Biobehavioral Factors and Fatigue in Adolescents and Young Adults with Sickle Cell Disease
Project director: Suzanne Ameringer, Ph.D.
Project description: Research on fatigue in adolescents and young adults with sickle cell disease is limited, inhibiting early recognition and treatment. The primary aims of this cross-sectional project are to describe fatigue and examine the relationships of biobehavioral factors (inflammation, oxygenation, pain, anxiety, depressive symptoms and sleep quality) on fatigue in 50 subjects (ages 15-30) with sickle cell disease. The secondary aims of this project are to examine the relationship between fatigue and quality of life, explore the relationship of fatigue to sickle cell crisis, identify the strategies used to manage fatigue, and conduct a preliminary analysis of semi-structured interview data to develop and pilot test an intervention aimed at improving self-management of fatigue and associated symptoms in adolescents and young adults with sickle cell disease.
Guided Imagery Effects on Pregnancy Symptoms and Outcomes
Project director: Nancy Jallo, Ph.D.
Project description: Preterm birth, the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality, disproportionately affects African-American women. There is growing evidence to suggest that preterm birth may be the end point of pathophysiological changes that occur before clinical symptoms of preterm labor are present and that psychosocial factors are associated with negative birth outcomes. The specific aims of this 12-week randomized clinical trial are: (1) to test the effects of a guided-imagery intervention on maternal stress and related symptoms, neuroendocrine and immunological mediators and birth outcomes in 72 pregnant African-American women between 14-17 weeks gestation; and (2) to test the proposed theoretical model by examining predicted relationships among stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, unhappiness, patterns of neuroendocrine and immunologic factors, and birth outcomes.
Self-efficacy, Stress, Immunity and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Project director: Victoria Menzies, Ph.D.
Project description: Symptoms of fibromyalgia may be worsened by stress and negative psychological processes, suggesting that mind-body modalities may positively influence the neuroendocrine and immunological mediators of fibromyalgia symptoms. The specific aims of this 10-week randomized clinical trial are: (1) to test the effects of a guided-imagery intervention on the primary outcomes of self-efficacy for managing symptoms and perceived stress and the secondary outcomes of symptoms of fatigue, pain, distressed mood, and depressive symptoms and markers of immune function in 72 women diagnosed with fibromyalgia; and (2) to examine the relationships among self-efficacy for managing symptoms, perceived stress, symptoms of fatigue, pain, distressed mood, and depressive symptoms and markers of immune function.
Exploring the Effects of Tai Chi on Cardiometabolic Risk in Women
Project director: Jo Lynne W. Robins, Ph.D.
Project description: Historically, cardiovascular disease has been underdiagnosed and inadequately treated in women related to issues of gender bias, lack of public and medical awareness of its prevalence, and its unique presenting symptomatology. A tai chi intervention may lead to relaxation and could potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The specific aims of this 16-week randomized clinical trial are: (1) to determine feasibility and acceptability and identify potential indicators of effectiveness of a tai chi intervention designed for women with cardiometabolic risk in 66 premenopausal women with abdominal adiposity and a family history of cardiovascular disease; and (2) to refine a psychoneuroimmunology-based model of fatigue and cardiometabolic risk.
Neurocognitive Impairment in Women with Early Stage Breast Cancer
Project director: Jeanne Walter, Ph.D. and Angela Starkweather, Ph.D.
Project description: Adjuvant chemotherapy regimens are often associated with complaints of cognitive changes that may persist in some women long after chemotherapy has ended. The specific aims of this prospective, longitudinal project are: (1) to examine the relationships among fatigue, perceived stress, and depressive symptoms and neurocognitive impairment; and (2) to explore the relationships among key behavioral and biological markers that may explain underlying mechanisms for development of neurocognitive impairment. The study sample will include 60 women with Stage I or II breast cancer who have undergone surgical treatment (biopsy, lumpectomy or mastectomy), half of whom will be receiving adjuvant chemotherapy and a comparison group of 30 healthy education- and age-matched women without cancer.
Other supported projects
A Preliminary Study of the Effect of Animal-assisted Therapy on Stress in Adults Undergoing Hemodialysis
Project director: Sandra Barker, Ph.D., NCC, LPC
Project description: The proposed pilot study will use a psychoneuroimmunology model to test a structured psychobehavioral intervention with end-stage renal disease patients undergoing acute hemodialysis to assess the potential effects of animal-assisted therapy on stress reduction and mood.