Contexts of College Student Well-being in 2020: Case Study.

Using Multimodal Assessments to Capture Personalized Contexts of College Student Well-being in 2020: Case Study.

(2021)

Background

The year 2020 has been challenging for many, particularly for young adults who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Emerging adulthood is a developmental phase with significant changes in the patterns of daily living; it is a risky phase for the onset of major mental illness. College students during the pandemic face significant risk, potentially losing several protective factors (eg, housing, routine, social support, job, and financial security) that are stabilizing for mental health and physical well-being. Individualized multiple assessments of mental health, referred to as multimodal personal chronicles, present an opportunity to examine indicators of health in an ongoing and personalized way using mobile sensing devices and wearable internet of things.

Objective

To assess the feasibility and provide an in-depth examination of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on college students through multimodal personal chronicles, we present a case study of an individual monitored using a longitudinal subjective and objective assessment approach over a 9-month period throughout 2020, spanning the prepandemic period of January through September.

Methods

The individual, referred to as Lee, completed psychological assessments measuring depression, anxiety, and loneliness across 4 time points in January, April, June, and September. We used the data emerging from the multimodal personal chronicles (ie, heart rate, sleep, physical activity, affect, behaviors) in relation to psychological assessments to understand patterns that help to explicate changes in the individual's psychological well-being across the pandemic.

Results

Over the course of the pandemic, Lee's depression severity was highest in April, shortly after shelter-in-place orders were mandated. His depression severity remained mildly severe throughout the rest of the months. Associations in positive and negative affect, physiology, sleep, and physical activity patterns varied across time periods. Lee's positive affect and negative affect were positively correlated in April (r=0.53, P=.04) whereas they were negatively correlated in September (r=-0.57, P=.03). Only in the month of January was sleep negatively associated with negative affect (r=-0.58, P=.03) and diurnal beats per minute (r=-0.54, P=.04), and then positively associated with heart rate variability (resting root mean square of successive differences between normal heartbeats) (r=0.54, P=.04). When looking at his available contextual data, Lee noted certain situations as supportive coping factors and other situations as potential stressors.

Conclusions

We observed more pandemic concerns in April and noticed other contextual events relating to this individual's well-being, reflecting how college students continue to experience life events during the pandemic. The rich monitoring data alongside contextual data may be beneficial for clinicians to understand client experiences and offer personalized treatment plans. We discuss benefits as well as future directions of this system, and the conclusions we can draw regarding the links between the COVID-19 pandemic and college student mental health.

Cover page of U.S. public support for COVID-19 vaccine donation to low- and middle-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. public support for COVID-19 vaccine donation to low- and middle-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(2021)

As COVID-19 vaccines become available to the public, there will be a massive worldwide distribution effort. Vaccine distribution has historically been unequal primarily due to the inability of nations with developing economies to purchase enough vaccine to fully vaccinate their populations. Inequitable access to COVID-19 vaccines will not just cause humanitarian suffering, it will likely also be associated with increased economic suffering worldwide. This study focuses on the U.S. population and its beliefs about future COVID-19 vaccine donation by the U.S. to low- and middle-income countries. This study carried out a survey among 788 U.S. adults. Variables include demographics, COVID-19 vaccine priority status, COVID-19 vaccine donation beliefs, and Social Dominance Orientation. Analyses showed that older respondents were both less likely to endorse higher levels of COVID-19 vaccine donations and were more likely to want to wait until all in the U.S. who want the vaccine have received it; those who identified as Democrats were more likely to endorse higher levels of future COVID-19 vaccine donation than Republicans; and those scoring higher on SDO were both less likely to endorse higher levels of COVID-19 vaccine donations as well as more likely to want to wait until all in the U.S. who want the vaccine have received it. Policymakers, as well as healthcare providers and public health communication professionals, should give consideration to those messages most likely to engender support for global prevention efforts with each audience segment.

Cover page of High-protein vs. standard-protein diets in overweight and obese patients with heart failure and diabetes mellitus: findings of the Pro-HEART trial.

