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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.

GSR Analysis for Stress: Development and Validation of an Open Source Tool for Noisy Naturalistic GSR Data

(2020)

The stress detection problem is receiving great attention in related research communities. This is due to its essential part in behavioral studies for many serious health problems and physical illnesses. There are different methods and algorithms for stress detection using different physiological signals. Previous studies have already shown that Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), also known as Electrodermal Activity (EDA), is one of the leading indicators for stress. However, the GSR signal itself is not trivial to analyze. Different features are extracted from GSR signals to detect stress in people like the number of peaks, max peak amplitude, etc. In this paper, we are proposing an open-source tool for GSR analysis, which uses deep learning algorithms alongside statistical algorithms to extract GSR features for stress detection. Then we use different machine learning algorithms and Wearable Stress and Affect Detection (WESAD) dataset to evaluate our results. The results show that we are capable of detecting stress with the accuracy of 92 percent using 10-fold cross-validation and using the features extracted from our tool.

Cover page of Investigation of Machine Learning Approaches for Traumatic Brain Injury Classification via EEG Assessment in Mice.

Investigation of Machine Learning Approaches for Traumatic Brain Injury Classification via EEG Assessment in Mice.

(2020)

Due to the difficulties and complications in the quantitative assessment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its increasing relevance in today's world, robust detection of TBI has become more significant than ever. In this work, we investigate several machine learning approaches to assess their performance in classifying electroencephalogram (EEG) data of TBI in a mouse model. Algorithms such as decision trees (DT), random forest (RF), neural network (NN), support vector machine (SVM), K-nearest neighbors (KNN) and convolutional neural network (CNN) were analyzed based on their performance to classify mild TBI (mTBI) data from those of the control group in wake stages for different epoch lengths. Average power in different frequency sub-bands and alpha:theta power ratio in EEG were used as input features for machine learning approaches. Results in this mouse model were promising, suggesting similar approaches may be applicable to detect TBI in humans in practical scenarios.

Cover page of Vascular access placement and mortality in elderly incident hemodialysis patients.

Vascular access placement and mortality in elderly incident hemodialysis patients.

(2020)

BACKGROUND:Arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are the preferred vascular access type in most hemodialysis patients. However, the optimal vascular access type in octogenarians and older (≥80 years) hemodialysis patients remains widely debated given their limited life expectancy and lower AVF maturation rates. METHODS:Among incident hemodialysis patients receiving care in a large national dialysis organization during 2007-2011, we examined patterns of vascular access type conversion in 1 year following dialysis initiation in patients <80 versus ≥80 years of age. Among a subcohort of patients ≥80 years of age, we examined the association between vascular access type conversion and mortality using multivariable survival models. RESULTS:In the overall cohort of 100 804 patients, the prevalence of AVF/arteriovenous graft (AVG) as the primary vascular access type increased during the first year of hemodialysis, but plateaued thereafter. Among 8356 patients ≥80 years of age and treated for >1 year, those with initial AVF/AVG use and placement of AVF from a central venous catheter (CVC) had lower mortality compared with patients with persistent CVC use. When the reference group was changed to patients who had AVF placement from a CVC in the first year of dialysis, those with initial AVF use had similar mortality. A longer duration of CVC use was associated with incrementally worse survival. CONCLUSIONS:Among incident hemodialysis patients ≥80 years of age, placement of an AVF from a CVC within the first year of dialysis had similar mortality compared with initial AVF use. Our data suggest that initial CVC use with later placement of an AVF may be an acceptable option among elderly hemodialysis patients.

Cover page of "Things Are Different Now But": Older LGBT Adults' Experiences and Unmet Needs in Health Care.

"Things Are Different Now But": Older LGBT Adults' Experiences and Unmet Needs in Health Care.

