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AnteayerNursing Research

Social Support Is Inversely Associated With Sleep Disturbance, Inflammation, and Pain Severity in Chronic Low Back Pain

imageBackground Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a significant cause of disability, lost wages, and healthcare costs. Inflammatory mediators, such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), have been associated with LBP severity. Patients with CLBP commonly experience sleep disturbance, and poor sleep has been shown to increase pain severity and inflammation. In contrast, social support may benefit patients with CLBP by reducing pain intensity and inflammation. Objectives The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of social support on the relationships among sleep disturbance, inflammation, and pain severity in patients with CLBP. Methods In a cross-sectional study, men and women with CLBP were enrolled from an outpatient pain clinic. Participants completed psychometric instruments for social support, sleep quality, and pain severity. Blood samples were obtained for measurement of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 by enzyme-linked immunoassay. Results Linear regression revealed greater sleep disturbance predicted greater pain severity. In contrast, participants who reported higher social support had lower sleep disturbance and lower pain severity. Mediation analysis revealed sleep disturbance to mediate the relationship between social support and pain, such that sleep disturbance reduced the benefit of social support on pain severity. Furthermore, greater sleep disturbance and lower social support predicted increased IL-6. However, IL-6 did not mediate the relationship between social support and pain. Discussion The findings suggest that increased social support is associated with lower sleep disturbance, lower inflammation, and lower pain severity in patients with CLBP. Assessing the extent of social support and fostering social support as part of a comprehensive pain management program may benefit patients with CLBP. Interventions to strengthen social support systems and cultivate support from family and/or informal social networks may reduce symptom burden and improve quality of life.

Latent Class Analysis of Symptom Burden Among Seriously Ill Adults at the End of Life

imageBackground Serious illness is characterized by high symptom burden that negatively affects quality of life (QOL). Although palliative care research has highlighted symptom burden in seriously ill adults with cancer, symptom burden among those with noncancer serious illness and multiple chronic conditions has been understudied. Latent class analysis is a statistical method that can be used to better understand the relationship between severity of symptom burden and covariates, such as the presence of multiple chronic conditions. Although latent class analysis has been used to highlight subgroups of seriously ill adults with cancer based on symptom clusters, none have incorporated multiple chronic conditions. Objectives The objectives of this study were to (a) describe the demographic and baseline characteristics of seriously ill adults at the end of life in a palliative care cohort, (b) identify latent subgroups of seriously ill individuals based on severity of symptom burden, and (c) examine variables associated with latent subgroup membership, such as QOL, functional status, and the presence of multiple chronic conditions. Methods A secondary data analysis of a palliative care clinical trial was conducted. The latent class analysis was based on the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System, which measures nine symptoms on a scale of 0–10 (e.g., pain, fatigue, nausea, depression, anxiousness, drowsiness, appetite, well-being, and shortness of breath). Clinically significant cut-points for symptom severity were used to categorize each symptom item in addition to a categorized total score. Results Three latent subgroups were identified (e.g., low, moderate, and high symptom burden). Lower overall QOL was associated with membership in the moderate and high symptom burden subgroups. Multiple chronic conditions were associated with statistically significant membership in the high symptom burden latent subgroup. Older adults between 65 and 74 years had a lower likelihood of moderate or high symptom burden subgroup membership compared to the low symptom burden class. Discussion Lower QOL was associated with high symptom burden. Multiple chronic conditions were associated with high symptom burden, which underlines the clinical complexity of serious illness. Palliative care at the end of life for seriously ill adults with high symptom burden must account for the presence of multiple chronic conditions.

Engaging Social Media Influencers to Recruit Hard-to-Reach Populations

imageBackground Though clinical researchers have begun to use social media platforms to recruit participants, social media influencers are innovative community connectors to further expand recruitment reach, especially in hard-to-reach populations. Objectives The purpose of this methods article is to provide a step-by-step guide for engaging social media influencers for virtual participant recruitment. Methods There are multiple steps for researchers to follow, including preplanning, institutional review board approval, engaging with influencers, the pitch, the post, and results dissemination. Discussion Engaging social media influencers to recruit for clinical research demonstrates great potential to increase access to hard-to-reach populations. Several methodological considerations remain, and this article shares both opportunities and challenges to guide researchers in this technique.

