This featured “Editor’s Pick” article represents one of the most important aspects of nursing scholarship – our abiding concern for the health of communities that are all too frequently ignored. Anyone who is in a situation outside of one’s zone of personal comfort faces immense challenges, but the challenge is amplified for women experiencing one of the most dramatic of life transitions – pregnancy and birth. This article, titled “Barriers and Facilitators of Social Supports for IMmigrant and Regugee Women Coping with Postpartum Depression” was authored by a team of researchers: Joyce Maureen O’Mahony, PhD, RN; Tam Truong Donnelly, PhD, RN; Shelley Raffin Bouchal PhD, RN and David Estes, PhD. Dr. O’Mahony and Dr. Donnelly (shown in the photo to the right), described their interests in this project:
Joyce O’Mahony’s experience as a community health nurse encouraged her to explore further the postpartum depression experiences of immigrant women in her doctoral research. This research study was motivated by the need to enhance opportunities for improved health through the perspectives of immigrant and refugee women in the postpartum period.
Tam Truong Donnelly’s research encompasses health and wellness of immigrants and refugees which include immigrants’ and refugees’ mental healthcare, immigrant women’s breast cancer and cervical cancer screening practices. Currently her research focuses on Arab women’s breast cancer screening, depression among cardiovascular patients, and lifestyle risk factors that contribute to chronic diseases.
A continuation of this study is necessary to design intervention strategies for postpartum depression support and health care access for immigrant women. Future research studies are planned for: a) knowledge synthesis of immigrant women’s experiences of postpartum depression in Canada; b) focused interventions of providing appropriate support and educational components for immigrant women in the perinatal period.
This research provides important implications for health care of immigrant and refugee people. Visit the ANS web site now to download a free copy of this very important article.
Carol Geary and Karen Schumacher explain some of the most vexing issues in nursing care – effective transitions for patients who move from one care setting to another. The evidence points to major issues in health care that add up to astounding costs – readmissions for Medicare patients alone add up to billions of dollars. Geary and Schumacher address this issue theoretically by proposing an integration of transitions theory and complexity science. Their work provides a new and expanded perspective that can improve outcomes for people who are transitioning from hospital to home.
Carol Geary shares this message about her work:
My research addresses care transitions from hospital to skilled nursing facilities among aging patients with advanced chronic disease. I am specifically interested in the multiple perspectives of patients, informal caregivers, and health care providers as described within this paper and suggested by viewing the phenomenon through a complexity lens.
Professionally, as an administratively focused nurse functioning both within and as a consultant to hospitals, the dynamic of care “across the continuum” intrigued me. When Dr. Sheila Ryan introduced me to complexity science in an informational interview for the PhD program in nursing at UNMC, my initial response was: “THIS changes everything.” After two years of study, I remain fascinated by the challenge of viewing the world through this new lens.
Meet Denise Drevdahl (right in the photo), with her co-author Kathleen Shannon Dorcy (left) with one of their “buddies” on the Oregon coast! Denise and Kathleen wrote the current featured article “Transitions, decisions, and regret: Order in chaos after a cancer diagnosis”. Their research explores the dilemma of entering an experimental treatment in the midst of a life-changing illness. I was particularly inspired by the closing sentences in their article: “It is not so much the ability to remain stable and unchanged that should be the goal of care encounters, rather the goal should be flexibility and responsiveness to new paths and ways to traverse the unknown terrain and transitions together. Chaos, it seems, does give us the opportunity to see the world differently.” In reflecting on their ANS article, Denise wrote:
Kathleen and I are honored that our article was selected as an Editor’s Pick for the current issue of ANS. I have had the pleasure of teaching with Dr. Shannon Dorcy since 1996 and then working with her since 2004 on the research project that generated the data for the present manuscript. It has been a collaboration that has endured over time even though we come from different clinical backgrounds and expertise (mine in community/population health; Kathleen’s in cancer and cancer research). Despite (or perhaps because) of these differences, we share many commonalities, including an abiding interest in issues of social justice, as well as an ongoing commitment to examining concerns central to nursing through “a different lens.” A prime example is Kathleen’s inspiration to use a model of epigenetics to illustrate the transitions that occur in those participating in cancer research. This line of research has generated an interest in examining how physician/researchers, research nurses, and IRB members understand the differences between research and treatment. That, along with our continuing work on bringing social justice to nursing practice, education, and research promises to keep us working together far into the future.
I just posted the Table of Contents for the September issue of ANS (Vol 35:3) on the web site! There will be 14 articles in this issue. All will be online; and about half will be in the paper volume.
The concept of transitions has been a significant focus for nursing scholars for several decades. Afaf Meleis, who has been a member of the ANS advisory board for many years, was a leader in articulating a theory of transitions for nursing. Her work has provided a foundation for many of the scholars whose work appears in this issue of the journal. These articles provide a rich range of approaches to the conceptualization of this phenomenon in a variety of settings, with several different population groups, and with important implications for practice. Taken together, the articles provide a thought-provoking collection representing the best of nursing scholarship.
Take a look at the titles that will be in this issue. Several of the articles will be published ahead of print, and available for download when they appear in the “Published Ahead of Print” section of the web site. And of course all of the articles will be available as soon as the publication date arrives – early in September 2012!