(2019)

Background: Approximately 2.7 million U.S. older adults self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT). Many felt unsafe revealing their sexual orientation until relatively recently, and may still not be "out" to medical providers. The aim of this study was to increase understanding of the experiences and needs of older LGBT adults when accessing care. Method: Individual semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 individuals aged 65 years or older from a local LGBT community. Interviews were audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analyzed via thematic analysis. Results: Major themes were "Outness," "Things are Different Now," and "Additional Resources." These describe participant comfort with being "out"; how treatment they received changed over time, and needed services or other options from the community. Conclusion: While many older LGBT adults are accustomed to navigating social mores to avoid negative experiences, nurses as well as other health care providers must be prepared to create trusting relationships with these individuals to provide truly comprehensive care.

Cover page of Red blood cell distribution width and mortality and hospitalizations in peritoneal dialysis patients.

Red blood cell distribution width and mortality and hospitalizations in peritoneal dialysis patients.

(2019)

BACKGROUND:Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is found to be associated with different types of anemia and has recently been studied as a prognostic marker of mortality in hemodialysis patients. However, the relationship of RDW with mortality and hospitalization rate in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients is less known. METHODS:Among 14 323 incident PD patients between 2007 and 2011 in the USA, we examined the relationship of baseline and time-varying RDW with the risk of mortality and time to first hospitalization using adjusted Cox models. In addition, we examined the relationship of baseline RDW and hospitalization rate using an adjusted negative-binomial regression model. Sensitivity analyses included competing risk models and subgroup analyses. RESULTS:The study population comprised patients 56 ± 16 years of age, including 43% females, 23% African Americans and 62% diabetics, with a mean RDW of 15.3 ± 1.6%. In models adjusted for clinical characteristics and laboratory parameters, RDW exhibited an incremental relationship with the mortality risk, where RDW ≥16.5% had a 40% and 69% higher risk of death in baseline and time-varying analyses, respectively, compared with an RDW of 14.5-15.5%. Moreover, higher baseline RDW ≥16.5% was also associated with a higher risk of time to first hospitalization {hazard ratio 1.22 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14-1.29]} and a higher rate of hospitalizations [incidence rate ratio 1.16 (95% CI 1.09-1.23)]. These results were consistent across numerous sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSIONS:Higher RDW is associated with a higher risk of mortality and hospitalizations among incident PD patients. Further studies are needed to examine the mechanism behind RDW and adverse outcomes.

Cover page of Association of thyroid status prior to transition to end-stage renal disease with early dialysis mortality.

Association of thyroid status prior to transition to end-stage renal disease with early dialysis mortality.

(2019)

BACKGROUND:Advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, including those receiving dialysis, have a high prevalence of thyroid dysfunction. Although hypothyroidism is associated with higher death risk in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, no studies have examined whether thyroid status in the pre-ESRD period impacts mortality after dialysis initiation. METHODS:Among US veterans with CKD identified from the national Veterans Affairs database that transitioned to dialysis over the period from October 2007 to September 2011, we examined the association of pre-ESRD serum thyrotropin (TSH) levels averaged over the 1-year pre-dialysis ('prelude') period with all-cause mortality in the first year following dialysis initiation. RESULTS:Among 15 335 patients in the 1-year prelude cohort, TSH levels >5.0 mIU/L were associated with higher mortality in expanded case-mix Cox models (reference: TSH 0.5-5.0 mIU/L): adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20 (1.07-1.33). Similar findings were observed for TSH >5.0 mIU/L and mortality in the 2- and 5-year cohorts: aHRs (95% CI) 1.11 (1.02-1.21) and 1.15 (1.07-1.24), respectively. Analyses of finer gradations of TSH in the 1-year prelude cohort demonstrated that incrementally higher levels >5.0 mIU/L were associated with increasingly higher mortality in expanded case-mix models (reference: TSH 0.5-3.0 mIU/L): aHRs (95% CI) 1.18 (1.04-1.33) and 1.28 (1.03-1.59) for TSH levels >5.0-10.0 mIU/L and >10.0 mIU/L, respectively. In the 2- and 5-year cohorts, mortality associations persisted most strongly for those with TSH >10.0 mIU/L, particularly after laboratory covariate adjustment. CONCLUSIONS:Among new ESRD patients, there is a dose-dependent relationship between higher pre-ESRD TSH levels >5.0 mIU/L and post-ESRD mortality. Further studies are needed to determine the impact of TSH reduction with thyroid hormone supplementation in this population.

