Research is a cornerstone of education at Dominican University of California. Posters in this collection showcase student research presented at conferences.
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Barowsky School of Business | Education | Global Public Health | Natural Sciences and Mathematics | Nursing | Occupational Therapy | Psychology
Effectiveness of Music Therapy in Postoperative Children with Developmental Disabilities
Administration of opioids is the preferred practice to treat postoperative pain in a hospital setting. However, there are disadvantages to this method (Benyamin et al., 2008). Postoperative children with developmental disabilities are difficult to assess and manage pain. A patient analgesic pump (PCA) pump administers low dose opioid to the patient during pain episodes. However, many children with developmental disabilities are unable to adequately verbalize their pain and/or understand the purpose of a PCA. To help with this problem they are given a parent/nurse controlled analgesia (PNCA) pump (Czarnecki et al., 2018). However, due to the unknown safety range and efficacy of the PNCA it may cause potential adverse effects. The purpose of this research proposal is to explore if music therapy can be used as an additive pain management treatment for postoperative pain in children with developmental disabilities. This proposal will consist of a quasi-experimental design with two convenient sample groups (experimental and control). Both groups will be given a pre and post test to measure their Faces, Legs, Activity, Cry, and Consolability (FLACC) scores. The experimental group will receive the therapy intervention. Descriptive statistics will be used to compare the means of the two samples from the pre- and post-tests. Inferential statistics will be used to determine the p-value and if the results are statistically significant. If p-value is less than 0.05 then I can reject the null hypothesis, proving music therapy decreases postoperative pain levels in children with disabilities.
The Effect of Delivery Method on Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration
Mariana Carina Benitez
There is a plethora of research focusing on the physical effects of each delivery method on a mother’s ability to initiate and sustain breastfeeding, however, there may be more psychosocial factors that influence a mothers decision to start and continue breastfeeding once they deliver. It is very common to be educated about breastfeeding after the baby has already been delivered, but it is often missed that education before may improve breastfeeding rates and increase mothers' breastfeeding self-efficacy rates. The primary purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of breastfeeding support groups that provide information, guidance, and social support from other breastfeeding mothers prenatally and postpartum. The goal of this is study is to examine how support groups address psychosocial factors that influence a mothers decision to initiate and continue breastfeeding, such as self-efficacy. A single group, pretest/posttest design will be utilized for the study. Participants will include nulliparous pregnant women over the age of 18 from an outpatient obstetrics clinic in San Rafael. They will attend a support group led by other breastfeeding mothers twice, at 35 weeks and 37 weeks. The participants will complete a demographic survey before going into the support group as well as the Prenatal Breast-feeding Self-efficacy Scale. Two weeks after delivery, the mother will complete the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale Short-Form to evaluate their feelings toward breastfeeding postpartum. Statistical analysis will be completed on the tools utilized in the study. The results of this study will demonstrate that attending the support groups will have a positive effect on the self-efficacy of mothers while breastfeeding. Therefore, pregnant women will benefit from support groups led by other breastfeeding mothers as it will increase their individual self-efficacy.
Supportive Interventions for Adults with Needle Phobia
Camille Alyssa Bustos
The focus on addressing needle phobia has primarily been limited to psychology clinics, leaving a gap in support for those receiving injections from health care professionals in the hospital or clinic setting. It is important for health care providers and mental health professionals to work together to address this gap and ensure that individuals with needle phobia have access to the care and treatment they need (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2022).
