Article Content

The landmark Nurses' Health Study is recruiting 100,000 female nurses and nursing students ages 20 to 46 from the United States and Canada.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available. states, "Described as the world's largest and longest-running set of research on women's health, the Nurses' Health Study has included more than 230,000 participants since the 1970s. By completing confidential lifestyle surveys for more than three decades, the participating nurses have enhanced medical knowledge about nutrition, exercise, cancer and heart disease." The Nurses' Health Study III explores women's health on a younger and more diverse group of women. Issues include the environment, work life, fertility, and the effects of lifestyle. The online study asks participants to complete brief confidential surveys every 6 months.


Recruitment is open until the goal of 100,000 participants is reached. See for more information and to participate if eligible.-



Swiss researchers developed Smartphone technology that powers a new medical device alerting healthcare providers in seconds to anomalies in a patient's heart rate. The tool, developed jointly by the Embedded Systems and Telecommunications Circuits labs at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), automatically identifies anomalies in heart rate and alerts providers in seconds helping them treat patients more quickly. "Many of the problems with the heart are not very well understood," says David Atienza, Head of the Embedded Systems Lab. The monitor uses four electrodes attached to the skin that link to a device clipped on the patient's belt. The system flags abnormalities in a message sent to the healthcare team. Data are sent to the user's smartphone where it can be seen.-



A fall poses a serious health risk for older adults; the risk increases with blindness or visual impairment. Cross-disciplinary fall prevention programs addressing multiple risk factors are effective.


An article in Insight:Research and Practice in Visual Impairment and Blindness, Vol. 4, No. 2, "describes an integrated risk management program with multiple interventions. Interventions pertaining to 1) education, 2) medical assessment, 3) exercise and physical activity, and 4) home hazard assessment and modification have proven successful in reducing falls."


"Recognizing the many factors that contribute to a fall can aid in designing effective integrated interventions. The American Geriatrics Society recommends that older adults with high risk factors of falling undergo a fall risk assessment. This assessment can identify unique factors associated with blindness and visual impairment in late life that could lead to a fall."


A medical assessment intervention can identify relationships between vision and other health dimensions. Although physical activity is important, balance exercises are more effective in preventing falls. It is also important to train visually impaired older adults to safely perform daily living activities, and convert or adapt home environments to make everyday tasks easier while reducing accidents and supporting independent living.-Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Press Release, 5/24/2011.



Danielle Arigo and colleagues from Syracuse University investigated the psychiatric risk and comorbidities of 177 women with celiac disease. Participants were assessed through an extensive Web-mediated survey on dietary compliance, illness symptoms, psychiatric functioning, and disordered eating. Investigators found that, in spite of high dietary compliance, marked symptoms of illness and impaired quality of life were reported.


"Despite largely adhering to a gluten-free diet, a substantial subset of women with celiac disease report clinically relevant symptoms of depression and disordered eating; such symptoms are associated with increased psychosocial distress in other domains. These results suggest potential to improve the patient well-being through attention to psychosocial care, in addition to existing dietary recommendations for individuals with celiac disease," states Arigo.-



A survey released by the International Council of Nurses and Pfizer noted that nurses desire to lead in the global fight against the spread of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease; however, workload and time constraints make this difficult. Results indicated that 95% of the 1,600 nurses polled from eight countries want to educate individuals about the threat and prevention of NCDs. However, nurses were clear this prevention work would require time and resources they lack.


Nurses would like to devote nearly twice the amount they are able, on preventing the development or escalation of NCDs. However, 95% of nurses are experiencing daily time pressures and more than one-third reported their workload has worsened during the last 5 years. Respondents identified government (71%), nursing associations (65%), and media (68%) as the top groups that can offer further support, information, and training to nurses so they can better address NCDs.


"Nurses are the healthcare professionals closest to patients, and they are sending us a clear message: If nurses get the resources and time they need, they can arm people with the knowledge to help them make the critical lifestyle changes that will ultimately help combat the NCD crisis and improve global health," Paula DeCola, Pfizer External Medical Affairs.-



Standing With Hope (, a nonprofit faith-based corporation providing artificial limbs to amputees in Ghana, is working with Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) to launch a work program for inmates to disassemble donated used prosthetic limbs and recycle key components for fabricating new legs for amputees overseas.


"In my twenty-plus years as a double amputee, I've gone through numerous prostheses, artificial feet, and other related materials...many of which were recycled and are being utilized by amputees today," states Standing With Hope founder, Gracie Rosenberger. Peter Rosenberger, adds, "With the help of CCA and inmates who volunteer for this program, we now have a more effective way of disassembling the used limbs we receive from all over the country...and making use of those critical components that can be recycled. Organizing and shipping those items to West Africa provides a steady stream of supplies for the technicians we they continue building and maintaining custom prosthetic devices for their own people."


Standing With Hope provides ongoing training and support to local technicians who serve the people of Ghana and surrounding West African countries. "We regularly purchase a great deal of new supplies in order to make the custom fit, carbon-fiber sockets for each patients, but recycling specific components from used limbs is critical to our program, and that's why CCA's help is so important to this work," states Mr. Rosenberger. "If we provide a limb, that patient will walk, but if we teach someone to build limbs, then hundreds walk. We do both, while sharing our Christian faith, in order to equip them to continue standing with hope."


See for information on donating a used limb, a list of materials used to fabricate artificial limbs, and others ways Standing With Hope is getting amputees back on their feet.-Standing With Hope, Press Release, 11/16/ 2011.



A recent press release from Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) reports that more than 40% of hospitalized adults are now age 65 or older. On January 1, 2011 the first Baby Boomers turned 65 and every day for the next 19 years more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach age 65. By 2030, 70 million Americans will be age 65 or older.


In terms of geriatric healthcare challenges, we are reaching "perfect storm" proportions. Learn what over 300 hospitals are doing to meet these challenges and provide quality care for the greatest consumers of healthcare-older adults.


At the annual Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders Conference, participants will hear firsthand about the motivating forces behind NICHE's drive to improve the quality care and outcomes for hospitalized older adults.-Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders, Press Release, 1/10/2012.



Deborah Hedstrom-Page writes, "Worry can get a choke hold on me that devastates. It cuts off all thoughts but those focused on the object of my mental wrestling...."


"I've always wanted to find a formula for breaking the vise grip of my worries. For a long time I thought the answer rested in prayer or Bible reading. But even those got stifled by my fretfulness. My godly petitions became cracked records of 'God, please fix it.' And every verse of Scripture seemed to apply to my anxiety."


"No instant fixes, even spiritual ones, force open worry's gripping fingers. Somehow God's peace comes as uniquely as each of my problems. Sometimes he uses the practical-a physical workout, a listening friend.... At other times, he finally gets me beyond verses that apply to the problem to one that applies to peace. No matter how worry's grip is finally broken, I always look back and see God."-Excerpted from Meet Me in the Meadow: Finding God in the Wildflowers, p. 38, Baker Publishing, 2005.


-PulseBeats complied by Cathy Walker, JCN Associate Editor