Research Faculty

Researcher publications can be found on their individual Departmental Pages, or by searching via Author Name or Keyword at PubMed or Science Direct.

Ragnhildur Bjarnadottir, I

Ragnhildur Bjarnadottir, I, PhD, MPH, RN

Assistant Professor
Research Summary:

Dr. Bjarnadottir’s area of expertise is Nursing Informatics, Data Science, Clinical Decision Support, Quality of Care, Underserved Populations.

Leveraging health informatics and data science to improve health care quality for underserved populations. Dissertation research examined home care nurses’ assessment and documentation of patients’ sexual orientation and gender identity. Has also explored EHR implementation and nurses experiences with documentation systems in the long-term care setting. In current research, uses text-mining methods to identify factors associated with risk of patient falls in acute care nurses’ progress notes.

Lisa H Domenico

Lisa H Domenico, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor
Research Summary:

Identifying neurocognitive factors that influence self-perception and behavior change among individuals with substance use disorders. Utilizes a combination of structural and functional neuroimaging, neurocognitive and neurobehavioral measures, and diagnostic interviewing in her research.

Dr. Domenico’s dissertation research focused on mapping the organizational properties of the self-concept, and identifying relationships between organizational properties and drinking (alcohol use) behavior among individuals with alcohol use disorder. During her postdoctoral fellowship, she received additional, specialized training in administering and interpreting neurocognitive and neurobehavioral measures, and neuroimaging. Combining these two lines of research, working with the UF Neurocognitive Laboratory, she developed a unique fMRI task designed to prime and isolate self-referential neurological networks. This task is currently being used to identify relationships between functional connectivity within the brain, and relapse among individuals with use disorders.

Jennifer H Elder

Jennifer H Elder, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor and PhD Program Director
Research Summary:

Main research program focuses on biobehavioral aspects of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Other foci include research related to other child neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., ADHD), child development, parent-child interactions, family dynamics, and the role of fathers and typically developing siblings in treating chronic childhood disorders.

Dr. Elder has expertise in psychiatric/mental health nursing, pediatrics and child mental health, quantitative research methods including single subject experimental design, and ethical conduct of research. Her administrative experience has spanned ten years: five years as a department chair, five years as an associate dean for research, and current director of UFCON’s PhD program.

Miriam O Ezenwa

Miriam O Ezenwa, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, FAAN

Associate Professor
Research Summary:

Health disparities in pain management, particularly, healthcare injustice, a psychological stressor, as an explanatory factor for the disparities; pain and symptom management for people with sickle cell disease or cancer; palliative care for end-of-life cancer patients; biobehavioral research including cortisol as a biomarker of stress and use of computer technologies for stress and pain measurement, and delivery of stress reduction intervention in sickle cell disease.

Ann L Horgas

Ann L Horgas, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, FAAN

ASO PROFESSOR & CHAIR
Research Summary:

Pain and aging; pain management in persons with dementia, predictors of persistent post-surgical pain; and pain at end of life.

Versie Johnson-Mallard

Versie Johnson-Mallard, PhD, ARNP, FAAN

Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Research Summary:

Clinical practice, research and publications are in the area of women’s health, reproductive health promotion, sexually transmitted infection prevention, HPV/cancer screening/prevention/vaccination and behavior change in response to culturally appropriate educational interventions (e-Learn and Print).

Gail Keenan

Gail Keenan, PhD, RN, FAAN

Annabel Jenks Endowed Professor & Chair, Department of Family, Community and Health System Science
Research Summary:

Dr. Keenan’s innovative research focuses on capturing standardized nursing and clinical data for improving the planning, delivery, cost and health outcomes of nursing care across the continuum. She has developed HANDS, the “Hands-on Automated Nursing Data System”, that provides rich data that represents nursing care provision, measures care impact and supports care planning over time.

Dr. Keenan’s research priorities include:

1. Continuously refining and expanding a simple universal automated method for collecting a “Big Picture” standardized clinical data set (HANDS) for the multiple purposes of:

— Providing a current and historical summary of care wherever the patient presents that is always in the same format and utilizes standardized terminologies

— Supporting day to day communication and handoffs (SHARER) of members of the patient’s care team within and across settings

— Connecting universally to all EHRs

— Generating standardized data for use in evaluating care, identifying and disseminating best practices, and benchmarking across systems

2. Building and continuously improving methods of analyzing standardized data captured in HANDS and translating this into meaningful and immediately useful decision support at the point of care.

