The University of Massachusetts Amherst

2018 Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Projects

Scholar: Lucy Ankrah

Project Title: Using a Professional Language Interpreter During Discharge to Promote Self-Care Management for Spanish-Speaking Patients with Congestive Heart Failure: A Quality Improvement Project

Purpose: The overarching goal of this DNP project was to improve lifestyle management of Spanish-speaking congestive heart failure (CHF) patients and to reduce their 30-day readmission rate. The intent of the project was to improve patients’ understanding of CHF exacerbation, medications, and discharge instructions geared to increase home self-management and reduce recidivism.

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Scholar: Matthew Bock

Project Title: Medication Reconciliation in an Ambulatory Care Community Mental Health Practice

Purpose: To improve medication safety among behavioral health patients at a community-based outpatient psychiatric practice in Western Massachusetts through implementation of an evidence-based medication reconciliation protocol.

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Scholar: Tara Boyd

Project Title: Pediatric Primary Care Providers and Postpartum Depression: Educating Providers About the Importance of Regular Screening, Referrals and Follow-up

Purpose:  This quality improvement project aimed to educate pediatric providers about the importance of screening regularly and how to facilitate follow-up care for those who screen positive for postpartum depression.

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Scholar: Aleksandrya Bracey-Asiedu

Project Title: Hypertensive Management for African American Patients

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project was to assess provider knowledge related to established guidelines from the Joint National Committee (JNC) on hypertension management, as well as their knowledge of the side effects of ACE-I for African American patients.

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Scholar: Michele Broskey

Project Title: Hepatitis C Virus Education for Nurse Practitioners in Primary Care

Purpose: The object of this Quality Improvement (QI) project was to appraise the effectiveness of a web-based education resource for APN’s knowledge of HCV recommendations.

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Scholar: Kristen Burke

Project Title: Improving Patient Discharge Satisfaction Scores by Implementing Teach-Back Instructions in a Community Hospital Emergency Department (ED): A Quality Improvement Project

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to increase patient satisfaction scores by implementing the evidenced-based, patient-centered, teach-back method for all patient education opportunities.

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Scholar: Mary Ellen Burke

Project Title: Stop the Stigma! Eliminating Implicit and Explicit Bias Toward Adult Obese Women Receiving Gynecological Care: A Quality Improvement Project to Cultivate Empathy and Increase Knowledge of Best Practices

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to improve the quality of care and empathy toward obese women by health care providers in an OB/GYN practice through education about the experiences of obese women who receive healthcare and provision of resources within OB/GYN practices.

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Scholar: Araceli Carrera

Project Title: Implementation of the State Avoidable Rehospitalizations (STAAR) Initiative in a NP-led Transitional-Care Program to Reduce Readmission Rates and to Provide Safe Transitional Care in Post-Cardiac Surgery Patients:A Quality Improvement Project

Purpose: This Quality Improvement project explored the impact of applying the STAAR initiative to reduce unplanned readmissions, and to provide safe transitional care in post-cardiac surgery patients. 

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Scholar: Erin Chaney

Project Title: Managing Patients at High-risk for Breast Cancer: An eLearning Module for Primary Care Providers

Purpose: This project focused on the development of education for providers, specifically an eLearning module, to help translate guidelines into practice.

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Scholar: Alexandra Christodoulou

Project Title: Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Treat Insomnia in Adults

Purpose: The purpose of this quality intervention project was to improve DNP and Psych NP students’ education about using CBT and SHUTi, an online CBT program to treat insomnia among the adult patient population.

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Scholar: Brandy Cloud

Project Title: Care Team Utilization of the GINA Guidelines to Improve Quality of Pediatric Asthma Care

Purpose: Asthma is a chronic condition that affects millions of people, many of whom are children. There is a significant amount of evidence detailing best evidence step-by-step treatments based on severity, yet many children still have uncontrolled asthma. The comprehensive management of asthma is essential to improve health outcomes for children with asthma.

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Scholar: Laura E. Clubb

Project Title: Educating Health Care Professionals to Improve Communication in Advance Care Planning

Purpose: The goal and expected outcome of this DNP project was to increase providers’ self-reported preparedness and comfort levels by 50% when discussing advance care planning (ACP) and end of life wishes with patients.

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Scholar: Eileen Damante

Project Title: Community-Based Tuberculosis Education For Filipino Americans in New York City: A Research Translation Project

Purpose:  The goal of this research translation project was to improve knowledge of TB among Filipino Americans in NYC by providing community-based TB education.

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Scholar: Kirstin Drake

Project Title: Alzheimer’s Dementia Screening in Primary Care: Quality Improvement Project to Identify Those at Risk

Purpose: To identify individuals at risk for AD and initiate early treatment and intervention.