Family-Based Interventions Impact on Pediatric Obesity
Background: Obesity rates among children in the United States have been on the rise, with 19.7% of children aged 2-19 classified as obese (CDC, 2022). Low socioeconomic status is a risk factor for pediatric obesity,Children from low-income households are more likely to be overweight or obese than their peers from higher economic backgrounds. Obesity can lead to serious and chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and breathing difficulties, and is also a risk factor for leading causes of death in adults including stroke, cardiovascular disease, and cancer (CDC, 2022). Educational interventions and access to exercise resources may offer promising solutions for addressing pediatric obesity and improving health outcomes. Objective: The object of the proposal is to conduct research on obesity trends and educational interventions to combat obesity. The research proposal will then investigate the effectiveness of a specific evidence-based educational intervention and resources provided to families in reducing obesity rates. The proposal intends to determine whether these interventions and resources can contribute to a decline in obesity rates. Method: The proposal will consist of a quasi experimental design. The convenience sample will consist of low-income families with children 4-11 years of age that have a BMI greater than 30. Sample size will include 150 children recruited through pediatric doctors offices in Marin County. The participants will be given a pre test questionnaire, and a post test after the intervention.
Babies Behind Bars: Separation and Segregation of Incarcerated Mothers from their Children
Cielita Castro Capistrano
Over the past years, the imprisonment rate for women in the United States has been substantially increasing, resulting in continuous higher incarceration rates of women in prison. The United States “has the highest incarceration rate of women in the world, with over 205,000 women currently behind bars in either state and federal prisons or jails and another million on probation or parole” (Clarke et. al., 2013). Furthermore, the prisons and jails here in America are primarily focusing on the incarcerated male population leading to these institutions not prioritizing the proper health and safety protocols for these incarcerated women, who are mostly mothers. Incarcerated mothers are a vulnerable group of people in this society that often comes with a long history and experience of mental health problems, unemployment, poverty, sexual, emotional, physical, and mental abuse. This paper is conducted using a systematic search of different electronic databases and search engines that provided enough information to answer the research question for this literature review.
The purpose of this thesis is to explore and inform people regarding how important resources are for the future of the entire community as a whole. The gathered information in this thesis will be utilized to compose a proposal on how the entire society as a whole can work together with focusing on helping these people in achieving a second chance to have a better life. Focusing on these vulnerable populations will lessen the gaps that the society have been trying to fill that they cannot successfully fulfill since they need to start focusing on the cause of the problem, rather than interventions after a problem has already been created. The study design that this study will conduct will be a qualitative survey study that will be conducted using an existing thematic analysis to see if there will be a major impact on giving incarcerated mothers prolonged time with their newborn baby during their sentence.
Early Diagnosis of Celiac Disease in Pediatric Patients
Celiac disease affects about 1% of the population; however, the indistinct symptoms make it difficult to diagnose. Children are vulnerable populations who are able to experience this disease, but go severely undiagnosed. As a result, when this population matures, additional health issues arise such as other autoimmune diseases. Different studies were done regarding diet modifications, gaps in research, and treatment options for Celiac disease. This is the reason to investigate whether early diagnosis in childhood will achieve better health outcomes through diet modifications. A cohort study will be performed on Celiac disease patients, ages 5 to 15 years old at outpatient clinics at UCSF. This study will compare two groups: diet modifications starting at 5 years old to diagnose Celiac disease and diet modifications at 15 years old to diagnose Celiac disease. The groups will be examined for health outcomes related to Celiac disease 10 years from the start of the study to see if earlier diagnosis made a significant difference. The data will be collected through patient reports of symptoms and medical office visits. The results, 10 years from now, should show no extra health issues. In conclusion, the clinical implications of this study should show that early diagnosis in pediatric patients correlates with the decreased number of medical problems as they grow up. Due to this research, more extensive medical doctor visits can determine Celiac disease much earlier as a prevention method to Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
The Effects of Loud NICU Environments on Premature Infants and Interventions to Help Minimize Noise
Noise in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) often exceeds recommended safe noise levels and has been found to have negative effects on premature infants and their health. Some of these effects can be changes in their heart rate, respiratory rate, and sleep patterns. In addition, negative effects, such as hearing loss, can cause permanent damage that impact children's long-term development. A preterm infant is an infant born before 37 weeks’ gestation. Being born prematurely comes with its own problems and many risks. Attempting to survive in an environment that causes more stress is not healing. Understanding the effects of noise on preterm infants’ physiological state and examining interventions to minimize NICU noise is essential. A review of the research literature was performed. Six primary studies exploring the effects of NICU noise on premature infants and interventions were found. The studies were divided into two categories: "Effects of noise exposure" and "Interventions." The studies highlight the effects seen in preterm infants when exposed to noise and show unique interventions that can help minimize these effects. Some interventions that have been found to help minimize noise include implementing quiet times on the units and the use of earmuffs over preterm infants' ears. Sound levels weren’t measured in the studies that implemented quiet times, so further research is needed to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. A quasi-experimental study is proposed, framed by Florence Nightingale's theory that a healthy environment is needed for patients' healing. With parents' consent, eligible NICU infants will be divided into an experimental group, receiving daily quiet time, and a control group, receiving care in the usual environment. The independent variable is sound level, and the outcome variable is infants' vital signs. This investigation may help nurses understand the effect of noise on premature infants' physiological status.
