The University of Massachusetts Amherst

2000s PhD Dissertations

2009 Dissertations

Scholar: Susan A Bonis

Dissertation Title: Contentment in "Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey through Autism": A Humanbecoming Hermeneutic Study

Purpose: The aims of this humanbecoming hermeneutic study were to identify the essence of the experience of contentment, to contribute to knowledge about humanbecoming, and to contribute to the knowledge base of nursing. 

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Scholar: Deborah Rosenbloom-Brunton, Nursing

Dissertation Title: Feasibility of Family Participation in a Delirium Prevention Program for the Older Hospitalized Adult

Purpose: To examine the feasibility of family participation in a nurse-supported, multicomponent intervention program for delirium prevention in the older hospitalized adult.

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2008 Dissertations

Scholar: Priscilla K Gazarian

Dissertation Title: Nurse Decision Making and the Prevention of Adverse Events

Purpose: This study describes the cues and factors that influence the decision making process used by nurses when identifying and interrupting a potential adverse event in the acute care setting. The adverse event of interest was preventable in-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest.

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Scholar: Karen A Kalmakis

Dissertation Title: The Cycle of Substance Misuse and Victimization

Purpose: The primary aim of this qualitative research study was to explore women's experiences of sexual assault while under the influence of a substance. The secondary aim was to learn about women's experiences with sexual assault services, specifically sexual assault nurse examiners.

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Scholar: Sheree Loftus Fader

Dissertation Title: Qi Gong Exercise to Improve Balance for Parkinson Fall Prevention

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of Qi Gong exercise on balance and falls for individuals with Parkinson disease.

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2007 Dissertations

Scholar: Jean Evelyn Pelski

Dissertation Title: Maternal Prenatal Attachment in Women Who Conceive through In Vitro Fertilization

Purpose: This study explored whether prenatal attachment differed in women who conceived through IVF with their own eggs versus those who conceived with donor eggs and whether source of eggs, number of treatment cycles, anxiety and social support in pregnancy were predictive of prenatal attachment in this population of women.

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Scholar: Joanne Goodman Samuels

Dissertation Title: Pain Management Documentation: The Effects of the Perception of the Practice Environment and Clinical Expertise

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the contribution of individual nurses' perceptions of their practice environments and their clinical expertise to their pain management documentation in the surgical population.

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Scholar: Nicharee Thiemklin

Dissertation Title: Partcipatory Action Research among Thai Women and Girls Involved in Prostitution

Purpose: This study of participatory action research (PAR) among Thai women and girls involved in sex trafficking and prostitution demonstrates ways to: (1) educate women and girls; (2) empower women and girls through the process of reconstructing and using their own life experiences; (3) generate a body of popular knowledge and action plans derived from their own experience which is more relevant to the problem solutions; and (4) raise their consciousness as of the process outcome in order to improve in their lives.

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2006 Dissertations

Scholar: Kristal Imperio

Dissertation Title: Transcendence in Succesful Aging: A Grounded Theory of Older Women's Strategies to Age Successfully

Purpose: In the present study, grounded theory methods were used to discover their subjective meaning of successful aging and the strategies older women use to age successfully.

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Scholar: Jan-Louise Leonard

Dissertation Title: The Role of Professional Nursing in the Origin of the Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act of 1996 from a Feminist Perspective, 1981-1996

Purpose: This social historiography tells the story of the origin of the Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act of 1996.

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2005 Dissertations

Scholar: Chun-Ying Chiang

Dissertation Title: The Effects of a Walking Program on Older Chinese American Immigrants with Hypertension

Purpose: This study examined the effects of a walking program with and without cultural modification among older Chinese American immigrants with hypertension.

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Scholar: Kathryn A Proulx

Dissertation Title: Recovery from Bulimia Nervosa: A Transformational Journey to the Sacred Space Within

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand how college-age women with bulimia nervosa experienced participation in a mindfulness-based eating disorder treatment group (M-BED Group).

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2004 Dissertations

Scholar: Patricia M Bruckenthal

Dissertation Title: Practitioner Characteristics Associated with Psychosocial Care for Patients with Fibromyaglia

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore these specific practitioner characteristics and their relationship to the adoption of a psychosocial approach to care for patients with FMS.

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Scholar: Debra A Jeffs

Dissertation Title: Self-selected Distraction for Acute Procedural Pain in Adolescents: An Intervention Feasibility Study

Purpose: This feasibility study evaluated all phases of the planned main study. The study tested the effect of self-selected distraction on acute pain perception in adolescents undergoing allergy skin testing. 

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Scholar: Karen M Plotkin

Dissertation Title: Stolen Adolescence: The Experience of Adolescent Girls with Endometriosis

Purpose: This study explored the experience of 16 adolescent girls, ages 15 to 19, living with endometriosis.

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Scholar: Yadira Regueira

Dissertation Title: Health Impact of Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse among Puerto Rican Women Living in Shelters in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Purpose: This research study used a descriptive-exploratory design to examine the health effects of intimate partner violence and abuse among 60 Puerto Rican women living in shelters located across the island. The purpose of the study was to examine the perceived health effects of intimate partner violence and abuse on the lives of these abused Puerto Rican women.

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Scholar: Joan P Roche

Dissertation Title: Work Empowerment, Work Relationships and Expertise in Experienced Acute Care Nurses

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between work empowerment, work relationships and level of nursing expertise in experienced acute care nurses.

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Scholar: Marilyn S Stapleton

Dissertation Title: Predictors of Capacity to Direct Attention in Cardiac Surgery Patients

Purpose: The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to examine the relationship between psychologic, physiologic and situational factors and the extent to which these impact a cardiac surgery patient's capacity to direct attention.