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Scholar: Jennelyn Fraser-Johnson

Project Title: Evidence-Based Interventions: Improving Influenza Vaccination Rate Among Health Care Workers (HCWs) Targeting Direct Care-Givers

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was, to educate and increase HCWs awareness of the impact of influenza, remove barriers to taking the vaccine, consequently improving vaccination rate.

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Scholar: Meghan J. Hession

Project Title: Best Practice Medication Reconciliation in the Outpatient Setting

Purpose: To improve consistency of medication reconciliation in this high-risk outpatient setting.

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Scholar: Tiesha Johnson

Project Title: Development and Evaluation of an Emergency Department-Based Nurse Practitioner Care Delivery Model

Purpose: To introduce the evidence- based advanced nursing practice model to ED professionals and staff for feedback and evaluation of an ED-based Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner care delivery model for the acute care of psychiatric patients.

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ScholarJudith Karimi

Project Title: Screening for Major Depression in Elderly Primary Care Patients Using the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2)

Purpose: The goal of this quality improvement project was to increase depression screening rates in an outpatient primary care setting in Upstate New York.

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Scholar: Sarah Kells

Project Title: Introducing Screening for Family Risks in Young Children in Primary Care

Purpose: The Survey of Well-being of Young Children (SWYC) as a screening instrument was developed to address perceived barriers and standardize physiological, psychosocial and family risks screening in primary care to identify those who would benefit most from early intervention.

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Scholar: Kattie Khadar

Project Title: Reducing Delays in Sexually Transmitted Infections(STI) Treatment: A Quality Improvement Project to Improve Timely Communication Among Providers and Patients

Purpose: To use a nurse-communication intervention for timely provider notification of abnormal chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis infections, to reduce delays in treatment at a large Northeastern United States hospital.

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Scholar: Avesta M. Khursand

Project Title: Adolescent Depression Prevention Toolkit

Purpose: The prevalence of depression in the adolescent population is on the rise. Currently, treatment for depression is provided mostly in clinical settings, when patients are in the acute phase of the mental illness. This type of treatment does not have preventative value to address this pandemic of depression. Prevention methods in the school settings have proven to be effective if done using evidence based guidelines.

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Scholar: Michael McCloskey

Project Title: Improving Awareness of Borderline Personality Disorder in Primary Care

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to increase the awareness of primary care Nurse Practitioners (NPs) about BPD in order to increase their knowledge about BPD and provide continuity of care in a primary care setting for patients with this disorder.

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Scholar: Kathleen Miller

Project Title: Increasing Annual Influenza Vaccination Rates through Primary Prevention Strategies Among Health Care Workers in a Psychiatric Long-term Care Facility: An Evidence-based Approach

Purpose: This research translation project examined the effects of evidence-based primary prevention strategies of personalized education and mentoring on increasing vaccine compliance among 105 HCWs in a long-term forensic psychiatric facility.

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Scholar: Cheri Monette

Project Title: Shared Medical Appointments: An Intervention for Diabetes Management

Purpose: This project evaluated biophysical outcomes and self-efficacy among a group of primary care patients with uncontrolled diabetes who attended a pilot SMA intervention.

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Scholar: Teri Murtha

Project Title: Screening Adults with Substance Use Disorder for Adverse Childhood Experiences

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness and feasibility of a screening interview protocol for ACEs and to determine the presence of ACEs among individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) who participate in an intensive outpatient program.

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Scholar: Christine Ndissi

Project Title: A Quality Improvement (QI) Project to Reduce Emergency Department (ED) Readmissions Among Patients with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Through Utilization of Interpretive Services by Healthcare Providers

Purpose: The purpose of this DNP quality improvement (QI) project is to evaluate the standards of care and examine factors that contribute to underutilization of interpretive services for patients with LEP who seek care at the ED to reduce ED Recidivism, improve discharge instructions, and increase patient satisfaction.

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Scholar: Lindsay Novacek

Project Title: Measuring the Impact: A RE-AIM Framework for Evaluation of a Needle Exchange Program

Purpose: To perform stage 1 of an evaluation of a needle exchange program in North Carolina by utilizing a public health framework: the Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM).

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Scholar: Lorena Paul

Project Title: Critical Choices Conversation Pilot Project

Purpose: Advance care planning (ACP) and advance directives (AD) inform the provision of health care that aligns with clients’ goals and wishes. Less than 30% of female cancer care clients presented AD when admitted for care to a Magnet® designated hospital located in the Southwest United States (U.S.).

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Scholar: Logan Pearl

Project Title: Increasing Provider Competency: A Quality Improvement Project Applying Best Practice Protocol for Contraception Counseling and LARC Insertion to Females of Reproductive Age in Primary Care

Purpose: The purpose of the QI project was to investigate and create best-evidence protocols for counseling patients to select the most effective forms of contraception and to educate primary care providers in proper insertion techniques for IUDs.