The Rising Rates of Pediatric Health Conditions due to Lack of Nutrition Education
Statistics show that there is an increase in childhood health conditions related to nutrition. Throughout the United States, the rates of childhood obesity have drastically increased along with the rates of type two diabetes. There is correlation between these two chronic problems in pediatric patients, but not all pediatrics diagnosed with DM2 are obese. Furthermore, there is a correlation between this increase of obesity/DM2 and the lack of nutrition education in schools. The public school system in the United States does not have the funding to provide adequate nutrition education to the children which is leading to substantial health consequences. The goal of this paper is to show the correlation between the lack of nutrition education and the increase of obesity/DM2. The study focuses on the pediatric population in the public school system. The administration of surveys before and after proper nutrition education is typically used. The study used a control group of students who have not been given nutrition education, and the survey compared to those who have received education.
Polypharmacy: Increasing Medication Adherence
James Cyril Kelly
Polypharmacy is a common problem among older adults where they take multiple medications concurrently, leading to negative health outcomes such as adverse drug reactions, drug-drug interactions, and non-adherence to medications. To address this issue, a randomized controlled trial (RCT) is proposed that will involve elderly patients (aged 65 years or older) who are taking five or more medications. Participants will be randomly assigned to either the intervention or control group, with the intervention group receiving nurse-led medication therapy management (MTM) and patient education to improve medication adherence. The Health Belief Model can be used to educate and empower older adults on the risks associated with polypharmacy and help them make informed decisions about their medication regimen. The proposed RCT has the potential to improve medication adherence and reduce negative health outcomes associated with polypharmacy, ultimately improving the overall health and well-being of the older adult population.
The Feminine vs Masculine Nurse: The Effects of Gender Stereotypes in Nursing
Nursing has been a predominantly female profession since the introduction of modern nursing by Florence Nightingale in 1860. While men are slowly beginning to enter the field, many stereotypes still surround the role of a nurse. For women, this may include qualities such as caring, and being empathetic and motherly. Conversely, there are assumptions that men are unable to bestow those same qualities and are therefore unworthy of working within the occupation.
