R.K. Elswick, Jr., Ph.D., NREMT-BProfessor
Department of Family and Community Health Nursing
1100 East Leigh Street, Room 4010H
PO Box 980567
Richmond, VA 23298-0567
"By a small sample, we may judge of the whole piece." Miguel de Cervantes from Don Quixote
Dr. Elswick has been teaching graduate statistics courses for more than 30 years. However, his real passion is to find the most efficient and compelling way to teach statistics to non-statisticians His approach to teaching statistics is guided by the adage, "You should not have to take the car apart to be able to drive the car". With Dr. Elswick’s approach, the student is presented with current “real life” data and an interesting research question at the beginning of every lecture followed by the presentation of the appropriate statistical test to answer the research question. Any important background statistical material is presented only as needed as the semester progresses. Easy to use statistics software (JMP) is used to explore the data and guide the user to the correct inference. All lectures present the topic with a minimum of mathematics with an emphasis on data interpretation, test assumptions, and interpretation of statistical output.
Derived from more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Elswick has expertise in the design and analysis of clinical experiments. Specifically, he has expertise in power analysis, longitudinal data analysis, mixed model methodology and crossover experiments. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 refereed manuscripts. Dr. Elswick has served in key positions in more than 20 federally funded grants including as Coordinator of Data Services in the P20 Exploratory/Development Center (McCain PI) and as Director of the Data Services and Analysis Core in the VCU SON Center of Excellence (Grap PI).
Dr. Elswick serves on various School of Nursing and VCU Hospital System committees. In addition, he serves as Statistical Editor for the journal Cancer Nursing. Apart from his academic service, Dr. Elswick serves as the President of Cumberland Volunteer Rescue Squad and leads a yearly medical mission to El Salvador.
- Ph.D., Biostatistics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
- B.S., Mathematics and Statistics, Radford University, Radford, Virginia
Major Research Funding (selected since 2000)
- Co-investigator, Project Heart: Health, Epigenetics and Resilience in Teens and Moms, Jo Robins, P.I., Virginia Commonwealth University, CCTR Endowment Fund, 2016 - 2017.
- Co-investigator, Improving Symptom Self-Management in Adolescents & Young Adults with Cancer, Suzanne Ameringer, P.I., St. Baldricks Foundation, 2016 – 2017.
- Co-investigator, Subjective Responses and Metabolic State During Exercise in Sickle Cell Anemia, Suzanne Ameringer P.I., Virginia Commonwealth University, (NINR #R21), 2015 - 2017.
- Co-investigator, Pain Sensitivity in Low Back Pain, Angela Starkweather P.I., Virginia Commonwealth University, (NINR #R01), 2013 – 2016.
- Co-investigator and Biostatistician, Managing Acute Pain in Critically Ill Non-communicative Palliative Care Patients, McGuire/Shanholtz (MPI), (NINR #R01), 2012 – 2016.
- Co-investigator, Exhaled Biomarkers of Pulmonary Infection in the Critically Ill, Alison Montpetit, P.I., Virginia Commonwealth University, (NINR # R00), 2012 – 2015.
- Co-investigator, Neuronal Cell Function, Lynne Elmore, P.I., Virginia Commonwealth University, Presidential Research Incentive Program Award, 2011 – 2012.
- Collaborator, Glial Activation and Depressive Symptoms in Patients with a Primary Malignant Brain Tumor, Angela Starkweather, P.I., Virginia Commonwealth University, American Brain Tumor Foundation/Oncology Nurses Foundation, 2010 – 2012.
- Collaborator, Depressive Symptoms and Cytokines in Patients with a Primary Malignant Brain Tumor, Angela Starkweather, P.I., Virginia Commonwealth University, American Nurses Foundation/Southern Nursing Research Society, 2010 – 2011.
- Co-investigator, Epigenetics and Psychoneurologic Symptoms in Women with Breast Cancer, Debra Lyon & Colleen Cook, M.P.I., (NCI #R01), 2010 – 2014.
- Co-investigator, Cranial Stimulation for Chemotherapy Symptoms in Breast Cancer, Debra Lyon, P.I., (NCI #R01), 2009 – 2014.
- Core Director, Center of Excellence in Biobehavioral Approaches to Symptom Management, Dr. Mary Jo Grap, P.I., (NINR #P30), 2009 – 2014.
- Co-investigator, Oral Care Intervention in Mechanically Ventilated Adults, Cindy Munro, P.I., (NINR #R01), 2009 – 2012.
- Co-investigator, A Peri-intubation Intervention to Reduce Oral Flora and VAP, Dr. Mary Jo Grap (P.I.), (Tri-Service Nursing Research Grant), 2005 – 2008.