3. Demonstrating the impact of the HANDS “Big Picture” method on reducing the cost of care for chronically ill patients (sickle cell, cardiac, eol and others)

4. Demonstrating the value of HANDS data in identifying nurse training and competency needs as well as providing rationale for appropriate staffing

5. Enabling wide scale diffusion of HANDS into education/practice

She is currently involved in the following research activities:

Dr. Keenan’s research focuses on developing and refining a feasible automated methodology for collecting a standardized clinical data set for the purpose of improving the planning, delivery, cost and health outcomes of nursing care across the continuum. She is currently involved in the following research activities:

HANDS Research Project Refinement of a web based software and method for nurses to document their patient care in the electronic health record and communicate with other members of the interdisciplinary team. The Hands-on Automated Nursing Data System (HANDS) is a standardized plan of care method in which the patient’s plan is updated at every nurse hand-off allowing the interdisciplinary team to track the story about care and progress toward desired outcomes in a standardized format across time and units. The HANDS Method includes a standardized interface, database, rules of data entry and rules for use of the plan in hand-offs and in interdisciplinary communication.

The HANDS related research and researchers have been nominated and received numerous awards. The research agenda is currently funded by NINR for a 4 year R01 focused on thoroughly evaluating HANDS standardized data (through datamining and statistical analyses) and generating best practices and benchmarks for EOL hospitalized patients. Also the research grant is funding the immediate translation of findings into useful and meaningful decision support at the point of care.

Debra L Kelly

Debra L Kelly, PhD, RN, OCN, CNE

Assistant Professor
Research Summary:

Research goals are directed toward understanding the biological mechanisms and behaviors that mediate symptoms of chronic illness, with a population focus in oncology.

Dr. Lynch Kelly’s primary research goals are directed toward understanding the biological mechanisms and behaviors that mediate symptoms of chronic illness, with a population focus in oncology. She has worked closely with cancer survivors managing persistent, distressing symptoms and has studied the effects of inflammation on symptoms. Her future research plans are aimed at further describing the relationships of inflammatory and genetic markers and symptom expression in individuals with cancer. Ultimately she will explore interventions that may be used as adjuvant therapies to mitigate distress of symptoms. Her national certification is as an oncology certified nurse.

Charlene A Krueger

Charlene A Krueger, PhD, RN

AST PROFESSOR
Research Summary:

Biobehavioral measure in the premature infant and fetus.

Dr. Krueger has established the groundwork for her research by gaining expertise in measures of heart rate variability, early learning capabilities, and short-term outcomes necessary for discharging preterm infants from the hospital (e.g., weight gain, days to enteral and oral feeds).

Robert Lucero

Robert Lucero, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Associate Professor Of Nursing; Co-Director of the NIH T32 Translational Science Training to Reduce the Impact of Alcohol and HIV Infection training program; Graduate Faculty in the Center for Latin American Studies
Research Summary:

Design, development and evaluation of consumer and clinician-centered health information technology. Secondary use of electronic clinical data for use in comparative effectiveness research. Research targets include quality, self-management, healthy aging and maintaining independence. Population focus is on the aging (acute care and community-based settings) and caregiver dyads.

Dr. Lucero has expertise in developing and applying health informatics self-management interventions among vulnerable populations, including Hispanic/Latino community-dwelling adults and African-American women living with HIV. He also has expertise in the application of data science methods to big data, including integrated data from electronic health records (i.e., provider’s assessment and laboratory data) and various sources of acute care administrative data.

Debra Lyon

Debra Lyon, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN

Executive Associate Dean/Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Endowed Chair
Research Summary:

Symptom management, including complementary modalities, in women with breast cancer and other chronic illnesses. Biobehavioral research, including molecular markers of inflammation and genetic markers.

Anna M McDaniel

Anna M McDaniel, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dean & Professor
Research Summary:

Using technology for cancer prevention and control, specifically, the treatment of nicotine dependence.

Leslie A Parker

Leslie A Parker, PhD, APRN (NNP-BC), FAAN

Associate Professor
Research Summary:

Nutrition of critically ill and premature infants. Increasing delivery of breast milk. Decreasing insufficient milk supply and delayed lactogenesis stage II. Assessment of gastric residuals.

Lisa Scarton

Lisa Scarton, PhD, BSN

Assistant Professor
Research Summary:

Diabetes-related health outcomes for families with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in ethnically diverse populations with a focus on the American Indian population. Is also extending her research to those with T2D and cancer, an understudied area.

Type 2 diabetes self-management, family interventions, health disparities, health promotion in American Indian populations.

Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini

Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, PhD, RN, FAAN

Clinical Lecturer
Research Summary:

Mental health, health promotion, social health determinants, community-based interventions, minority and underserved populations, mixed-methods and social network analysis.

Joyce K Stechmiller

Joyce K Stechmiller, PhD, ACNP-BC, FAAN

Associate Professor
Research Summary:

Immune function, nutritional status and interventions for wound healing in adults and elderly.

Michael Weaver

Michael Weaver, PhD, RN, FAAN

Associate Dean And Professor
Research Summary:

Dr. Weaver’s research interests are in applied statistics and health prevention and promotion.

Statistical analysis, emphasizing advanced multivariate techniques; research methods; and health promotion. Ongoing Research Support

R21 NR017749 Kelly (PI) 09/27/2018–07/31/2020 Developing the Biobehavioral Foundation for Self-Management of Psychoneurological Symptoms in Hematopoietic Cell Transplant (HCT) Survivors The long-term goal of this pilot study is to elucidate the complex biobehavioral mechanisms of symptoms in individuals receiving hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in order to develop targeted self-management interventions to obtain and maintain optimal quality of life (QOL) of this vulnerable patient population. To achieve this goal, we will longitudinally examine 50 adult (age > 18 years) HCT survivors and characterize associations among selected patient factors (age, sex, race/ethnicity, BMI, lifestyle habits, and clinical factors [cancer diagnosis, conditioning regimen, type of transplant] ), PN symptoms (neurocognitive dysfunction, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and pain), inflammation (cytokines and C-reactive protein), GM (richness and diversity) and Diet (macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and protein).

R01 NR016964 Parker (PI) 08/03/2018-05/31/2022 Optimal Feeding Tube Dwell Time in VLBW to Reduce Feeding Tube Contamination The overall objective of this 4-year study is to determine if a maximum feeding tube dwell time of 48 hours reduces contamination compared to a maximum feeding tube dwell time of 7 days (current practice), thereby improving neonatal health outcomes. Role: Statistician/Co-Investigator.

R01 NR016986 Lyon & Stechmiller (MPI) 04/01/2018-01/31/2023 Biobehavioral mechanisms underlying symptoms and healing outcomes in older individuals with CVLU The overall purpose of this study is to identify relationships between bio-behavioral factors that influence symptoms, healing trajectory, and biofilm in the wound environment in patients with chronic venous leg ulcers. The long-term goal is to elucidate the complex biobehavioral mechanisms responsible for symptoms and healing outcomes in older adults with venous leg ulcers (VLUs) for the development of targeted therapies that address both the patient-oriented outcomes and healing outcomes in this growing group of affected individuals.

Completed Research Support (last 3 years)

R01 NR014019 Parker (PI) 03/18/2013-01/31/2017 Routine Aspiration of Residual Gastric Contents in Very Low Birth Weight Infants The primary purpose of this study is to determine nutrition outcomes and risks to GI integrity and function of aspirating for Routine Gastric Contents prior to feeding in order to translate into evidence-based practice in the care of VLBW infants. The long-term goal of this program of research is to improve short and long-term health outcomes for premature VLBW infants by improving nutrition and decreasing complications due to prematurity. Role: Statistician/Co-Investigator

1I01HX001076-01 Daggett (PI) 01/01/2013-12/31/2017 Telephone Assessment and Skill-Building Intervention for Informal Caregivers The objectives of this study are to evaluate (a) the efficacy of the revised Telephone Assessment and Skill-building Kit (TASK II) in informal caregivers of veterans with stroke, and (b) estimate effect sizes for the TASK II-TBI intervention for informal caregivers of veterans with TBI. Role: Co-Investigator-Statistician

Diana Wilkie

Diana Wilkie, PhD, RN, FAAN

Prairieview Trust – Earl and Margo Powers Endowed Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science
Research Summary:

Use of informatics to promote patient-centered care and big data science; pain assessment; biobehavioral therapies for cancer pain; behavioral correlates of cancer pain; palliative and end-of-life care; sickle cell disease pain mechanisms, assessment and management; reproductive choices for people with sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait; intervention research.

Saun-Joo Yoon

Saun-Joo Yoon, PhD, RN

Associate Professor
Research Summary:

Research interests include 1) interventions with use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) modalities to improve nutritional status, cancer-cachexia and symptom management in adult patients with gastrointestinal cancers, 2) herbal supplement use to manage symptoms and health promotion in older adults, and 3) palliative care related to cancer-cachexia in patients with GI cancers.