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Scholar: Caitlin Pettengill

Project Title: A Toolkit to Assist Massachusetts School Nurses Start Elementary School Substance Use Prevention Education Programs

Purpose: Massachusetts currently only mandates fifth-twelfth grade substance use prevention. Literature states it is counter productive to wait until the adolescent years to initiate substance use prevention due to the adolescent developmental stage of social conformity. Starting evidence-based substance use prevention education in early elementary school will arm children with the knowledge and confidence they need to make healthy choices and reduce future high school drug rates.

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Scholar: Erin Amelia Roth

Project Title: Improving Patients' Understanding of their Electronic Medical Record Data in Order to Improve Self-Management - A Quality Improvement Project

Purpose: To work on a translation system developed by the University of Massachusetts Informatics group to make outpatient records more understandable for adult patients with chronic disease by using and testing a machine-learning database (NoteAid). Patients’ self-management of chronic disease may improve, as they increase their understanding of medical terminology.

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Scholar: Annie Samuel

Project Title: A Quality Improvement Project to Improve Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Screening in Asian Americans Using Body Mass Index Cut Point of 23

Purpose: Asian Americans are at a higher risk for Type II Diabetes than other groups and disproportionately develop Type II Diabetes Mellitus at younger ages, although having a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) compared to non-Hispanic whites.

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Scholar: Erin Sheehan

Project Title: A Quality Improvement Project for Co-occurring Disorders in Outpatient Behavioral Health

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to provide clinicians with education and to improve the process for screening patients with mental health disorders for problematic drinking behaviors to implement recommended interventions when appropriate to improve the overall quality of the patient’s care and increase the clinician’s knowledge and confidence in treating co-occurring disorders.

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Scholar: Chiara Simonini

Project Title: Screening for Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) in Veterans: A Quality Improvement Project to Change the Identification and Referral Process in Primary Care Providers

Purpose: The goal of this quality improvement project is to improve TBI screening process offered to veterans by healthcare workers and providers in an outpatient VA clinic in the northeast.

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Scholar: Alexandra Steeves

Project Title: Reducing Readmissions in Bipolar Patients with Discharge Interventions

Purpose: The purpose of this DNP project was to evaluatea discharge protocol with interventions to improve the process of discharge from the in-patient setting and transition the patient into the community.

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Scholar: Katarzyna Swistak

Project Title: Improving Blood Pressure Control Among Hispanic Patient Population by Enhancing Providers' Attention to Culturally Competent Solutions Aimed at Increasing Self-Care and Treatment Adherence At and Post Hospital Discharge: A Quality Improvement Project

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project was to determine if a culturally sensitive, multifaceted intervention focused on promotion of hypertension awareness and self- management strategies increases treatment compliance and blood pressure control among Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Hispanics.

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Scholar: Jennifer Taylor

Project Title: Center Based Help for Elder Depression and Emotional Reinforcement (CHEER)

Purpose: The aim of this project was to decrease depression of those socially isolated, and/or homebound seniors, through behavioral activation by using CHEER and emotional support, along with bridging access to programs and the needs of seniors in the community.

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Scholar: Olive Watson

Project Title: Early screening for Alzheimer's disease in Persons of the African Diaspora

Purpose: The Beat Alzheimer’s Disease by Knowing your Risk and Early Detection initiative was designed to pilot test the self-created pre/posttests and evaluation tool (Watson, 2017) used to educate African Americans about risk factors, the importance of early screening, and the detection of cognitive impairment.

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Scholar: Gretchen York

Project Title: Provider Education: Palliative Care Scope of Practice & Communication Techniques

Purpose: The following toolkit identifies current tools and approaches designed to guide providers in identifying which patients should be referred to palliative care. The current gaps in research are evaluated, highlighting the areas in which interventions for the recognition of patient populations who might benefit from palliative care services are lacking.

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Scholar: Margaret Young

Project Title: The Implementation of Mindfulness Training with Nursing Students to Decrease Stress and Improve Attentiveness and Awareness

Purpose: This project was the implementation of mindfulness training for undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students to decrease perceived stress and increase their awareness and attention though mindfulness.

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Scholar: Stephen Zombil

Project Title: Identify Adolescent Opioid Users and Provide Brief Multi-Contact Counseling: A Pilot Quality Improvement Project Guided by Prochaska’s Behavioral Change Model

Purpose: The purpose of this pilot quality improvement project was to encourage behavioral change in adolescents identified as opioid users, by using a brief multi-contact counselling intervention integrating motivational interview (MI) techniques guided by Prochaska’s six stages of Behavioral Change Model.

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