Cover page of Feasibility Evaluation of Commercially Available Video Conferencing Devices to Technically Direct Untrained Nonmedical Personnel to Perform a Rapid Trauma Ultrasound Examination.

Feasibility Evaluation of Commercially Available Video Conferencing Devices to Technically Direct Untrained Nonmedical Personnel to Perform a Rapid Trauma Ultrasound Examination.

(2019)

Introduction: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a rapidly expanding discipline that has proven to be a valuable modality in the hospital setting. Recent evidence has demonstrated the utility of commercially available video conferencing technologies, namely, FaceTime (Apple Inc, Cupertino, CA, USA) and Google Glass (Google Inc, Mountain View, CA, USA), to allow an expert POCUS examiner to remotely guide a novice medical professional. However, few studies have evaluated the ability to use these teleultrasound technologies to guide a nonmedical novice to perform an acute care POCUS examination for cardiac, pulmonary, and abdominal assessments. Additionally, few studies have shown the ability of a POCUS-trained cardiac anesthesiologist to perform the role of an expert instructor. This study sought to evaluate the ability of a POCUS-trained anesthesiologist to remotely guide a nonmedically trained participant to perform an acute care POCUS examination. Methods: A total of 21 nonmedically trained undergraduate students who had no prior ultrasound experience were recruited to perform a three-part ultrasound examination on a standardized patient with the guidance of a remote expert who was a POCUS-trained cardiac anesthesiologist. The examination included the following acute care POCUS topics: (1) cardiac function via parasternal long/short axis views, (2) pneumothorax assessment via pleural sliding exam via anterior lung views, and (3) abdominal free fluid exam via right upper quadrant abdominal view. Each examiner was given a handout with static images of probe placement and actual ultrasound images for the three views. After a brief 8 min tutorial on the teleultrasound technologies, a connection was established with the expert, and they were guided through the acute care POCUS exam. Each view was deemed to be complete when the expert sonographer was satisfied with the obtained image or if the expert sonographer determined that the image could not be obtained after 5 min. Image quality was scored on a previously validated 0 to 4 grading scale. The entire session was recorded, and the image quality was scored during the exam by the remote expert instructor as well as by a separate POCUS-trained, blinded expert anesthesiologist. Results: A total of 21 subjects completed the study. The average total time for the exam was 8.5 min (standard deviation = 4.6). A comparison between the live expert examiner and the blinded postexam reviewer showed a 100% agreement between image interpretations. A review of the exams rated as three or higher demonstrated that 87% of abdominal, 90% of cardiac, and 95% of pulmonary exams achieved this level of image quality. A satisfaction survey of the novice users demonstrated higher ease of following commands for the cardiac and pulmonary exams compared to the abdominal exam. Conclusions: The results from this pilot study demonstrate that nonmedically trained individuals can be guided to complete a relevant ultrasound examination within a short period. Further evaluation of using telemedicine technologies to promote POCUS should be evaluated.

Cover page of Associations of Partner Support and Acculturation With Physical Activity in Mexican American Women.

Associations of Partner Support and Acculturation With Physical Activity in Mexican American Women.

(2019)

INTRODUCTION:Insufficient physical activity (PA) and obesity-related health conditions have reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Mexican American women (MAW) report low leisure time physical activity. Few studies examine activities beyond leisure time. Qualitative research suggests that partner support influence provides a cultural approach relevant to PA among MAW. METHOD:This cross-sectional study used an ecological model to investigate community (the physical environment), interpersonal (partner support, attitudinal familism), and intrapersonal (age, health conditions, acculturation, employment, and body mass index) factors associated with PA among 112 MAW. Community-based participatory research recommendations guided the preparatory phase of the study and the face-to-face interviews. Frequencies and descriptive statistics were computed. Multivariable linear regression analyses were used to examine associations between study variables. RESULTS:Moderate to high PA levels were found based on combined activities performed during leisure time, transportation, household tasks, and occupational duties. Women with greater partner support reported higher PA levels. Although acculturation levels were low among women, those with higher acculturation were found to be more physically active. CONCLUSIONS:Future studies should examine strategies to increase partner support and address acculturation within intervention programs to enhance overall PA among MAW.

