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Cynthia S. Jacelon


In my research I explore the dignity, function, and sense of control of elders with chronic health problems, and how using handheld and wearable devices can help elders self-manage their symptoms. I want to know how these concepts are related to maintaining health and independence and how health care providers can enhance an elder's dignity, sense of control and self-management of the symptoms of chronic health problems.

Current Research
I am the Principal Investigator for the UManage Center for the Advancement of the Science of Symptom Self-Management P20NR016599. The UManage Center is a research center in the College of Nursing designed to build research strength in nurse-led multidisciplinary teams to develop new wearable and handheld technologies for the self-management of fatigue and sleep impairment in individuals with chronic conditions. The UManage Center will bring together experts in self-management of chronic disease, wearable and handheld symptom-monitoring technology, sleep, and human factors to advance the science of symptom self-management. This will achieve the goal of building the science of self-management of the symptoms of chronic conditions through wearable and hand held technology. The overall goal of the UManage Center is to build capacity for developing wearable and hand-held self-management technologies for the early self-identification and self-reporting of symptoms such as impaired sleep and fatigue. Our long-term goal is to use technology to improve self-management in order to reduce the burden of managing chronic conditions by helping individuals to effectively manage their multiple chronic conditions, thereby avoiding hospitalization and institutionalization. The specific aims for the Research Core of the UManage Center are as follows: 1) Expand the research capacity of nurse scientists to design, develop, and implement new technologies with multidisciplinary teams at the leading edge of scientific discovery to advance the science and practice of self-management of symptoms by individuals and families. 2) Build the research infrastructure to sustain long-term collaborative partnerships with internal and external teams to translate and adapt the use of handheld and wearable technologies. 3) Support pilot studies to build multidisciplinary teams to design, develop and test innovative technological tools to identify, monitor, and self-manage fatigue by individuals and families with acute and chronic conditions in the community. 4) Develop technological solutions for self-management of symptoms by individuals and families that result in the ability to self-manage with minimal surveillance from healthcare providers.

I am developing ASSISTwell, an interactive, tablet-based computer application designed to help community-dwelling older adults manage their chronic health problems and maintain high-level wellness independently. We are proposing an innovative, creative use of modestly priced emerging technology. ASSISTwell provides reminders, storage and display of information about the older adult’s activity, attitude, autonomy, social interaction, and health (medications, blood pressure, etc.). The application can be set up by a healthcare provider or by the individual user. The older adult will have control over his or her health information and decide who can have access to that information. ASSISTwell will interface with other applications on the tablet, such as an activity monitor, blood pressure cuff, social networking software, etc. ASSISTwell can be used with or without Internet access. With Internet access the older adult could choose to have a family member have access to their self-management information. Regular use of ASSISTwell could enhance an older adult’s ability to self-manage by providing regular feedback to them as well as provide information to a healthcare provider.

