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Sigma in the news   

STTI announces April, May, and June nursing research grant recipients

The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International
contributes to evidence-based research and practice

INDIANAPOLIS—The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) enables nursing research through the grants program administered by the STTI Foundation for Nursing. During the months of April, May, and June 2016, STTI awarded eight grants to fund research projects, including:  


Sigma Theta Tau International/Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation End of Life Nursing Care Research Grant

Burdensome Transitions at End-of-Life for Older Adults with Cancer
Jessica Rearden, PhD, MS, BSvalN
University of Pennsylvania

Grant Impact: Despite an increase in the use of hospice services among cancer patients over time, there has not been a resultant reduction in burdensome transitions. Approximately 13-20 percent of older patients with cancer are enrolled in hospice within three days of death. However, the large number of late referrals suggests the hospice resource is utilized only as a service to manage death after the failure of aggressive interventions. As a result, the rise in hospice care may not coincide with less aggressive medical care and fewer transitions at end of life. Findings from this novel study can be used to identify patients with cancer that are at risk for burdensome transitions. It will also provide critical information about the role of hospice, as well as the timing of hospice referral, in reducing burdensome transitions.

Sigma Theta Tau International/Midwest Nursing Research Society Research Grant

Parental Stress Self-Management: Risks and Protector Factors for Access to a Diagnosis and Services for a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Susan Bonis, PhD, MSN, BSN
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Grant Impact:  The expected outcome of this study is that factors associated with age of ASD diagnosis and access to services for parents of children with ASD will be elucidated and described.

Age of diagnosis: This initial step of gathering information about parent experiences accessing a diagnosis will assist in identification of factors that are associated with early/later diagnosis. Studies to follow will lead to development and integration of effective interventions to facilitate early diagnosis.

Access and utilization of services: Although the efficacy of parent behavioral education programs is well established, little is understood about parent decision-making to access those services once a diagnosis is received. This initial step of gathering information about parent experiences navigating the healthcare system to access appropriate services for their child will assist in identification of factors that are associated with access to services for all parents and will contribute to development of efficacious means to ensure parents and their children access much needed services. Studies to follow will lead to development and integration of effective interventions to facilitate access to services.

Benefit to society: Findings of this study will contribute to a future interventional study focused on facilitation of early diagnosis and access to services. Early access is associated with lower need for costly services as the child develops.

Benefit to parents and children with ASD: Findings of this study will contribute to 1) development of interventions to facilitate earlier age of diagnosis and access to services for parents and their child with ASD, and 2) strategies to facilitate stress self-management for parents of children with ASD.

Sigma Theta Tau International/Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) Research Grant

Nurse Case Management to Improve Hepatitis C Care in HIV Co-infection: A Randomized Controlled Trial (Care2Cure)
Laura E. Starbird, MS, RN, APHN-BC
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Grant Impact:  Hepatitis C virus (HCV) leads to significant morbidity and mortality among people co-infected with HIV. Although necessary new medications are finally available to cure HCV with high efficacy, uptake of these treatments is particularly low among people co-infected with HIV. The HIV primary care setting provides an ideal opportunity to reach these patients and intervene to improve the HCV care continuum. Nurses are in a position to lead this intervention, but evidence-based strategies are needed. This study is the first to rigorously test a combination of nurse-initiated HCV referral, strengths-based education, patient navigation, reminder systems, and coordinated care of drug-drug interaction prevention in this new era of HCV therapy. The findings from this study will ensure that the most effective linkage to care and treatment approach is integrated into care of this population. An evidence-based nurse case management intervention has the potential to improve quality of life and symptom burden among people co-infected with HIV/HCV and decrease avoidable mortality in the millions of individuals affected by HIV and HCV.

Sigma Theta Tau International/Southern Nursing Research Society Grant
Health Outcomes and Experiences of Retired Women

Francine Hebert Sheppard, MSN, ADN, BS
Western Carolina University

Grant Impact: The ability to better predict and address health changes in older women will aid in preserving their safety and independence and help offer the best quality of life for as long as possible. The large cohort of retiring women growing in the US has not previously existed, and therefore has been studied very little in terms of how aspects of the transition of retirement may impact health. The knowledge gained in studying this population may reveal useful information for clinicians and have important implications that may lead to early interventions for this group to improve health outcomes during retirement. In addition, there may be important implications to current employment policies when planning women’s retirement.