Feasibility and Acceptability of a Reiki Intervention With Very Young Children Receiving Palliative Care

imageBackground Very little research has been reported examining nonpharmacological symptom management strategies for very young, hospitalized children receiving palliative care, and none has involved Reiki—a light touch therapy. Objectives The aim of this study was to determine if completing a Reiki intervention with hospitalized 1- to 5-year-old children with chronic, life-limiting conditions receiving palliative care was feasible and acceptable. Methods Children ages 1–5 years receiving palliative care who were expected to be hospitalized for at least 3 weeks were recruited for a single-arm, mixed-methods, quasi-experimental pre- and poststudy. Six protocolized Reiki sessions were conducted over 3 weeks. We calculated feasibility by the percentage of families enrolled in the study and acceptability by the percentage of families who completed all measures and five out of six Reiki sessions. Measures were collected at baseline, at the end of the intervention period, and 3 weeks later. At the final follow-up visit, parents were verbally asked questions relating to the acceptability of the intervention in a short structured interview. Results We screened 90 families, approached 31 families, and recruited 16 families, whereas 15 families declined. Reasons for not participating included that the child had “a lot going on,” would be discharged soon, and families were overwhelmed. Of those enrolled, most completed all measures at three time points and five out of six Reiki sessions. We completed nearly all scheduled Reiki sessions for families that finished the study. All parents reported that they would continue the Reiki if they could, and almost all said they would participate in the study again; only one parent was unsure. Discussion Young children and their parents found Reiki acceptable; these results are comparable to an earlier study of children 7–16 years of age receiving palliative care at home and a study of massage for symptom management for hospitalized children with cancer. These findings add to the literature and support further investigation of Reiki’s efficacy as a nonpharmacological symptom management intervention.

Barriers to Care and Root Cause Analysis of LGBTQ+ Patients’ Experiences: A Qualitative Study

imageBackground LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and others) people face a unique set of barriers to receiving quality healthcare. Very little exists in nursing literature that addresses these barriers. Objective This study aimed to analyze patient experience data to better understand the context of barriers to care that LGBTQ+ patients experience, in addition to institutional responses. Methods Documentary analysis was employed to review four LGBTQ+ patient experiences that resulted in formal feedback provided to the Office of Patient Relations. Each case was analyzed for content, process, and outcomes. Results Through the outlined analysis, the study team found three primary themes and five secondary themes across the four cases. The overarching themes identified through the study’s case review include (a) lack of provider knowledge, (b) lack of patient-centered care, and (c) lack of institutional infrastructures associated with the provision of affirming care to LGBTQ+ individuals. Discussion Findings suggest the need for a multipronged approach when addressing the care of LGBTQ+ communities. A combination of provider-level education and institutional capacity building to treat diverse patient populations is necessary for addressing the issues demonstrated within the data. Moreover, further research is needed to identify unique needs of transgender and nonbinary patients and determine efficacy of institutional efforts to build capacity for caring and studying the health needs of LGBTQ+ communities.

Pilot Study of Absolute Telomere Lengths in Preterm Infants

imageBackground Annually, approximately 15 million babies are born preterm (

Effect of a Nurse-Led Community Health Worker Intervention on Latent Tuberculosis Medication Completion Among Homeless Adults

imageBackground Tuberculosis (TB) disproportionately affects marginalized and impoverished homeless adults. Although active TB can be prevented by treating latent TB infection (LTBI), individual factors, such as high prevalence of depression and anxiety, drug and alcohol use, and unstable housing, lead to poor LTBI treatment adherence and completion among homeless adults. Objectives We hypothesized that the delivery of a tailored nurse-led, community health worker (RN/CHW) program across the LTBI continuum of care (e.g., screening, diagnosis, and treatment) that delivers 3HP treatment (3HP: rifapentine plus isoniazid) for homeless adults (e.g., sheltered and unsheltered) and is tailored to their health and social service needs will overcome existing treatment completion barriers. We also hypothesized that mental health symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety), drug use score, and problematic alcohol use will decline over time among clients receiving this treatment. Methods We assessed the effect of delivering a theoretically guided, RN/CHW-based, single-arm study among eligible LTBI-positive homeless adults (N = 50) on completion of a weekly, directly observed, 12-dose 3HP LTBI treatment in Central City East (Skid Row). Completing 3HP treatment was compared to the only known historical, clinic-based control that obtained 65% completion among homeless adults. Secondary outcomes included drug and alcohol use, depression, and anxiety. Results The RN/CHW program achieved a 91.8% 3HP treatment completion rate among homeless adults. Younger homeless adults (