Cover page of Acute kidney injury following coronary revascularization procedures in patients with advanced CKD.

Acute kidney injury following coronary revascularization procedures in patients with advanced CKD.

(2019)

BACKGROUND:Previous studies reported that compared with percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is associated with a reduced risk of mortality and repeat revascularization in patients with mild to moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Information about outcomes associated with CABG versus PCI in patients with advanced stages of CKD is limited. We evaluated the incidence and relative risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) associated with CABG versus PCI in patients with advanced CKD. METHODS:We examined 730 US veterans with incident ESRD who underwent a first CABG or PCI up to 5 years prior to dialysis initiation. The association of CABG versus PCI with AKI was examined in multivariable adjusted logistic regression analyses. RESULTS:A total of 466 patients underwent CABG and 264 patients underwent PCI. The mean age was 64 ± 8 years, 99% were male, 20% were African American and 84% were diabetic. The incidence of AKI in the CABG versus PCI group was 67% versus 31%, respectively (P < 0.001). The incidence of all stages of AKI were higher after CABG compared with PCI. CABG was associated with a 4.5-fold higher crude risk of AKI {odds ratio [OR] 4.53 [95% confidence interval (CI) 3.28-6.27]; P < 0.001}, which remained significant after multivariable adjustments [OR 3.50 (95% CI 2.03-6.02); P < 0.001]. CONCLUSION:CABG was associated with a 4.5-fold higher risk of AKI compared with PCI in patients with advanced CKD. Despite other benefits of CABG over PCI, the extremely high risk of AKI associated with CABG should be considered in this vulnerable population when deciding on the optimal revascularization strategy.

Cover page of Serum albumin and hospitalization among pediatric patients with end-stage renal disease who started dialysis therapy.

Serum albumin and hospitalization among pediatric patients with end-stage renal disease who started dialysis therapy.

(2019)

BACKGROUND:Hypoalbuminemia is a strong predictor of hospitalization and mortality among adult dialysis patients. However, data are scant on the association between serum albumin and hospitalization among children new to dialysis. METHODS:In a retrospective cohort study of children 1-17 years old with end-stage renal disease receiving dialysis therapy in a large US dialysis organization 2007-2011, we examined the association of serum albumin with hospitalization frequency and total hospitalization days using a negative binomial regression model. RESULTS:Among 416 eligible patients, median (interquartile range) age was 14 (10-16) years and mean ± SD baseline serum albumin level was 3.7 ± 0.8 g/dL. Two hundred sixty-six patients (64%) were hospitalized during follow-up with an incidence rate of 2.2 (95%CI, 1.9-2.4) admissions per patient-year. There was a U-shaped association between serum albumin and hospitalization frequency; hospitalization rates (95%CI) were 2.7 (2.2-3.2), 1.9 (1.5-2.4), 1.6 (1.3-1.9), and 2.7 (1.7-3.6) per patient-year among patients with serum albumin levels < 3.5, 3.5- < 4.0, 4.0- < 4.5, and ≥ 4.5 g/dL, respectively. Case mix-adjusted hospitalization incidence rate ratios (IRRs) (95%CI) were 1.63 (1.24-2.13), 1.32 (1.10-1.58), and 1.25 (1.06-1.49) at serum albumin levels 3.0, 3.5, and 4.5 g/dL, respectively (reference: 4.0 g/dL). Similar trends were observed in hospitalization days. These associations remained robust against further adjustment for laboratory variables associated with malnutrition and inflammation. CONCLUSIONS:Both high and low serum albumin were associated with higher hospitalization in children starting dialysis. Because the observed association is novel and not fully explainable especially for high serum albumin levels, interpreting the results requires caution and further studies are needed to confirm and elucidate this association before clinical recommendations are made.