- Coordinator, Data Services, Center for Biobehavioral Clinical Research, Dr. Nancy McCain (P.I.), (NINR #P20), 2004 – 2009.
- Co-investigator, PNI-based Stress Management in Early Breast Cancer, Dr. Nancy McCain (P.I.), (NCI, R01), 2004 – 2009.
- Co-investigator, Alternative Stress Management Approaches in HIV Disease, Dr. Nancy McCain (P.I.), (NCNR), 2000 – 2005.
- Consultant, Back Rest Position and Oral Health: Effect on Ventilator Associated Pneumonia, Dr. Mary Jo Grap (P.I.), (NCNR R01), 1998 – 2000.
Awards & Honors (selected since 2000)
- Journal of Pediatric Oncology writing Award, JOPON, 2014.
- Sessler CN, Grap MJ, Brophy GM, Elswick RK. “Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale (RASS)”. Copyright. Registration number TX 7-616-498, Oct 31, 2012.
- Judson C. Hickey Scientific Writing Award, Dental Research Category, Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, 2011
- Outstanding Teacher Award, Department of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2007 – 2008
- Outstanding Teaching Award, Department of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2008
- Faculty Research Achievement Award, Department of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2005
- Outstanding Teacher Award, Department of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2001 – 2002
- Outstanding Teacher Award, Population Medicine Course, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1999 – 2000
Publications (selected since 2000)
- Ameringer S, Elswick RK Jr, Menzies V, Robins JL, Starkweather A, Walter J, Jallo N. Psychometric Evaluation of the PROMIS Fatigue-Short Form across Diverse Populations. Nursing Research. (in press).
- Starkweather AR, Lyon DE, Kinser P, Heineman A, Sturgill JL, Den, X, Siangphoe U, Elswick RK, Greenspan J, Dorsey SG. Comparison of low back pain recovery and persistence: A descriptive study of characteristics at pain onset. Biological Research for Nursing. (in press).
- Starkweather AR, Ramesh R, Lyon DE, Siangphorn U , Deng X, Sturgill J, Heineman A, Elswick RK, Dorsey SG, Greenspan J. Acute low back pain: Differential somatosensory function and gene expression compared to healthy no-pain controls. Clinical Journal of Pain. (in press).
- Filler K, Lyon D, McCain N, Bennett J Jr, Fernández-Martínez JL, deAndrés-Galiana EJ, Elswick RK Jr, Lukkahatai N, Saligan L. Relationship of Mitochondrial Enzymes to Fatigue Intensity in Men With Prostate Cancer Receiving External Beam Radiation Therapy. Biol Res Nurs. 2015 Nov 18. pii: 1099800415617848. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26584846.
- Jallo N, Svikis DS, Masho S, Elswick RK, Price SK, Kinser PA. Prevalence and Predictors of Depressive Symptoms in Pregnant African American Women. Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 2015 36:860–869.
- Arif Rahu M, Grap MJ, Ferguson P, Joseph P, Sherman S, Elswick RK Jr. Validity and Sensitivity of 6 Pain Scales in Critically Ill, Intubated Adults. Am J Crit Care. 2015 November. 24:514-523; doi:10.4037/ajcc2015832.
- Robins JL, Elswick RK Jr, Sturgill J, McCain NL. The Effects of Tai Chi on Cardiovascular Risk in Women. Am J Health Promot. 2015 Aug 25. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26305613.
- Lynch Kelly D, Lyon DE, Ameringer SA, Elswick RK. Symptoms, Cytokines, and Quality of Life in Patients Diagnosed with Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease Following Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2015 May;42(3):265-75. doi: 10.1188/15.ONF.265-275. PubMed PMID: 25901378.
- Munro CL, Grap MJ, Sessler CN, Elswick RK Jr, Mangar D, Karlnoski-Everall R, Cairns P. Preintubation application of oral chlorhexidine does not provide additional benefit in prevention of early-onset ventilator-associated pneumonia. Chest. 2015 Feb;147(2):328-34. doi: 10.1378/chest.14-0692. PubMed PMID: 25317722; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4314813.
- Starkweather AR, Coyne P, Lyon DE, Elswick RK Jr, An K, Sturgill J. Decreased low back pain intensity and differential gene expression following Calmare®: results from a double-blinded randomized sham-controlled study. Res Nurs Health. 2015 Feb;38(1):29-38. doi: 10.1002/nur.21632. Epub 2015 Jan 8. PubMed PMID: 25572279.
- Lyon D, Kelly D, Walter J, Bear H, Thacker L, Elswick RK. Randomized sham controlled trial of cranial microcurrent stimulation for symptoms of depression, anxiety, pain, fatigue and sleep disturbances in women receiving chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer. Springerplus. 2015 Jul 23;4:369. doi: 10.1186/s40064-015-1151-z. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 26435889; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4584261.
