RESEARCH

Our faculty are recognized experts in their areas of interdisciplinary research. There are three main areas of research focus in the School of Nursing.  These are: aging, symptom science and self-management, and health disparities in the communities.  The faculty have external funding from a variety of sources including, NIH, Veterans Administration and various foundations.

FEATURED RESEARCHER

Mary Elizabeth (Libbey) Bowen, PhD

School of Nursing, University of Delaware
25 N College Ave, Newark, DE

Dr. Bowen utilizes innovative real-time locating technology to continuously and objectively track the ambulation activity of older adults with dementia/cognitive impairment in long-term care facilities. Dr. Bowen focuses on how subtle changes in ambulation not picked up on by health care staff – including the time and distance traveled, gait speed, and walking in continuous paths, may be an early indicator of an imminent fall or the development of an acute medical condition such as a UTI or pneumonia. For example, her work shows that beginning to walk in continuous paths is associated with fatigue and increased vulnerability to a fall within 1-4 weeks of the change in this population. By identifying older adults increasingly vulnerable to an acute physical health event and designing tailored care plans for staff, Dr. Bowen’s research is making an impact on the quality of life among older adults in long-term care and effectively reducing healthcare utilization and acute care costs in this population.

RESEARCH AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

AGING

SYMPTOM SCIENCE & SELF-MANAGEMENT 

HEALTH DISPARITIES IN COMMUNITIES

AGING

Several faculty have programs of research in the areas of aging.  These programs of research include areas such as mobility, physical and cognitive functional status, risk factors associated with cognitive decline, advanced illness and end of life decision making, chronic disease management in later life, and nursing home quality of care.

Faculty Researchers: 

  • Mary Elizabeth (Libbey) Bowen, PhD
  • Barbara Habermann, PhD RN FAAN
  • Lorraine J. Phillips, PhD RN FAAN FGSA
  • Ju Young Shin, PhD APRN ANP-C
  • Regina Sims Wright, PhD

Several resources exist with the SON that specifically support aging-related research.  The SON is fortunate enough to have a Jeanne K. Buxbaum Endowed chair in Aging.  Dr. Lorraine Phillips holds the Buxbaum Chair.

The SON is a member of The Multi-Professional Consortium on Gerontology, a group of proffesionals with expertise in gerontology, both applied and academic, with a passion for advancing the interests and welfare of older adults in our community through advocacy, activism, and scholarship.

In our Interdisciplinary, Tower at STAR, opening November 2018, there is a shared laboratory space in the Aging and Symptom Translational Research Laboratory that both our aging related and symptom science researchers will utilize. In addition, there is an aging in place apartment where assessment and monitoring of seniors can be conducted.

SYMPTOM SCIENCE AND SELF-MANAGEMENT OF DISEASE

An area of expanding research in the school is in the area of symptoms science and self-management of symptoms.  Research programs in this focus include pain, sleep, symptom management and medication adherence, and transitions in self-management of disease.

Faculty Researchers: 

  • Mari Griffioen, PhD RN
  • Xiopeng Ji, PhD M RN
  • Jennifer Saylor, PhD RN
  • Ju Young Shin, PhD APRN ANP-C

HEALTH DISPARITIES AND COMMUNITY BASED RESEARCH

Researchers in this area focus on community based interventions with at risk or underserved populations, mental health services, health service research, technology and the use of large data sets.

Faculty Researchers: 

  • Hilary Barnes, PhD APRN
  • Bethany Hall-Long, PhD RN FAAN
  • Emily Hauenstein, PhD MSN FAAN
  • Regina Sims Wright, PhD