Sigma Theta Tau International/American Nurses' Foundation Grant 

Correlations between Body Mass Index and Lifestyle Factors in African American Community College Students

Janna Stephens, PhD, BSN
Ohio State University

Grant Impact: This project will examine a group of underrepresented minorities who have some of the highest rates of overweight and obesity in the United States. African-American and black community college students are underrepresented in research, as studies tend to be between 80-90 percent Caucasian. This project is designed to examine correlates of overweight and obesity to help us better understand the African- American and black community. The proposed correlates examined in this study are not established in previous literature, however were identified in focus groups conducted with African-American students as reasons for higher rates of overweight and obesity. Once the correlates are better understood, we will use this information to design and tailor an intervention for weight loss, using technology, for the African-American and black community. Our goal is to scale this intervention across the United States as well as the world, once fully developed and tested. Our goal is also to give a voice to those minorities who are underrepresented in research and allow for the population to be better understood, so that behavioral interventions can be tailored to their specific needs.

Sigma Theta Tau International Global Nursing Research Grant
Healthcare Workforce and Quality Outcomes in Chile
Linda Aiken, PhD, MN, BSN
University of Pennsylvania

Grant Impact: While building research infrastructure in Latin America, this project studies comparatively low-cost organizational leverage of nursing inputs to improve patient outcomes, achieves higher value for investments in nursing, and motivates decision-makers to implement research findings that hold promise making healthcare more effective, affordable, and satisfactory to the public.

Sigma Theta Tau International/Chamberlain College of Nursing Education Research Grants
Diffusing Nursing Research in a Nurse Residency Program via a Twitter Online Journal Club

Heather D. Carter-Templeton, PhD, MSN, BSN, AND
University of Alabama

Grant Impact:  Nurses often face challenges in bringing forth findings from research to the clinical setting. Research has been conducted to discover what prevents nurses from using new research findings in their day-to-day practices. However, less research has been done exploring new and novel ways to help nurses easily use and share research-based information. Through a social media platform such as Twitter, connections and networking among nurses and expert clinicians can be made possible. Nurses are primed to make the most of social media tools to assist each other in understanding and applying evidence-based information at their local clinical settings. Sharing of evidence-based information among nurses offers opportunities to improve patient care and patient outcomes.


Manuscript Bootcamp: An Innovative Training Technique
Daiwai Olson, PhD, BSN
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Grant Impact: The NNRC’s mission is to generate a new wave of nurse researchers, thereby creating nurse leaders who deliver evidence-based care to patients, are capable of creating and sustaining collaborations with different health professionals ranging from clinicians, to clinician researchers to basic science researchers, and are capable of contributing to the current and future body of knowledge. The significance and impact of the NNRC manuscript boot camp is that it:

  • is an innovative and a non-traditional way of teaching that will develop core competencies required in nurse researchers and nurse leaders.
  • will communicate and add to the value of nursing and nursing research and the importance of scientific communication and data sharing.
  • will extend knowledge and create valuable nurse researchers who will continue to add value to our organization in particular and to the practice of nursing and patient care in general.
  • will create a new generation of nurse researchers who are not only proficient in conducting independent research, but can also effectively communicate the results of their studies to the greater scientific community, thereby enabling the research to become part of evidence-based practice.


Sigma Theta Tau International/American Nurses Credentialing Center Evidence-Based Practice Implementation Grant
This grant is sponsored by Hill-Rom.
Using Telehealth Technology to Implement Evidence-Based Wound Care in Underserved Practice Setting
Vallire D. Hooper, PhD, RN, CPAN, FAAN
Mission Health System

Grant Impact: Chronic wound care remains a major US healthcare problem, impacting approximately 1 million older adults and 3 million total adults annually. The issue is particularly grave in the long-term care (LTC) setting, where 13.2 percent of newly-admitted ulcer-free patients will develop a new PU within the first year of admission, with 11.3 percent of those ulcers ultimately being stage 2 or deeper. Evidence supports the use of WOC nurses to assure the highest level of quality, cost-effective care delivery in the management of PU and other chronic wounds. Unfortunately, a global shortage of WOC nurses limits this positive effect on wound care outcomes.

Given the current shortage of WOC nurses, this EBP project aims to test the use of innovative Smartglass telehealth technology for the delivery of evidence-based, comprehensive WOC services to a remote LTC setting. It is expected that this healthcare delivery method should enhance PU/chronic wound care by improving time to heal, decreasing related complications, and decreasing related ED visits, hospitalizations, and wound related mortality. Given these costs reductions, we are expecting to see a positive return on investment, supporting expansion of this WOC care delivery method across the region. This program should also serve as a template to expand evidence-based WOC services across the globe.

For more information on the STTI Foundation for Nursing and its small and collaborative nursing research grants program, please visit the STTI website at:


  About the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI)

The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. Founded in 1922, STTI has more than 135,000 active members in more than 90 countries. Members include practicing nurses, instructors, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and others. STTI’s 500 chapters are located at approximately 700 institutions of higher education throughout Armenia, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, the United States, and Wales. More information about STTI can be found online at