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2003 Dissertations

Scholar: Thomas William Connelly

Dissertation Title: Family Functioning, Hope, and Quality of Life of School-age Children with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Purpose: The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to examine the relationship between family functioning, hope, and quality of life in school-age children with JRA. Sixty-eight children, eight to twelve years of age, with a diagnosis of JRA and their parents were recruited for the study.

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Scholar: Corrine Yvonne Jurgens

Dissertation Title: Somatic Awareness, Uncertainty, and Delay in Care-seeking in Acute Heart Failure

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore factors affecting symptom awareness and recognition on delay in care-seeking in patients with acute heart failure.

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Scholar: Margaret Saul Laccetti

Dissertation Title: Building a Story: Word Patterns in Writing and Quality of Life in Women with Advanced Breast Cancer

Purpose: he purpose of this secondary analysis was to explore the relationship between patterns of language used in EW texts and QOL in women with metastatic breast cancer.

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Scholar: Hung-Ru Lin

Dissertation Title: One Thousand Words of Luck: Narratives and Analysis of U.S. Resident Chinese Immigrants with Metastatic Cancer

Purpose: This qualitative study explored how U.S. resident Chinese immigrants with metastatic cancer search for meaning at the end of their lives.

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2002 Dissertations

Scholar: Jean Ellen Boucher

Dissertation Title: Telephone Intervention: Hope for Cancer Patients

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a nurse telephone intervention to maintain hope and reduce symptom distress in chemotherapy patients.

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Scholar: Sandra A Founds

Dissertation Title: Effect of Maternal Posture on Breech Presentation in Pregnancy

Purpose: This randomized clinical trial investigated whether knee-chest posture is associated with a higher proportion of breech infants converting to cephalic presentation during pregnancy.

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Scholar: Deborah Jean Kenny

Dissertation Title: Research Utilization of Registered Nurses in US Army Hospitals

Purpose: The use of research findings in clinical nursing practice has been studied extensively in civilian institutions or with civilian nurses. However, little research utilization study has been done in US military facilities.

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Scholar: Virginia Marie Fidrocki Mason

Dissertation Title: Cardiac Rehabilitation, Home-walking, Health Status, and Self-efficacy

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine whether cardiac rehabilitation or home-walking with or without nurse telephone support will affect cardiac recovery.

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Scholar: Susan Skier Sawyer

Dissertation Title: Factors Affecting the School Nurse's Role in Effectively Managing the Child with Asthma

Purpose: This study uses a descriptive survey design to describe and examine the relationship among school nurses' level of education, years of experience, knowledge of asthma and identification of the school nurse's level of proficiency based on Benner's (1984) model of Novice to Expert.

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2001 Dissertations

Scholar: Cathy Elizabeth Boni

Dissertation Title: Accountability in Nurses Who Practice in Three Different Nursing Care Delivery Models

Purpose: Employing Donabedian's conceptualization of structure, process, and outcome as a theoretical framework, this study used a comparative survey design to describe and compare relationships between perceived nurse accountability and three different nursing care delivery models—team nursing, primary nursing and patient-focused care.

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Scholar: Patricia A Ottani

Dissertation Title: Birth in an Unfamiliar Culture: The Lived Experience

Purpose: This investigation seeks a greater understanding of the out-of-culture birth experience from the perspective of Cambodian mothers in the United States.

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Scholar: Deborah A Rastinehad

Dissertation Title: Pressure Ulcer Pain: A Heideggerian Hermeneutic Analysis

Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe and interpret the complexities of the pain experience associated pressure ulcers in the context of the lived experience of people with painful pressure ulcers.

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Scholar: Maria Ann Rosen

Dissertation Title: Effects of Guided Imagery on Dyspnea, Medication Usage, Airway Obstruction, and Human Field Image in Children with Asthma

Purpose: This quasi-experimental study investigated the effects of guided imagery on the perception of dyspnea, medication usage, pulmonary function tests, and human field image in children with asthma.

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Scholar: Annmarie Donahue Samar

Dissertation Title: The Relationship among Emotional Intelligence, Self-management and Glycemic Control in Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes

Purpose: This dissertation research examined the relationship among emotional intelligence, self-management, and glycemic control in adults with type 1 diabetes.

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Scholar: Paulette Ann Seymour Route

Dissertation Title: Patients' Expected and Actual Functional Status after Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine coronary artery disease (CAD) patients' expectations regarding the effect of surgery on their postoperative functional status.

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2000 Dissertations

Scholar: Magda S Bechar

Dissertation Title: Contextual Aspects of Adolescent Sexual Behavior

Purpose: This study of the contextual aspects of adolescent girls, sexual behavior examines the role of choice by adolescent girls, regarding their first time ever sex. In addition the study explores the factors that contribute to girls, choice to have sex for the first time.

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Scholar: Jacqueline Sue Dowling

Dissertation Title: Sense of Humor, Childhood Cancer Stressors, and Outcomes of Psychosocial Adjustment, Immune Function, and Infection

Purpose: This study investigated the moderating effect of sense of humor on the relationship between cancer stressors and children's psychosocial adjustment to cancer, immune function, and infection.

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Scholar: Sharon Ann George

Dissertation Title: The Menopause Experience: A Woman's Perspective

Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study is to Understand the complexities of the human experience of menopause in American women from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The research question is “What is the meaning of menopause as experienced by American women?”

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Scholar: Rosemary Theroux

Dissertation Title: Bypassing the Middleman: A Grounded Theory of Women's Self-care for Vaginal Symptoms

Purpose: This research generated theory related to women's self-treatment of vaginal symptoms utilizing the grounded theory method.

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