Our faculty are recognized experts in their areas of interdisciplinary research. There are three main areas of research focus in the School of Nursing including: aging; symptom science; and big data and trends in health care. The faculty have external funding from a variety of sources, including NIH, Veterans Administration, and various foundations.
Dr. Wright is a psychologist with training in neuropsychology and cognitive aging. Her program of research focuses on associations between cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, brain, and cognitive outcomes. She is currently engaged in collaborative research that examines relations of subclinical CVD and traditional CVD risk factors to cognitive performance, and the underlying role of brain pathology, among older adults. Dr. Wright has also extensively examined African American cognitive aging and psychosocial correlates of cardiovascular risk in the context of health disparities. She has expertise in administering neuropsychological tests and collaborating with clinical and behavioral researchers to synthesize and pursue cardiovascular and behavioral research aims. She is currently funded by a National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) pilot award to 1) examine relations of reduced endothelial function and other subclinical CVD to cognitive function, 2) examine brain pathology as an underlying mediator, and 3) examine race as a moderator of these associations. Within this study, she has recruited over 160 community-based older adults (40% African American). Currently, Dr. Wright collaborates with an interdisciplinary team that consists of experts in vascular physiology, behavioral medicine, biomarker analysis, and neuroradiology. The ultimate goal of her program of research is to elucidate the role of early cardiovascular risk in cognitive outcomes among older adults at intervenable stages of the cognitive aging trajectory.
Susan Sheehy, PhD, RN, FAEN, FAAN
McDowell Hall Rm 329
Accepting DNP Students
V-CAT: Veterans and College Athletes Together Project
V-CAT is a mixed methods pilot project at the University of Delaware. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of a health and wellness program offered to Iraq and Afghanistan US Military Veterans to assist them in reintegration post deployment. Veterans are partnered with student athletes for 12 weeks. During this time, both the athletes and veterans attend 75-minute workout sessions and hour-long wellness classes twice a week. The volunteer student athletes serve as workout partners, accountability buddies, and a friendly connection to our University community. VCAT educates the veterans about healthy behaviors and lifestyles while also becoming a part of our extended UD community, an important aspect to their reintegration back into civilian life. The student athlete volunteers also benefit from participating in the project though tutelage as well as gaining immense knowledge about the military, health and wellness, and the many sacrifices our veterans (and their families) make for our freedom and our country. Physiologic measures (body weight, percentage of body fat and lean muscle mass, BMI, flexibility, salivary cortisol levels, and bone density), psychosocial measures (resiliency, quality of life, happiness and personal finances) and qualitative descriptive data are collected pre-program, at six weeks and twelve weeks. In addition, qualitative descriptive data are collected pre-program and at twelve weeks on all college athlete volunteers. The long-term goal of the program is to validate the efficacy of VCAT so that VCAT becomes a regularly offered program at UD and that other universities around the country will offer VCAT to their community veterans as well.
RESEARCH AREAS OF EXCELLENCE
Data Science & Policy
Experts in aging at the UD School of Nursing focus on physical function and mobility, cognitive function, cardiovascular health and chronic disease management. To measure mobility and function our experts utilize innovative methods in tracking technology to predict adverse events such as falls, urinary tract infections, and other adverse events across health care settings.
- Mary Elizabeth (Libbey) Bowen, PhD
- 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 professionals 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 labs in the STAR Tower there are shared laboratory spaces in the Aging and Symptom Translational Research Lab and Adaptive Living Apartment which focus on preventing poor outcomes and managing chronic conditions across multiple older adult populations.
Symptom science experts have research programs focused on the pain, sleep, mental health, disease self-management and medication adherence.
Within symptom science, experts at the UD School of Nursing focus on innovative methods and measures of pain, sleep quantity and quality across patient populations and diabetes self-management and life course transitions.
Data Science & Policy
In the UD School of Nursing, nurse scientists in this area aim to understand nursing staff needs and other health care trends across patient populations, utilizing big data at the state, regional, and national levels