High-protein vs. standard-protein diets in overweight and obese patients with heart failure and diabetes mellitus: findings of the Pro-HEART trial.

(2021)

Aims

The intermediate-term effects of dietary protein on cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight and obese patients with heart failure and diabetes mellitus are unknown. We compared the effect of two calorie-restricted diets on cardiometabolic risk factors in this population.

Methods and results

In this randomized controlled study, 76 overweight and obese (mean weight, 107.8 ± 20.8 kg) patients aged 57.7 ± 9.7 years, 72.4% male, were randomized to a high-protein (30% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 30% fat) or standard-protein diet (15% protein, 55% carbohydrates, and 30% fat) for 3 months. Reductions in weight and cardiometabolic risks were evaluated at 3 months. Both diets were equally effective in reducing weight (3.6 vs. 2.9 kg) and waist circumference (1.9 vs. 1.3 cm), but the high-protein diet decreased to a greater extent glycosylated haemoglobin levels (0.7% vs. 0.1%, P = 0.002), cholesterol (16.8 vs. 0.9 mg/dL, P = 0.031), and triglyceride (25.7 vs. 5.7 mg/dL, P = 0.032), when compared with the standard-protein diet. The high-protein diet also significantly improved both systolic and diastolic blood pressure than the standard-protein diet (P < 0.001 and P = 0.040, respectively).

Conclusions

Both energy-restricted diets reduced weight and visceral fat. However, the high-protein diet resulted in greater reductions in cardiometabolic risks relative to a standard-protein diet. These results suggest that a high-protein diet may be more effective in reducing cardiometabolic risk in this population, but further trials of longer duration are needed.

Cover page of Long-Term IoT-Based Maternal Monitoring: System Design and Evaluation.

Long-Term IoT-Based Maternal Monitoring: System Design and Evaluation.

(2021)

Pregnancy is a unique time when many mothers gain awareness of their lifestyle and its impacts on the fetus. High-quality care during pregnancy is needed to identify possible complications early and ensure the mother's and her unborn baby's health and well-being. Different studies have thus far proposed maternal health monitoring systems. However, they are designed for a specific health problem or are limited to questionnaires and short-term data collection methods. Moreover, the requirements and challenges have not been evaluated in long-term studies. Maternal health necessitates a comprehensive framework enabling continuous monitoring of pregnant women. In this paper, we present an Internet-of-Things (IoT)-based system to provide ubiquitous maternal health monitoring during pregnancy and postpartum. The system consists of various data collectors to track the mother's condition, including stress, sleep, and physical activity. We carried out the full system implementation and conducted a real human subject study on pregnant women in Southwestern Finland. We then evaluated the system's feasibility, energy efficiency, and data reliability. Our results show that the implemented system is feasible in terms of system usage during nine months. We also indicate the smartwatch, used in our study, has acceptable energy efficiency in long-term monitoring and is able to collect reliable photoplethysmography data. Finally, we discuss the integration of the presented system with the current healthcare system.

Cover page of Identifying target behaviors for weight management interventions for women who are overweight during pregnancy and the postpartum period: a qualitative study informed by the Behaviour Change Wheel.

Identifying target behaviors for weight management interventions for women who are overweight during pregnancy and the postpartum period: a qualitative study informed by the Behaviour Change Wheel.

(2021)

Background

Maternal overweight is increasing, and it is associated with several risk factors for both the mother and child. Healthy lifestyle behaviors adopted during pregnancy are likely to impact women's health positively after pregnancy. The study's aim was to identify and describe weight management behaviors in terms of the Capability, Opportunity and Motivation Behaviour (COM-B) -model to target weight management interventions from both the perspectives of women who are overweight and maternity care professionals.

Methods

This qualitative, descriptive study was conducted between 2019 and 2020. Individual interviews with pregnant and postpartum women who were overweight (n = 11) and focus group interviews with public health nurses (n = 5) were undertaken in two public maternity clinics in Southwest Finland. The data were analyzed using deductive content analysis consistent with the COM-B model.

