As a member of the graduate faculty, my areas of teaching include courses in LLU Scholars' Seminar, Nursing Science Seminar and Qualitative Research Methods.
My program of research is grounded in my clinical experience of working with family caregivers of community dwelling elders. Past investigations have been focused on understanding how use of community service programs affects family caregiver stress outcomes. The goal of my research program is to find community-based interventions that will support family caregivers as they provide long term care to their relatives. A combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods has been used in these studies.
Recent research project
"The process of placement decision-making for relatives with dementia." This project was a grounded theory study that examined the placement-decision making process with particular attention to the participation of health professionals in that decision. Funded by NIH-NINR. 2002-2007.
An estimated 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease (Alzheimer’s Association, 2010), and increasing numbers of these older persons are receiving care in their home from a family member. The viewpoint of older persons with dementia on the care they receive has been largely ignored because investigators have assumed that persons with dementia cannot provide valid and reliable feedback. The purpose of the current feasibility study is to pilot an interview guide and the interview process with a goal of assessing care preferences of cognitively impaired (Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia) elders, who live in the community and receive care from a family member. The ultimate goal is to develop an instrument to elicit the older person with dementia’s preference for in-home care that is provided by family caregivers. Pilot study planned for 2013.