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2007 Poster Presentation Winners

More than 25 poster presentations were submitted for the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association's 8th Annual Poster Session at the Annual Symposium in the categories of Data-Based Research and Clinical Patient Management. Below are the top 3 winners in each category.


First Place: Data-Based Research



Authors: Ruth Taylor-Piliae, PhD, RN; Joan Fair, PhD, ANP; William Haskell, PhD; Stephen Fortmann, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif; Carlos Iribarren, MD, PhD, Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, Oakland, Calif


Regular physical activity is associated with cardiovascular risk reduction and better psychological health, although comprehensive risk factor and psychological assessments are often lacking.


Objective: Compare self-reported physical activity using the new 2-item Stanford Brief Activity Survey, with psychological factors in healthy older adults.


Methods: Cohen's perceived stress, Spielberger's trait anxiety, CES-Depression, the Cynical Distrust Scale, and the SF-12 mental and physical well-being scales were administered in 1,017 older adults 60 to 72 years old who were participating in the Atherosclerotic Disease Vascular Function and Genetic Epidemiology study. Subjects had no known cardiovascular disease or other chronic comorbidities but had a wide distribution of risk factors. Regression analyses adjusting for sex, education, and ethnicity were calculated to determine the associations between psychological factors across Stanford Brief Activity Survey categories.


Results: Subjects were 66 +/- 2.8 years old, 38% women, 77% married, 55% retired, 23% college graduate, and 47% white. Cardiovascular risk factors included hypertension (59%), hyperlipidemia (44%), diabetes (18%), body mass index of 25 or greater (72%), and being current smokers (8%). The Stanford Brief Activity Survey classified subjects to be in the inactive (14%), light-intensity (25%), moderate-intensity (39%), hard-intensity (14%), and very hard-intensity (8%) categories. Mean scores for inactive subjects were the following: stress, 17.5 +/- 8.6; anxiety, 32.7 +/- 9.4; depression, 7.0 +/- 5.8; cynical distrust, 1.9 +/- 2.0; mental well-being, 53.0 +/- 8.9; and physical well-being, 44.4 +/- 10.8. On the other hand, the mean scores for subjects reporting very hard intensity were the following: stress, 13.9 +/- 7.4; anxiety, 29.3 +/- 7.8; depression, 3.8 +/- 4.4; cynical distrust, 1.3 +/- 1.6; mental well-being, 55.4 +/- 6.2; and physical well-being, 53.9 +/- 5.4. After adjusting for sex, education, and ethnicity, comparisons across Stanford Brief Activity Survey categories showed better psychological health with increasing levels of physical activity (P trend <= .01, all variables).


Conclusion: These findings suggest that higher levels of physical activity are associated with better psychological health in older adults and support physical activity recommendations aimed at cardiovascular risk reduction.

Ruth Taylor-Piliae, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowRuth Taylor-Piliae, PhD, RN, first author of the poster entitled "Physical Activity and Psychological Health in Older Adults," discusses her findings with colleagues at the 2007 PCNA Annual Symposium.

Second Place: Data-Based Research



Authors: Veronica Kramer, RN; Monica Acevedo, MD; Lorena Orellana, RN; Marcelo Fernandez, MD; Gaston Chamorro, MD; Carlos Navarrete, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile


Third Place: Data-Based Research



Authors: Patricia Weinstein, MSN, ARNP; Karen Dennis, PhD, RN, University of Central Florida, Maitland, Fla


First Place: Clinical Patient Management



Authors: Carolyn Strimike, MSN, RN, APRN; Janice Wojcik, St Joseph's Regional Medical Center, Paterson, NJ


Background: Discussions with the nursing staff in a university-based medical center revealed gaps in knowledge regarding practice guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment in women. The goals of this project were to (1) assess nurses' knowledge of the American Heart Association's practice guidelines, (2) gather information regarding the nurses' own health practices, and (3) provide information that nurses could use in the promotion of health for their patients and for themselves.


Methods: The "Women's Cardiovascular Health Survey" was developed and distributed to female nurses. Questions on the survey addressed cardiovascular risk factors, recommendations for prevention/treatment of cardiovascular disease, and the nurses' personal health behaviors.


Results: One hundred forty-six female nurses completed the survey; average age was 44 years. The results revealed numerous modifiable cardiovascular risk factors: 53% were overweight, 53% did not exercise routinely, only 44% routinely followed a low-fat diet, 79% reported a stressful work environment, and 16% were smokers. Knowledge regarding optimal blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and Framingham risk scores were low. The survey generated a great deal of discussion among the staff. A newsletter format was used to present the survey findings. The newsletter highlighted key points to address gaps in knowledge identified by the survey and also provided useful Internet sites for further information regarding women and cardiovascular disease.

PCNA Annual Symposiu... - Click to enlarge in new windowPCNA Annual Symposium attendees enjoy some down time at the Opening Reception.