The Effects of Hospital-Mandated Nurse to Patient Ratios on Patient Care
Background Nurse to patient ratios or nurse staffing is a controversial topic that is often discussed and argued in the medical field for its pros and cons. Nonetheless, the nurse to patient ratio plays a vital role on how nurses’ deliver quality care and provide safety to patients in a hospital setting. In 1999, California’s legislation passed a mandated nurse to patient ratio (AB 394) that requires all hospitals in California to have a set amount of patients a nurse can have depending on the unit the nurse works for. In 2023, California is still the only state that has passed legislation on nurse to patient ratio. Objective The primary objective of this study is to examine the correlation between nurse-to-patient ratios and patient care in a hospital setting. This thesis will evaluate whether lower nurse-to-patient ratios improves quality and safety patient care or decrease patient mortality. Also, this study will compare California’s mandated nurse to patient ratio with other states that do not have an implemented nurse to patient ratio. Method (convenience sample)
This observational research study will consist of 30 med surg patients at Kaiser Terra Linda in Marin City. The med surg patients will be observed over a 30 day time period from the admission date. Patient mortality rates, negative safety factors (falls, HAI’s, pressure ulcers due to lack of positioning), and quality of care will all be measured and collected by reviewing the patient’s chart. The statistics collected from the observation will then be compared with previous statistics at Kaiser Terra Linda and other hospitals in California. Results
The results have not yet been collected for the study, but it is expected that overall quality care will be improved and that patient mortality rates will be decreased due to the nurse to patient ratio. Conclusion The literature review discussed later in this paper concluded that the nurse to patient ratio correlates with improved quality care and decreased mortality rates. The study presented in this thesis will hopefully enhance the primary purpose that nurse to patient ratios have.
The Effects of Exercise on the Body’s Tolerance to Breast Cancer Treatments
Lindsay C. Lim
Background: Breast cancer is known as one of the most common types of cancer. Treatments for this cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. These treatments, however, can cause negative side effects such as extra pain and fatigue. Exercise is a common intervention that is used in order to keep the body strong while these treatments are occurring.
Objective: The objective of this thesis is to find a correlation between exercise and how it can decrease negative side effects in patients with breast cancer. This thesis includes a literature review which talks about what types of exercise are best, if a structured program is better, and if there is a positive correlation with a decrease in fatigue.
Methods: This study will be a longitudinal mixed method design utilizing surveys and observations. 90 participants who are either going through chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery will be taken from an oncology infusion center and an operating room. Participants will be randomly placed into two groups, group A who will be going through treatment normally and group B who will be participating in a 6 month weekly exercise program. The participants will then be asked to answer the brief pain inventory to assess their pain and the revised piper fatigue scale to assess their fatigue. Participants will complete the survey again in 6 months to evaluate the continued outcome of the exercise.
Results: Results have not yet been collected but exercise is expected to help decrease symptoms of pain and fatigue in breast cancer patients. Group B will state that they are experiencing less symptoms and more relief.
Conclusion: The literature and previous studies have shown that exercise does help to decrease negative symptoms. This project is hoping to prove that exercise will help to relieve symptoms of fatigue and pain in breast cancer patients.
Effects of Nurse-Patient Relationship on Medication Adherence of Mental Health Patients
April Monica Magbual
Medication adherence among mentally ill patients (MIP) is a significant issue in healthcare which require extra support & guidance to encourage better recovery. Administering medication is a critical role of nurses that must be performed effectively and appropriately. Employing a nurse-patient relationship (NPR) and nursing presence has been shown to create a positive outcome and an essential characteristic to improve medication adherence. However, there is insufficient research exploring NPR and medication adherence specifically for MIPs. Participants’ cultural variations, age range, specific interventions & economic factors influencing medication compliance are missing.
The Effects of Breastfeeding Education on Working Moms of Low Socioeconomic Status
Grace Ngo and Suzanne Manseau
Breastfeeding plays an important role in promoting immunity due to the high concentration of antibodies (Tangsuksan et al., 2020). Immunity is important for the infant the first year of their lives. Women of low socioeconomic status (LSES) are less likely to breastfeed due to a lack of resources (Kebede & Seifu, 2021). In addition LSES women living in Marin often lack the proper resources and education for breastfeeding (Heck et al., 2006). The purpose of this thesis proposal is to investigate if educating pregnant women of low socioeconomic status will increase breastfeeding rates.