- Aboalela N, Lyon D, Elswick RK Jr, Kelly DL, Brumelle J, Bear HD, Jackson-Cook C. Perceived Stress Levels, Chemotherapy, Radiation Treatment and Tumor Characteristics Are Associated with a Persistent Increased Frequency of Somatic Chromosomal Instability in Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer: A One Year Longitudinal Study. PLoS One. 2015 Jul 15;10(7):e0133380. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133380. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 26177092; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4503400.
- Kinser PA, Elswick RK, Kornstein S. Potential long-term effects of a mind-body intervention for women with major depressive disorder: sustained mental health improvements with a pilot yoga intervention. Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2014 Dec;28(6):377-83. doi: 10.1016/j.apnu.2014.08.014. Epub 2014 Sep 3. PubMed PMID: 25457687; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4254446.
- Lyon D, McCain N, Elswick RK, Sturgill J, Ameringer S, Jallo N, Menzies V, Robins J, Starkweather A, Walter J, Grap MJ. Biobehavioral examination of fatigue across populations: report from a P30 Center of Excellence. Nurs Outlook. 2014 Sep-Oct;62(5):322-31. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2014.06.008. Epub 2014 Jul 18. PubMed PMID: 25218081; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4290842.
- Starkweather AR, Sherwood P, Lyon DE, Bovbjerg DH, Broaddus WC, Elswick RK Jr, Sturgill J. Depressive symptoms and cytokine levels in Serum and Tumor Tissue in patients with an Astrocytoma: a pilot study. BMC Res Notes. 2014 Jul 4;7:423. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-423. PubMed PMID: 24997057; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4118281.
- Craighead DV, Elswick RK Jr. The influence of early-term birth on NICU admission, length of stay, and breastfeeding initiation and duration. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2014 Jul-Aug;43(4):409-21. doi: 10.1111/1552-6909.12472. Epub 2014 Jun 30. PubMed PMID: 24980074.
- Sawyer KN, Kurz MC, Elswick RK Jr; Virginia Commonwealth University ARCTIC Investigators. An investigation of a hypothermic to ischemic ratio in patients following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest presenting with a shockable rhythm. Ther Hypothermia Temp Manag. 2014 Jun;4(2):72-8. doi: 10.1089/ther.2013.0023. Epub 2014 Mar 28. PubMed PMID: 24679188.
- Filler K, Lyon D, Bennett J, McCain N, Elswick R, Lukkahatai N, Saligan LN. Association of Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Fatigue: A Review of the Literature. BBA Clin. 2014 Jun 1;1:12-23. PubMed PMID: 25147756; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4136529.
- Lyon D, Elmore L, Aboalela N, Merrill-Schools J, McCain N, Starkweather A, Elswick RK Jr, Jackson-Cook C. Potential epigenetic mechanism(s) associated with the persistence of psychoneurological symptoms in women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer: a hypothesis. Biol Res Nurs. 2014 Apr;16(2):160-74. doi: 10.1177/1099800413483545. Epub 2013 Apr 11. PubMed PMID: 23585573; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3872254.
- O'Neal PV, Grap MJ, Munro CL, Sessler CN, Elswick RK Jr, Sinks SZ. Subglottic secretion volume and viscosity: effect of systemic volume and oral hydration. Dynamics. 2014 Spring;25(1):19-25. PubMed PMID: 24716391.
- Menzies V, Lyon DE, Elswick RK Jr, McCain NL, Gray DP. Effects of guided imagery on biobehavioral factors in women with fibromyalgia. J Behav Med. 2014 Feb;37(1):70-80. doi: 10.1007/s10865-012-9464-7. PubMed PMID: 23124538; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3610859.
- Ameringer S, Elswick RK Jr, Smith W. Fatigue in adolescents and young adults with sickle cell disease: biological and behavioral correlates and health-related quality of life. J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2014 Jan-Feb;31(1):6-17. doi: 10.1177/1043454213514632. Epub 2013 Dec 30. PubMed PMID: 24378816; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3982311.
- Jallo N, Ruiz RJ, Elswick RK Jr, French E. Guided imagery for stress and symptom management in pregnant african american women. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:840923. doi: 10.1155/2014/840923. Epub 2014 Feb 25. PubMed PMID: 24719646; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3955623.
- Lyon D, Mohanraj L, Kelly DL, Elswick RK Jr. Health Promoting Life-Style Behaviors and Systemic Inflamma-tion in African American and Caucasian Women Prior to Chemo-therapy for Breast Cancer. Health Promot Perspect. 2014 Jul 12;4(1):18-26. doi: 10.5681/hpp.2014.003. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 25097833; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4122045.
