Joyce Dains, DrPH, JD, RN, FNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP
Primary Care APRN Survey: Utilization of Cancer Screening Guidelines The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2013
Dr. Dains’ research focuses on APRN practice related to cancer prevention, program evaluation, and patient experience with care by APRNs. Her most recent study, “In Their Voices”, addresses a gap in the literature regarding oncology patient care perceptions and attitudes regarding acceptance of or willingness to see Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants in autonomous outpatient visits in oncology care. Results from her study of APRN utilization of cancer screening guidelines identified APRN uncertainty about which set of cancer screening guidelines, the difficulty in keeping up with the updates, and the need for easily accessible guidelines that could be automatically updated. She plans to explore the development of a smart phone app that would address the utilization issues.
Dr. Dains conducted a cancer prevention and screening education initiative in rural and medically underserved areas of Texas and completed a decade of program evaluation. Through more than 50 programs participants impacted the health of over 130,000 Texans through improved knowledge in cancer screening, increased proficiency in performing clinical breast examination, and incorporation of cancer screening education and services in community clinical practices.
Anecita Fadol, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FAANP
Dr. Fadol’s research interests include cardiac complications of cancer therapy and symptom management of patients with cancer and heart failure. She received the 2015 James S. and Suzanne Cyrus Award for Excellence in Clinical Research. She is the principal investigator for the following funded protocols:
Principal Investigator, Recovery of Left Ventricular Dysfunction in Cancer Patients (RECAP Trial):
The purpose of this study is to investigate if cancer survivors with a history of chemotherapy-induced left ventricular dysfunction resulting in heart failure (HF) who achieved left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) recovery with recommended heart failure medications will maintain their LVEF if HF medications are discontinued. Funding: Cancer Survivorship Seed Money Grant, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Principal Investigator, CAncer Patients with HearT FailURE: A Retrospective Review for Eligibility for Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CAPTURE-CRT):
The purpose of this study is to conduct a retrospective chart review to examine the prevalence of heart failure (HF) in cancer patients and cancer survivors who are potential candidates for utilization of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). The findings from this study will provide baseline information to assist in the development and implementation of a practice-based protocol that will identify cancer patients and cancer survivors who meet CRT indications and ensure that they receive appropriate evaluation. Optimization of recommended therapies may improve the patient’s quality of life and allow oncologists to continue with life-saving cancer treatments that can potentially prolong survival. Funding: Medtronic, Inc.
Principal Investigator, Addressing the Symptom Management Gap in Patients with Cancer and Heart Failure using the Interactive Voice Response System: a Pilot Study:
The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate if the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory- Heart Failure (MDASI-HF) instrument preprogrammed via the interactive voice response system (IVRS) can be used to collect symptom data that will generate symptom alerts to providers based on preset severity levels. Funding: Oncology Nursing Society Foundation
Principal Investigator, Reliability and Validity Testing of the MDASI-HF: An Evaluative Instrument for Symptom Identification in Cancer Patients with Heart Failure:
This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory - Heart Failure (MDASI-HF), a 27-item self-report assessment instrument for patients with cancer and concurrent HF. Funding: Houston Area Nurse Practitioners
Kelly J. Brassil, Ph.D., RN, AOCNS, ACNS-BC
Dr. Brassil’s primary research interest focuses on the experience and psychosocial care of adolescents and young adults undergoing cancer treatment and in survivorship. In addition, she supports protocols throughout the Division of Nursing focused on patient experience and quality outcomes. She is the principle investigator for the following active protocols:
Examining the Relationships Among Uncertainty, Mood and Quality of Life in Young Adults Undergoing Stem Cell Transplantation
This study utilizes a mixed methods approach to examine the relationships between uncertainty, mood and quality of life among young adults, aged 18-25, hospitalized to undergo stem cell transplantation. Qualitative interviews further explore the cancer experience, including uncertainty, and its influence on psychological and relational wellbeing.
This research was supported by a grant from The DAISY Foundation J. Patrick Barnes Grant for Nursing Research in the amount of $4,400.
"I am not the same" Experiences of Breast Loss and Reconstruction in a Psycho-Social and Cultural Context
This qualitative study explores the experience of women undergoing mastectomy with or without reconstruction related to a breast cancer diagnosis and how expressive writing may be used as an intervention to support coping and well-being in this population. This research represents a collaboration with interprofessional colleagues from our Sister Institution in Stavanger, Norway, and is part of a larger cross cultural research project with investigators at that institution.
Patient Perceptions and Use of Outcomes and Education Information
Evaluating the Importance of Integral Aspects of the Cancer Care Experience from the Patient’s Perspective
Constructing a Theoretical Framework for Patient-Centered Care from the Cancer Patient's Perspective
This is a series of research protocols conducted in collaboration with the Institute for Cancer Care Innovation and supported by a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations in the amount of $200,000 obtained by former institute director Thomas Feeley. The protocols included focus group interviews evaluating the experience of patients and integral aspects of their cancer care, the preliminary validation of an instrument to measure the priorities and importance of aspects of care for patients undergoing cancer treatment, and individual interviews with patients with diverse cancer types focused on how they define patient centered care and what attributes of such care they identify, respectively.
Randomized Control Trial of the Effect of an E-Health Support Program on Patient Reported Outcomes of Women Newly Diagnosed with Breast Cancer
This research evaluates the role and outcomes of an e-health coaching program on symptom experience and patient reported outcomes among women newly treated for breast cancer. This research represents a collaboration with PACK health, an e-health coaching program for individuals with diverse illness states and explores how e-health mechanisms might be used to further augment standard of care for individuals with breast cancer, with the goal of reducing symptom burden, emergency care and hospitalization for symptom management, and enhancing the overall experience of care during treatment.
This research is supported by a grant from Genentech in the amount of $200,000.
Exploring the Influence of Social Media Engagement on Social Connectivity, Quality of Life and Uncertainty in Young Adults with Advanced Cancer (Opening 2018)
This study explores the use of a peer-matched social media platform to connect young adults, aged 18-24 in active treatment for cancer, with individuals with similar cancer diagnoses. We compare engagement with peer matched social media as compared with standard social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) to explore how such engagement affects social connectivity and quality of life. This research represents an interprofessional collaboration with both internal and external experts in palliative care, adolescent and young adult oncology, psychology, and clinical care of this population.