Maternal Postnatal Depressive Symptoms and Its Effects on Infant Bonding
The objective of this thesis is to gain insight on precipitating factors that increase postpartum mother’s depressive symptoms, including stress and anxiety, and how attachment is influenced. Maternal-infant bonding is defined as the emotional relationship and interaction between mother and infant. Postnatal depressive symptoms typically are under-diagnosed due to a lack of education and the stigma of believing that the effects are “normal” consequences of motherhood. Those affected may not seek professional help. Unrealistic expectations about bonding with their infants can have a negative mental health impact on mothers and influence infants’ behaviors. High expectations of needing to be a perfect mother or not meeting certain goals for their child’s care can make mothers feel unaccomplished, increase stress and frustration, lead to parental burnout, and in severe cases, resentment towards their infant. Many factors impact maternal experiences in the postpartum phase, including economic stressors and marital differences, but most importantly infant behaviors. Mothers who struggle to meet their infant’s needs, such as feeding, diaper changes, or sleeping arrangements may encounter negative infant reactivity emotions, which only deepens their depression.
To investigate, primary research articles about mother-infant attachment and bonding and causes of ineffective attachment were examined. A plan for future study will include the Maternal Role Attainment Theory by Ramona Mercer. The study will use a prospective longitudinal mixed methods design. Two hundred pregnant women will be followed until one-year postpartum. Quantitative data collection will include surveys asking about mother’s anxiety on a rating scale. Qualitative data will be gathered on infants’ emotional reactivity when stressed and interventions used by mothers to console them. This research may offer insights that aids nurses in providing effective care for mothers with postpartum depression and their newborns.
The Effects of School-Based Art Therapy on Depressed Adolescents
Depression in adolescents is associated with deficient behavioral and health outcomes (Fletcher, 2019). Art therapy has been shown to be effective in treating mental health condition such as depression. A student’s academic success heavily depends on treating their depression. Community health nurses can play a vital role in advocating for adequate mental health support to improve a student’s overall well-being and academic success. The literature review contains six articles on the prevalence and impact of depression among adolescents, art therapy as an intervention for improving psychological outcomes and resilience among adolescents, and experiences of adolescent clients in art therapy within school settings. In school settings, depressive symptoms are often linked to lower test scores and poor relationships among peers. Art therapy in schools offers a wide range of support for the youth. The environment of a school has a direct impact on a student’s personal, emotional, and behavioral aspect of themselves (Fisher & Brown, 2018). Schools are important environments for identifying risk in certain students. Therefore, schools can be an appropriate setting for providing treatment (Dunne et al., 2017).
Kangaroo Care Education for Low Socioeconomic Status Families in The Neonatal Care Unit
The early contact between mother and baby is known as skin-to-skin, also referred to as “kangaroo care” (KC). It involves placing the baby on the mother’s chest as soon as it is appropriate (Thompson, 1979). This interaction was primarily for bonding but many researchers have discovered additional benefits. There is significant correlation between kangaroo care and weight gain (especially for low birth weight infants), as well as body temperature and heart rate regulation, which reduces the risk of medical complications. It also decreases levels of stress in mothers and babies by lowering the release of cortisol hormone (Mohammadi et al. 2021). The purpose of this study is to investigate the disparities in access and utilization of KC for newborns. The study will also assess the impact of these disparities on maternal and infant outcomes such as weight gain, temperature regulation, neurocognitive enhancement, particularly among families of low-socioeconomic status. A literature review investigated research on topics such as benefits of kangaroo care, challenges and disparities for implementation of kangaroo care for families with low socioeconomic status, and prenatal teaching as an intervention. Pregnant women will be randomly assigned to either the control or experimental group receiving the intervention. We will use descriptive statistics to compare the means of the two groups of women. The inferential statistics will be used to determine the p-value and predict statistical significance . If the p-value is lower than 0.05 there will be a higher probability that the results are statistically significant and not by random chance that prenatal education will increase kangaroo care as an intervention, therefore we can reject the null hypothesis.