Exceptional Research Papers

Por: Pickler · Rita H.
No abstract available

Multi-Omics Analysis on Neurodevelopment in Preterm Neonates: A Protocol Paper

imageBackground The gut microbiome is an important determinant of health and disease in preterm infants. Objectives The objective of this article was to share our current protocol for other neonatal intensive care units to potentially expand their existing protocols, aiming to characterize the relationship between the intestinal microbiome and health outcomes in preterm infants. Methods This prospective, longitudinal study planned to recruit 160 preterm infants born

Systematic Review of Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

imageBackground The benefit of self-monitoring of blood glucose in reducing HbA1c in non-insulin-treated participants remains unclear. HbA1c may be improved in this population with said self-monitoring. Objective The aim of this study was to conduct meta-analyses of glycemic control in non-insulin-treated participants with Type 2 diabetes: self-monitoring of blood glucose versus usual care, structured versus unstructured self-monitoring of blood glucose, and use of self-monitoring of blood glucose readings by clinicians to adjust (or modify) therapy versus usual care. Methods MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Central were electronically searched to identify articles published from January 1, 2000, to June 30, 2020. Trials investigating changes in HbA1c were selected. Screening was performed independently by two investigators. Two investigators extracted HbA1c at baseline and follow-up for each trial. Results Nineteen trials involving 4,965 participants were included. Overall, self-monitoring of blood glucose reduced HbA1c. Preplanned subgroup analysis showed that using self-monitoring of blood glucose readings to adjust therapy contributed significantly to the reduction. No significant improvement in HbA1c was shown in self-monitoring of blood glucose without therapy adjustment. The same difference was observed in structured versus unstructured self-monitoring of blood glucose. Discussion HbA1c is improved with clinician therapy modification based on structured self-monitoring of blood glucose readings. Implications are for clinicians to prescribe structured self-monitoring of blood glucose to modify therapy based on the readings and not prescribe unstructured self-monitoring of blood glucose. Participants with suboptimal glycemic control may benefit most. A self-monitoring of blood glucose regimen that improves clinical and cost-effectiveness is presented. Future studies can investigate this regimen specifically.

Possible Bioenergetic Biomarker for Chronic Cancer-Related Fatigue

imageBackground Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a highly prevalent, debilitating, and persistent symptom experienced by patients receiving cancer treatments. Up to 71% of men with prostate cancer receiving radiation therapy experience acute and persistent CRF. There is neither an effective therapy nor a diagnostic biomarker for CRF. This pilot study aimed to discover potential biomarkers associated with chronic CRF in men with prostate cancer receiving radiation therapy. Methods We used a longitudinal repeated-measures research design. Twenty men with prostate cancer undergoing radiation therapy completed all study visits. CRF was evaluated by a well-established and validated questionnaire, the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System for Fatigue (PROMIS-F) Short Form. In addition, peripheral blood mononuclear cells were harvested to quantify ribonucleic acid (RNA) gene expression of mitochondria-related genes. Data were collected before, during, on completion, and 24 months postradiation therapy and analyzed using paired t-tests and repeated-measures analysis of variance. Results The mean of the PROMIS-F T score was significantly increased over time in patients with prostate cancer, remaining elevated at 24 months postradiation therapy compared to baseline. A significant downregulated BC1 ubiquinol-cytochrome c reductase synthesis-like (BCS1L) was observed over time during radiation therapy and at 24 months postradiation therapy. An increased PROMIS-F score was trended with downregulated BCS1L in patients 24 months after completing radiation therapy. Discussion This is the first evidence to describe altered messenger RNA for BCS1L in chronic CRF using the PROMIS-F measure with men receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Conclusion Our results suggest that peripheral blood mononuclear cell messenger RNA for BCS1L is a potential biomarker and therapeutic target for radiation therapy-induced chronic CRF in this clinical population.

Study Protocol Modeling Evoked Pain in Older African Americans With Knee Osteoarthritis

imageBackground African American (AA) older adults with knee osteoarthritis experience more severe chronic pain and advanced physical disability. One of the most prominent stimuli that provokes knee pain is movement. Research suggests that, compared to Whites, AAs report significantly higher movement-evoked pain (MEP) in the knee. However, little is known about the biopsychosocial–behavioral mechanisms underlying MEP. Objectives The aim of the study was to present a study protocol to (a) characterize the biopsychosocial–behavioral mechanisms that predict MEP in AAs with knee osteoarthritis and (b) develop a targeted, mechanism-based self-management intervention to reduce MEP and maximize movement. Methods An observational, mixed-methods cohort study will enroll 90 AA/Black adults (ages 55–90 years) to understand intraindividual and interindividual effects on MEP. Participants will complete assessments of MEP, function and gait, biopsychosocial–behavioral questionnaires, quantitative sensory testing, and 7-day ecological momentary assessments of pain and related symptoms. For the qualitative phase, focus groups will be conducted to co-construct a mechanism-based pain self-management intervention. Results We will develop phenotypes of MEP based on biopsychosocial–behavioral predictors and correlate measures of MEP with function. Our central hypothesis is that higher levels of MEP will predict lower self-reported function and poorer performance on functional tasks and that multiple biopsychosocial and behavioral factors will be associated with MEP and function. Predictors may serve as risk or protective factors for MEP and physical function. In targeting the biopsychosocial–behavioral mechanisms of MEP, we anticipate that older AAs may request that intervention components include culturally tailored self-management education, movement/physical activity training, treatment decision-making skills, coaching, spirituality, and social/kinship support. Conclusion Osteoarthritis is now the single most common cause of disability, mobility limitations, and persistent pain in older adults—especially AA older adults. To our knowledge, this will be the first study to systematically phenotype MEP in an older racial minority population with knee osteoarthritis and will be relevant for reducing knee pain and improving function.

Characterizing Health Literacy Among Spanish Language-Preferring Latinos Ages 50–75

imageBackground Cultural background, language, and literacy are factors that may affect access, healthcare utilization, and cancer screening behaviors. Objective This study aimed to characterize health literacy among Spanish-preferring Hispanic/Latino individuals ages 50–75 and examine associations between sociodemographic characteristics, health beliefs, and health literacy. Methods Participants self-identified as Hispanic/Latino, preferring health information in Spanish, were ages 50–75 years old, at average risk for colorectal cancer (CRC), not up to date with CRC screening, and enrolled in a CRC screening education intervention trial. Sociodemographic characteristics, health beliefs, and health literacy (i.e., difficulty understanding written health information and confidence completing health forms) were assessed at baseline. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were performed. Results Fifty-three percent of participants reported either sometimes having difficulty or always having difficulty with written health information, and 25% reported always asking for help or being not so confident in completing health forms. Univariate predictors of adequate health literacy for written health information were lower cancer worry and lower religious beliefs. Higher educational attainment predicted confidence in completing health forms. Conclusions Findings highlight the need for interventions that address health beliefs and health literacy among Hispanic/Latino patients who have low confidence in completing written forms and difficulty understanding written information and reinforce the use of plain language and salient design features when developing patient education materials.

Pain and Self-Efficacy Among Patients With Systemic Sclerosis: A Scleroderma Patient-Centered Intervention Network Cohort Study

imageBackground Pain is one of the most common symptoms affecting patients with systemic sclerosis; however, little is known about the relationship between self-efficacy and pain and changes in pain over time. Objectives The purpose of this study was to describe the relationships between self-efficacy and pain in patients with systemic sclerosis, as well as determine whether changes in self-efficacy mediate changes in pain. Methods A prospective longitudinal study was conducted using data from the Scleroderma Patient-Centered Intervention Network Cohort. The baseline sample included 1,903 adults, with a trajectory subsample of 427 who completed 3-month assessments across 3 years. Hierarchical (sequential) forward multivariable regression, covarying for participant characteristics, was conducted to determine the association between self-efficacy and patient characteristics on pain outcomes. Trajectory models, covarying for participant characteristics, were used to examine changes in self-efficacy and pain outcomes across time and whether self-efficacy mediated the pain trajectories. Results Mean time since diagnosis was 9.5 years, with 39.2% diagnosed with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis. Greater self-efficacy was associated with less pain interference and intensity. Increasing age, female gender, finger ulcers, and small joint contractures were related to greater pain interference and intensity. Esophageal gastrointestinal symptoms were associated with more pain interference. Self-efficacy and pain trajectories remained stable across time, and self-efficacy did not mediate the pain trajectories. Discussion This study identified self-efficacy, age, gender, finger ulcers, small joint contractures, and esophageal gastrointestinal symptoms as important correlates associated with pain in patients with systemic sclerosis. In addition, this study found that self-efficacy and pain outcomes remained stable over time, providing important insights into the longitudinal pain experiences of patients with systemic sclerosis.

Acceptability of Nurse-Driven HIV Screening for Key Populations in Emergency Departments: A Mixed-Methods Study

imageBackground Optimizing care continuum entry interventions is key to ending the HIV epidemic. Offering HIV screening to key populations in emergency departments (EDs) is a strategy that has been demonstrated to be effective. Analyzing patient and provider perceptions of such screening can help identify implementation facilitators and barriers. Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate the acceptability of offering nurse-driven HIV screening to key populations based on data collected from patients, nurses, and other service providers. Methods This convergent mixed-methods study was a substudy of a cluster-randomized two-period crossover trial conducted in eight EDs to evaluate the effectiveness of the screening strategy. During the DICI-VIH (Dépistage Infirmier CIblé du VIH) trial, questionnaires were distributed to patients aged 18–64 years. Based on their responses, nurses offered screening to members of key populations. Over 5 days during the intervention period in four EDs, 218 patients were secondarily questioned about the acceptability of screening. Nurses completed 271 questionnaires pre- and posttrial regarding acceptability in all eight EDs. Descriptive analyses were conducted on these quantitative data. Convenience and purposeful sampling was used to recruit 53 providers to be interviewed posttrial. Two coders conducted a directed qualitative content analysis of the interview transcripts independently. Results The vast majority of patients (95%) were comfortable with questions asked to determine membership in key populations and agreed (89%) that screening should be offered to key populations in EDs. Nurses mostly agreed that offering screening to key populations was well accepted by patients (62.2% pretrial and 71.4% posttrial), was easy to implement, and fell within the nursing sphere of competence. Pretrial, 73% of the nurses felt that such screening could be implemented in EDs. Posttrial, the proportion was 41%. Three themes emerged from the interviews: preference for targeted screening and a written questionnaire to identify key populations, facilitators of long-term implementation, and implementation barriers. Nurses were favorable to such screening provided specific conditions were met regarding training, support, collective involvement, and flexibility of application to overcome organizational and individual barriers. Discussion Screening for key populations was perceived as acceptable and beneficial by patients and providers. Addressing the identified facilitators and barriers would help increase screening implementation in EDs.

Methods, Ethics, and Cross-Language Considerations in Research With Ethnic Minority Children

imageBackground Qualitative research seeking the perspectives of minority children on child health issues such as childhood obesity and healthy weight care is limited, especially in nursing research. Objective Our objective is to share methodological, ethical, and cross-language knowledge gained from conducting an ethnonursing research study. This study focused on providing a voice for ethnic minority children in childhood obesity literature. Methods The purpose of the study was to discover cultural influences on healthy weight care in children of Burmese refugees of Karen ethnicity. Researchers may exclude children of ethnic minorities from studies because of the distinct challenges in conducting cross-language research and research with children. We critically examine these challenges. The challenge of being a stranger was addressed by a period of immersion in the children’s activities prior to data collection, in addition to volunteering as an English teacher with Karen adults. The immersion period was crucial for developing the trust needed in child-inclusive research and research in ethnic minority communities. The challenge of designing an inclusive study with families who experience language barriers was addressed with an interpreter who not only spoke Karen but was also a part of the Karen community. The interpreter provided the authentic sociocultural language equivalence needed for the study’s rigor. Ensuring the child’s voice was clearly heard was addressed with member checking. Methodological changes necessitated by a pandemic were a distinct challenge discussed in detail. Results We described methods useful for nurse researchers seeking transformative knowledge to reduce health disparities in childhood obesity. Nurse researchers may use these methods related to cross-language research and child research for designing research inclusive of minorities with language barriers. Discussion The perspectives of children from ethnic minorities are needed to inform culturally congruent healthy weight care for their communities. The goal in providing transparency of the difficulties, successes, and recommendations for methods in research with children of Burmese refugees is to encourage more nurse researchers to work with marginalized groups. Nurse researchers can inform evidence-based, culturally appropriate interventions to address health inequities of minority communities by including the voice of children from these communities.

Mixed Methods Study of Nurse Assessment of Patient Preferences for Engagement During Hospitalization