Learn more at www.umass.edu/nursing/faculty-staff/faculty?page=2

Academic Background

  • BS: College of New Jersey (Trenton State College): Nursing
  • MS: Boston University: Neurologic Rehabilitation Nursing
  • PhD: New York University: Research and Theory Development
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Yale University School of Nursing: Center for Self and Family Management for Vulnerable Populations. T32NR008346
Torossian, M. & Jacelon, C (In review). Chronic Illnesses and Fatigue in Older Individuals: A Literature Review. Research in Gerontological Nursing
Poudel-Tanduker K, Jacelon CS, Chandler, G, Gautam B, Palmer P (2019). Sociocultural perceptions and enablers to seeking mental health support among Bhutanese Refugees in western Massachusetts. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 39(3): 135-145
Poudel-Tandukar K, Chandler GE, Jacelon CS, Gautam B, Bertone-Johnson ER, Hollon SD. (2019). Resilience and anxiety or depression among resettled Bhutanese in the United States. International Journal of Social Psychiatry 20764019862312. doi: 10.1177/0020764019862312.
Guo, Q; Zheng, R; Jacelon, CS, McClement, S; Thompson, G; & Chochinov, HM (In Press). Dignity of the patient-family unit: further understanding in hospice palliative care. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.
Geryk, T; Jacelon, CS; LeBlanc, R; Choi, J (2019). Self-management After Hospitalization. International Journal of Older People Nursing. e12257. doi: 10.1111/opn.12257.
Hickey, KT; Austin, JK; Bailey, DE; Bakken, S; Byrne, MW; Demiris, G;…; Jacelon, CS; …; Grady, PA. (2019) Precision health: Advancing symptom & self-management science. Nursing Outlook
Rodgers, B; Jacelon, CS; Knafl, K (2018). Concept analysis and the advance of nursing knowledge: State of the science. Journal of Nursing Scholarship 50(4): 451-459. DOI: 10.1111/jnu.12386
LeBlanc, R; Jacelon, CS (2018). Self-care among older adults living with chronic conditions. International Journal of Nursing Care of Older People
Jacelon, CS; LeBlanc, R; Alkhawaldeh, M; Ridgway, JVER; Marquard, J; Choi, J (2018). Developing ASSISTwell, a Tablet Application to Support Older Adult’s Self-management of Symptoms of Chronic Conditions. Gerontechnology: 17(1)
Granger, J; Dundon, E; Jacelon, C (2017). A Grounded Theory Study of Social Processes that Influence a Child being Overweight in Bangkok. Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, Apr-Jun2017; 21(2): 108-120. 13p. (Article) ISSN: 1906-8107
Poudel-Tandukar K, Jacelon CS, Bertone-Johnson ER, Palmer PH, Poudel KC. (2017). Serum albumin concentrations and depression in persons with Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection: a cross-sectional study. Journal of Psychosomatic Research: 101: 38-43
Johnson, JA.; Cavanagh, S.; Jacelon, CS; Chasen-Taber, L. (2017). The diabetes disparity and Puerto Rican identified individuals. The Diabetes Educator 43(2): 1530162.
Choi, J.; Jacelon, CS; Kalmakis, K. (2016). Web-based, Pictograph-formatted discharge instructions for low-literacy older adults after hip-replacement surgery: Findings and end-user evaluations of the website. Rehabil Nurs. 2016 Apr 7. doi: 10.1002/rnj.274. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 27061209
Poudel-Tandukar, K.; Jacelon, CS.; Bertone-Johnson, ER.; Palmer, PH.; Poudel, KC (2016). Serum zinc concentrations and depression in persons with Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection: The positive living with HIV (POLH) Study Journal of Affective Disorders. Psychiatry Res. 2016 Jul 30; 241:340-6. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.05.021. Epub 2016 May 16. PMID: 272551
Jacelon, CS; Gibbs, MA; Ridgway, JVE (2016). Computer Technology for Self-Management: A Scoping Review. Journal of Clinical Nursing: 25(9/10):1179-1192. ISSN: 0962-1067.
Vaughn S, Mauk KL, Jacelon CS, Larsen PD, Rye J, Wintersgill W, Cave CE, Dufresne D. (2016) The Competency Model for Professional Rehabilitation Nursing. Rehabil Nurs. 2016 Jan-Feb;41(1):33-44. doi: 10.1002/rnj.225. Epub 2015 Sep 23. PMID: 26395123
Radhakrishnan, K.; Xie B.; Jacelon, CS (2016). Unsustainable Home Telehealth: A Texas Qualitative Study. Gerontologist. 56(5):830-40. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnv050.
Jacelon, CS; Macdonald, B; & Fitzgerald, F. (2015). Reducing the Rate of Re-hospitalization from Post Acute Care: A Quality Improvement Project. Rehabilitation Nursing Journal: 40 (1) 12-19
Jacelon, CS (2014). Strategies Used by Older Adults to Maintain or Restore Attributed Dignity. Research in Gerontological Nursing: 7(6): 273-283.
Jacelon, CS & Henneman, EA (2014). Dignity in the older critically ill adult: The family member's perspective. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care: 43(5): 432-436.
Guo, Q & Jacelon, CS (2014). An integrative review of dignity in end-of-life care. Palliative Medicine: 28(7):931-40.
Jacelon, CS & Choi, J. (2014). Evaluating the Psychometric Properties of the Attributed Dignity Scale. Journal of Advanced Nursing: 70(9): 2149-61
Contact Info

College of Nursing
126 Skinner Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9292