- Fisher D, Grap MJ, Younger JB, Ameringer S, Elswick RK. Opioid withdrawal signs and symptoms in children: frequency and determinants. Heart Lung. 2013 Nov-Dec;42(6):407-13. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2013.07.008. Epub 2013 Sep 3. PubMed PMID: 24008186.
- Starkweather AR, Lyon DE, Elswick RK Jr, Montpetit A, Conley Y, McCain NL. Symptom Cluster Research in Women with Breast Cancer: A Comparison of Three Subgrouping Techniques. Adv Breast Cancer Res. 2013 Oct;2(4):107-113. PubMed PMID: 24498579; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3909650.
- Starkweather AR, Lyon DE, Elswick RK Jr, Montpetit AJ, Conley Y, McCain NL. A Conceptual Model of Psychoneurological Symptom Cluster Variation in Women with Breast Cancer: Bringing Nursing Research to Personalized Medicine. Curr Pharmacogenomics Person Med. 2013 Sep;11(3):224-230. PubMed PMID: 24497894; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3909649.
- Menzies V, Lyon DE, Elswick RK Jr, Montpetit AJ, McCain NL. Psychoneuroimmunological relationships in women with fibromyalgia. Biol Res Nurs. 2013 Apr;15(2):219-25. doi: 10.1177/1099800411424204. Epub 2011 Dec 15. PubMed PMID: 22174319; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3722552.
- McNallen AT, McCain NL, Elswick RK, Menzies V, Leszczyszyn DJ. Fatigue, sleep, and stress: dynamic relationships in fibromyalgia. Fatigue. Biomedicine, Health & Behavior. 2013; 1(1-2):64-80. doi: 10.1080/21641846.2012.741783.
- Ameringer S, Elswick RK Jr, Shockey DP, Dillon R. A pilot exploration of symptom trajectories in adolescents with cancer during chemotherapy. Cancer Nurs. 2013 Jan-Feb;36(1):60-71. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e318250da1a. PubMed PMID: 22561919; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3416951.
- Robins JL, McCain NL, Elswick RK Jr, Walter JM, Gray DP, Tuck I. Psychoneuroimmunology-Based Stress Management during Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Early Breast Cancer. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:372908. doi: 10.1155/2013/372908. Epub 2013 May 14. PubMed PMID: 23762127; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3666296.
- Robins JL, Elswick RK, McCain NL. The story of the evolution of a unique tai chi form: origins, philosophy, and research. J Holist Nurs. 2012 Sep;30(3):134-46. Epub 2012 Jan 6. PubMed PMID: 22228833; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3762493.
- Ameringer S, Munro C, Elswick RK Jr. Assessing agreement between salivary alpha amylase levels collected by passive drool and eluted filter paper in adolescents with cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2012 Jul;39(4):E317-23. doi: 10.1188/12.ONF.E317-E323. PubMed PMID: 22750901; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4049331.
- Robins JL, McCain NL, Elswick RK. Exploring the complexity of cardiometabolic risk in women. Biol Res Nurs. 2012 Apr;14(2):160-70. doi: 10.1177/1099800411398652. Epub 2011 Mar 15. PubMed PMID: 21406504; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3762497.
- Williamson S, Munro C, Pickler R, Grap MJ, Elswick RK Jr. Comparison of biomarkers in blood and saliva in healthy adults. Nurs Res Pract. 2012;2012:246178. doi: 10.1155/2012/246178. Epub 2012 Apr 30. PubMed PMID: 22619709; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3350846.
- Grap MJ, Munro CL, Hamilton VA, Elswick RK Jr, Sessler CN, Ward KR. Early, single chlorhexidine application reduces ventilator-associated pneumonia in trauma patients. Heart Lung. 2011 Sep-Oct;40(5):e115-22. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2011.01.006. Epub 2011 Mar 16. PubMed PMID: 21411151.
- Lyon DE, McCain NL, Pickler RH, Munro C, Elswick RK Jr. Advancing the biobehavioral research of fatigue with genetics and genomics. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2011 Sep;43(3):274-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2011.01406.x. Epub 2011 Jul 29. PubMed PMID: 21884373; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3934428.
- Burns DR, Unger JW, Coffey JP, Waldrop TC, Elswick RK Jr. Randomized, prospective, clinical evaluation of prosthodontic modalities for mandibular implant overdenture treatment. J Prosthet Dent. 2011 Jul;106(1):12-22. doi: 10.1016/S0022-3913(11)60088-7. PubMed PMID: 21723989.
- Haddad L, Elswick, Jr. RK, Alzyoud S. Measuring tobacco specific lung carcinogen among nonsmoking hospitality workers in Richmond VA. A preliminary evaluation of exposure before the smoking ban. Tobacco Use Insights. 2011; 4:9-16.