Results

In the capability category, the women and the public health nurses thought that there was a need to find consistent ways to approach overweight, as it had often become a feature of the women's identities. The use of health technology was considered to be an element of antenatal care that could be used to approach the subject of weight and weight management. Smart wearables could also support an evaluation of the women's lifestyles. The opportunity category highlighted the lack of resources for support during perinatal care, especially after birth. Both groups felt that support from the family was the most important facilitating factor besides motivation. The women also expressed a conflict between pregnancy as an excuse to engage in unhealthy habits and pregnancy as a motivational period for a change of lifestyle. Furthermore, the women wanted to be offered a more robust stance on weight management and discreet counseling.

Conclusions

Our findings offer a theoretical basis on which future research can define intervention and implementation strategies. Such interventions may offer clear advice and non-judgmental support during pregnancy and after delivery by targeting women's capabilities, opportunities, and motivation. Health technology could be a valuable component of intervention, as well as an implementation strategy, as they provide ways during maternity care to approach this topic and support women.

Cover page of Willingness to get the COVID-19 vaccine with and without emergency use authorization.

Willingness to get the COVID-19 vaccine with and without emergency use authorization.

(2021)

Background

This study assessed psychosocial predictors of U.S. adults' willingness to get a future COVID-19 vaccine and whether these predictors differ under an emergency use authorization (EUA) release of the vaccine.

Methods

A survey of 788 U.S. adults was conducted to explore the relationships between demographics and psychosocial predictors of intent to get a future COVID-19 vaccine as well as willingness to get such a vaccine under EUA.

Results

Significant predictors of COVID-19 vaccine uptake intentions were education, having insurance, scoring high on subjective norms, a positive attitude toward the vaccine, as well as high perceived susceptibility to COVID-19, high perceived benefits of the vaccine, scoring low on barriers to the vaccine, and scoring high on self-efficacy. Predictors of willingness to take a COVID-19 vaccine under EUA were age, race/ethnicity, positive subjective norms, high perceived behavioral control, positive attitudes toward the vaccine, as well as high perceived susceptibility to COVID-19, high perceived benefits of the vaccine, low barriers to the vaccine, and scoring high on self-efficacy for getting the vaccine. Concerns about rushed vaccine development appear to reduce vaccine uptake intent, as well as willingness to get the vaccine under EUA.

Conclusions

COVID-19 vaccine-related messages should both address concerns about the vaccine and its development and reinforce benefits of the vaccine (both factors significant in both models). Vaccine efforts may need to go beyond just communications campaigns correcting misinformation about a COVID-19 vaccine to also focus on re-establishing public trust in government agencies.

Cover page of Identifying Associations between Quality Initiatives and Quality Measures among Home Health Agencies: Findings from a National Study.

Identifying Associations between Quality Initiatives and Quality Measures among Home Health Agencies: Findings from a National Study.

(2021)

Home health performance gained visibility with the publication of Home Health Compare and the Home Health Value-Based Payment demonstration. Both provide incentives for home health agencies (HHA) to invest in quality improvements. The objective of this study is to identify the association between quality initiatives adopted by HHAs and improved performance. A 2018 national survey of 7459 HHAs, yielding a sample of 1192 eligible HHAs, provided information about 23 quality initiatives, which was linked to 5 composite Super Quality Measures (SQMs): ADL/pain, self-treatment, timely care, hospitalizations, and patient experience. Exclusions for missing data and outliers yielded a final analytical sample of 903 HHAs. Regression models estimated associations between quality initiatives and SQMs. The relationships between sixteen of the SQM/quality initiative pairs were positively associated with improvement and 7 were negatively associated. Web-based technologies for staff and care-givers improved performance but deteriorated patient experience. Web support-groups for staff and review of HHC rankings reduced hospitalization rates. While this study offers insights for quality improvement, a limitation may be a lack of sensitivity to the nuances of quality improvement implementation. Therefore, this study should be viewed as hypothesis-generating concerning initiatives likely to have the greatest potential meriting further investigation.