The Impact Of Social Media On Adolescents
Social media is constantly developing and changing with unique features and apps being introduced on a day-to-day basis. Numerous individuals utilize social media to post about their life online, create connections with others, and create content. Adolescents, ages 11 to 18, are going through a substantial period of development and growth and are easily influenced by the things and people surrounding them. Because of this, adolescents can have both negative and positive experiences and feelings toward social media. It can cause adolescents to frequently compare themselves to the individuals they follow online; however, it can also be used for self-expression. The purpose of this paper is to discover how social media can influence adolescents both negatively and positively. After reviewing six primary articles, the negative effects heavily outweigh the positive; moreover, a future study using a prospective, mixed-method design is proposed to find interventions that can be implemented to make using social media a more positive experience for everybody.
Sexual Education In Adolescence: Contraception Education For Adolescents Leads To Improved Sexual Practices
Marie Poellinger and Erica Jade Fong
Adolescents of low socioeconomic status from 13-18 years of age face many challenges when it comes to maintaining safe sexual health practices, leading to unwanted pregnancies and exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STI’s). Challenges include:
economic barriers → limited access to health care or lack of health insurance
lack of proper sex education and therefore limited knowledge around contraceptive
Addressing these challenges is crucial for better sexual health outcomes. The nurse’s role is essential in providing education about contraceptive options, access to local resources, and guidance pertaining to safe sexual health practices (Dixon, 2014)
The Effects of Prolonged Exposure Therapy on the Symptoms of Patients With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Hannah Belle Pontillas
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-5 defines post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD as persistent psychophysiological reactions including intrusive memories of trauma, negative feelings towards such memories, and avoidance of related stimuli—all of which are a direct result of experiencing a traumatic event. The first line of treatment for this particular mental disorder is considered to be prolonged exposure therapy or PE therapy due to its high success rate in treating the symptoms of moderate to severe PTSD as it encourages patients to directly confront and overcome their trauma. However, PE therapy has garnered concern as it has caused patients to drop out before the completion of treatment as a result of symptom exacerbation after repeatedly being reminded of their trauma. Considering this contraindication, this thesis will compare the effectiveness of prolonged exposure therapy to that of psychopharmacotherapy and psychotherapy or combination therapy as alternative treatments for PTSD. A literature review was performed. Six studies that are divided into two categories: prolonged exposure therapy exclusively and combination therapy, were found. The studies of both categories demonstrate how prolonged exposure therapy and combination therapy affect the severity of PTSD symptoms, which ranges from a stagnant change to a moderate decrease in severity. Considering the need for further research on the effectiveness of alternative treatments for PTSD to prevent cases of symptom exacerbation, a research proposal that follows a longitudinal mixed method—qualitative and quantitative—is proposed.
Benefits of Rooming-in on Infants with Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) is a significant public health concern, affecting infants born to mothers who use opioids during pregnancy. Those exposed in-utero exhibit numerous signs of withdrawal after delivery including tremors, gastrointestinal distress, inconsolability, and poor feeding. Typical treatment for infants suffering from NOWS included direct admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for close observation and pharmacological interventions. However, NICU stays can interfere with bonding and breastfeeding. They can also lead to increased lengths of stay, higher costs, and more invasive pharmacological treatments. These infants typically do not have any other concerning health issues besides NOWS and therefore should not be immediately transferred to the NICU. Rather, they should be able to room-in with their parents. Rooming-in is associated with improved neonatal outcomes, shorter length of stay, and a decrease in cost. The literature review identified limited data regarding the effectiveness of non-separation techniques when implemented in small hospitals with fewer resources. A research proposal will be discussed as well that focuses on implementing rooming-in techniques in rural hospitals located in Northern California. Infants with NOWS born at these hospitals between August 2023-December 2024 will be admitted directly to the NICU. Infants born between January 2025-May 2026 will room-in with their parents. The will be a quantitative study that utilizes a retrospective cohort design. Descriptive statistics will be used to determine if implementing non-separation techniques improves outcomes for infants suffering from neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome.