Featured Dissertations

Postpartum Nurses' Perceptions of Identifying and Providing Care for Mothers at Risk for Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Nurses’ Perceptions of Identifying and Providing Care for Mothersat Risk for Postpartum Depression.

Susan Meyers - January 2018

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common complication of childbirth that is mostly undetected and untreated. PPD can inflict long-term negative consequences on mothers, children and families. Recently, there has been increased awareness of PPD and recognition of the need for healthcare providers to routinely address this health issue. However, there has not been particular attention directed to the role that nurses may play in improving methods of PPD identification and providing effective interventions for postpartum mothers at risk for PPD. The purpose of this research was to explore and describe nurses’ perceptions of identifying and providing care for mothers at risk for PPD. This qualitative descriptive study utilized a purposive sample of postpartum nurses from one urban hospital in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Twenty-six interviews were completed. Elo’s and Kyngäs’ inductive approach to content analysis was used to interpret the data. Three main themes emerged during data analysis: (1) nurses’ informal assessment of maternal behavior; (2) conditions that facilitate nurses caring for mothers at risk for PPD; and (3) perceived barriers encountered by nurses.

The Effect of Debriefing with Good Judgement on Nurse Anesthesia Students' Critical Event

The Effect of Debriefing with Good Judgment on Nurse Anesthesia Students’ Critical Event Recognition, Response, and Treatment

Carleen McLaughlin- November 2017

Nurse anesthesia education is intense and covers a broad spectrum of topics that are necessary for the preparation of professionals who are able to provide safe, quality care to patients of all ages with varied co-morbidities. It is important to utilize educational strategies that efficiently and effectively deliver this content to nurse anesthesia students. The purpose of this experimental study was to evaluate the overall effect of a structured method of debriefing compared to the usual, unstructured debriefing method conducted during a high-fidelity patient simulation experience in a nurse anesthesia program. The outcomes that were measured included the ability to recognize and treat critical events, and the level of knowledge related to the recognition and treatment of critical events of nurse anesthesia students participating in the simulation experiences. In addition, the nurse anesthesia students’ perceptions of the quality of the two methods of debriefing were assessed and compared using the Debriefing Assessment for Simulation in Healthcare© student version (DASH©-SV).

Knowledge and Health Briefs about Breast Cancer Screening among Rural Palestinian Women: A Pilot Study

Knowledge and Health Beliefs about Breast Cancer Screening among Rural Palestinian Women: A Pilot Study

Hanan Saca-Hazboun – October 2017

The purpose of this descriptive, cross-sectional study is to examine rural Palestinian women’s level of knowledge about and beliefs toward breast cancer screening (BCS), and to test if there are differences  in demographic variables (age, level of education, socioeconomic status, health insurance) between women who participated in mammography vs. those who did not participate in mammography.  A convenience sample was recruited from the rural area in Bethlehem Governorate.  The participants were women between 40 – 70 years of age and were recruited from the mobile clinics that are provided by the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS). The health belief model was used as conceptual framework to guide the development of the study. Descriptive and inferential analyses were used to provide quantitative evidence about the levels of knowledge and women’s perceptions about breast cancer screening.

Family Nurse Practitioners' Use of mHealth Apps for Health Promotion with Patients

Family Nurse Practitioners’ Use of mHealth Apps for Health Promotion with Patients.

Becky Coyle-Mueller - October 2017

Due to the significant prevalence of chronic illnesses in the United States, engaging patients in health promotion activities is imperative. mHealth apps have the ability to complement the family nurse practitioner’s (FNP) prescribed care plan, and offer a user friendly, convenient method to promote healthy behaviors and lessen the prevalence of chronic disease. The purpose of this descriptive, quantitative study was to describe FNPs’ intent to use and use of mHealth apps for health promotion with their patients using the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), and to determine the types and frequencies of apps recommended by FNPs. Data were collected using a survey, and participants comprised 303 FNPs from throughout the United States.  

Self Managment Behaviors and Quality of Life Patients with Sickle Cell Disease in Oman

Self-Management Behaviors and Quality of Life of Patients with Sickle Cell Disease in Oman.

Abdullah Al-Salmi – March 2018


Many individuals in the Sultanate of Oman are affected with sickle cell disease (SCD), a hereditary chronic disease. The purpose of this quantitative descriptive cross-sectional study was to explore the SM behaviors and the quality of life (QOL) of adult patients with SCD in Oman.  A convenience sample of 199 patients with SCD was recruited from eight Ministry of Health hospitals. Results indicated that the participants moderately perceived themselves as effective self-managers of their disease and perceived their QOL as poor in the physical domain, good in the psychological domain, very good in the social relationship domain and fair in the environment domain. Statistically significant positive but weak correlations were identified between age and scores in the psychological domain of WHOQOL-BREF scale (r = .183, p = .01). Participants with secondary and post-secondary levels of education perceived significantly better QOL than those of primary education level (p = .002, p = .001; respectively). Significant but weak correlations were identified between the perceived SM behaviors, and physical, psychological, and environment domains of WHOQOL-BREF scale (r = .194, p = .006; r = .363, p < .001; r = .388, p < .001; respectively). Similar correlations were also identified with the general perception of QOL and health (rs = .266, p < .001; rs = .231, p = .002; respectively).