Summary: The newsletter format proved to be a creative tool for the dissemination of the survey findings while also providing a staff-friendly review of current research findings and the clinical guidelines. In addition, the survey and newsletter motivated many of the nurses to assess their personal cardiovascular risk factors.


Second Place: Clinical Patient Management



Authors: Jennifer Mason, MS, RN; Rodman Starke, MD, FACC; Chris Boggess, MSR; Cleland Landolt, MD, FACC, Berkeley HeartLab, Burlingame, Calif


Third Place: Clinical Patient Management



Authors: Dixie McIntosh, MSN, RN; Mary Gallagher, BSN, RN, Memorial Health University Medical Center, Savannah, Ga


Guidelines in the Prevention and Treatment of Dyslipidemia, Hypertension, and Diabetes

Despite progress in effective therapies to reduce morbidity and mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Important aspects of this problem are the delay in the adoption or the underutilization of treatments with proven efficacy in large clinical trials. As a result, many patients do not reach their treatment goals for CVD risk reduction.

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Based on the results of well-designed randomized clinical trials, the American Heart Association and other national committees have published clinical practice guidelines on the primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. These practice guidelines clearly provide interventions and treatment goals that are proven to reduce risk in individuals with known CVD and those with increased risk of CVD.


The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) recognizes that the sheer number and complexity of national guidelines for cardiovascular risk reduction can lead to confusion for the healthcare providers who are assessing cardiovascular risk and setting treatment goals for patients. Because of this, in November 2006, PCNA released a pocket guide entitled National Guidelines and Tools for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, which is a compilation of the major national guidelines addressing comprehensive cardiovascular risk assessment and treatment.


As a follow-up to this piece, PCNA will host a series of 3-hour regional Saturday morning meetings across the United States this fall. These meetings will include information on national guidelines surrounding CVD and its prevention and on topics such as dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, and lifestyle interventions.


Below is a list of cities and dates:


Palo Alto, Calif-September 22


New York City, NY-September 29


New Brunswick, NJ-September 29


Chicago, Ill-October 13


Durham, NC-October 27


Miami, Fla-November 10


Akron, Ohio-November 10


Tampa, Fla-November 17


Spokane, Wash-November 17


Sacramento, Calif-December 1



In addition to receiving 3 contact hours of continuing education, all attendees will receive A Pocket Guide: National Guidelines for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction.


Please visit for more details and registration information.


Advocacy at Its Best!

On Tuesday, April 24, many Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association members and approximately 600 volunteers, staff, and heart and stroke survivors representing all 50 states gathered in Washington, DC, for the 2007 American Heart Association (AHA) Lobby Day.This year, the group lobbied for the following issues:


* HEART for Women Act (S. 573 and H.R. 1014)-a bipartisan legislation that would help improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease in women. Senate and House members learned that heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases kill more women than men each year; however, many women and their healthcare providers are unaware of this fact. Senate and House members were asked to sign as a cosponsor of the HEART for Women Act so that heart disease and stroke be more widely recognized and more effectively treated in women.


* Increased funding for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program would allow more states to implement or initiate programs to help prevent and control heart disease and stroke.


* Increased funding for National Institutes of Health (NIH) heart and stroke research. The NIH invests only 7% of its budget on heart research and only 1% on stroke research.We asked our legislators to sign a "Dear Colleague" letter to increase funding for both the NIH and CDC heart disease and stroke research and prevention programs.


* Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (S. 625 and H.R. 1108)-a bipartisan legislation that would give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco, currently one of the most unregulated products in America. Members of the Senate and the House were asked to cosponsor the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to help reduce the health consequences of smoking and protect children from marketing by the tobacco industry.



Symposium attendees ... - Click to enlarge in new windowSymposium attendees let their hair down and "Conga" at Friday evening's dance reception.

On Lobby Day, each person was given a schedule of appointments. A group of 3 to 5 people had the same schedule and visited the offices of 2 senators and a member of the Congress, based on their district. Each group decided on who would do the talking and how the meeting will proceed. Usually, a healthcare provider or researcher opened the discussion and made requests; however, the members of the Senate and the House typically wanted to hear the survivor stories. Survivors included women who have had a myocardial infarction at a young age, mothers of infants who have had a stroke, men and women who benefited from research advances, and others.


It is important that nurses make their voices heard and advocate for issues that affect patients and the lives of all Americans. A great way to start is by joining "You're the Cure," an advocacy network of the AHA. Visit the AHA Web site and click on "Advocacy: You're the Cure." You will receive e-mails about AHA advocacy issues and requests to write to senators and members of Congress. The writing is actually done for you, although you may personalize your message if you wish. All that is required is a "click," and your e-mail communication will be sent. There is power in numbers, and legislators want to hear from you.

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Section Description

The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing is the official journal of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. PCNA is the leading nursing organization dedicated to preventing cardiovascular disease through assessing risk, facilitating lifestyle changes, and guiding individuals to achieve treatment goals.