imageBackground Global healthcare initiatives emphasize the importance of engaging patients in their healthcare to improve patients’ experience and outcomes. Assessing patient preferences for engagement is critical, as there are many ways patients can engage in their care and preferences vary across individuals. Objective The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of implementation of the Patient Preferences for Engagement Tool 13-Item Short Form (PPET13) during hospitalization on patient and nurse experience of engagement. Readmissions and emergency department (ED) usage within 30 days postdischarge were also examined. Methods The mixed methods study was conducted within two medical units in the United States between December 2018 and May 2019. Preimplementation group patients completed a demographic survey and the Patient Experience of Engagement Survey (PEES) on discharge. Implementation group patients completed the PPET13 within 24 hours of admission with their nurse and the demographic survey and PEES on discharge. A focus group with nurses who implemented the PPET13 was conducted following the implementation period. Data analysis included confirmatory factor analysis, multiple and logistic regression, and qualitative content analysis. Results There was significant improvement in PEES scores during the implementation phase. The PEES score was a significant predictor of ED visits, but not 30-day readmissions. Nurses were not always certain how to best integrate patient preferences for engagement into their care delivery and suggested integrating the PPET13 into the electronic health record to assist with streamlining the assessment and communicating preferences across the care team. Discussion Assessing patients’ preferences for engagement using the PPET13 was associated with an improved experience of engagement, which was found to mediate the relationship between utilization of PPET13 and ED usage within 30 days postdischarge. Use of a patient engagement preference tool, such as the PPET13, can help inform the delivery of individualized engagement strategies to improve patient and family engagement and outcomes; however, nurses need formalized education on how to tailor their care to meet the individual engagement preferences of their patients.

Exploring the Vaginal Microbiome and Intravaginal Practices in Postmenopausal Women

imageBackground Evidence suggests that intravaginal practices (IVPs) women use to cleanse their vagina or enhance sexual pleasure may be associated with unhealthy changes in the vaginal microbiome (VM). However, the effects of these practices in postmenopausal women are unknown. Objectives The objective of this pilot study was to characterize the VM communities of postmenopausal women, identify types and frequency of IVPs, and explore associations between the VM and IVPs in postmenopausal women. Methods We analyzed the VM data of 21 postmenopausal women in Atlanta, Georgia, from vaginal swabs collected at a routine gynecological visit. 16S rRNA gene sequencing in the V3–V4 region was used to characterize the VM. In addition, we described the IVPs of these women, identified by using our newly developed instrument: the Vaginal Cleansing Practices Questionnaire. The associations between the VM and IVPs were explored by comparing the alpha diversities, beta diversities, and the relative abundances at both the community level and individual genus level. Results The most abundant known bacterial genus found in the VM samples was Lactobacillus (35.7%), followed by Prevotella (21.4%). Eleven women (52%) reported using at least one type of IVP since menopause. The most common type of IVP was soap and water to clean inside the vagina. The use of IVPs was not associated with any alpha diversity metric, including Shannon index, inverse Simpson index, and Chao1 index; beta diversity metric, including Bray–Curtis and Jaccard distances; nor relative abundances at the community and individual genus level. Sociodemographic factors were also not associated with any alpha diversity metric. Discussion Clinicians must assess IVPs and other vaginal and sexual hygiene practices of women of all ages to educate and promote healthy behaviors. More than half of the postmenopausal women in this pilot study use IVPs. Understanding the reasoning behind participants’ use of IVPs and their perceptions of the possible effects of these practices will require further research. Although the small sample did not show associations with the VM, more extensive studies are warranted.

Limits of the Glasgow Coma Scale When Assessing for Sepsis in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Recipients

imageBackground The well-documented association between acute mental status changes and sepsis development and progression makes acute mental status an attractive factor for sepsis screening tools. However, the usefulness of acute mental status within these criteria is limited to the frequency and accuracy of its capture. The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score—the acute mental status indicator in many clinical sepsis criteria—is infrequently captured among allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant recipients with suspected infections, and its ability to serve as an indicator of acute mental status among this high-risk population is unknown. Objective We evaluated the GCS score as an indicator of acute mental status during the 24 hours after suspected infection onset among allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant recipients. Methods Using data from the first 100 days posttransplant for patients transplanted at a single center between September 2010 and July 2017, we evaluated the GCS score as an indicator of documented acute mental status during the 24 hours after suspected infection onset. From all inpatients with suspected infections, we randomly selected a cohort based on previously published estimates of GCS score frequency among hematopoietic cell transplant recipients with suspected infections and performed chart review to ascertain documentation of clinical acute mental status within the 24 hours after suspected infection onset. Results A total of 773 patients had ≥1 suspected infections and experienced 1,655 suspected infections during follow-up—625 of which had an accompanying GCS score. Among the randomly selected cohort of 100 persons with suspected infection, 28 were accompanied with documented acute mental status, including 18 without a recorded GCS. In relation to documented acute mental status, the GCS had moderate to high sensitivity and high specificity. Discussion These data indicate that, among allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant recipients with suspected infections, the GCS scores are infrequently collected and have a moderate sensitivity. If sepsis screening tools inclusive of acute mental status changes are to be used, nursing teams need to increase measurement of GCS scores among high sepsis risk patients or identify a standard alternative indicator.