This Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) application describes a 3-year plan to prepare the candidate for a career as an independent scientist in the area of theory-based self-care management strategies for adults with sickle cell disease (SCD). The National Institute of Nursing Research is concerned with health disparities, health promotion, and self-management. The proposed mentored training will allow the applicant to gain experience and additional instruction in the pathophysiology and pain of SCD, developing and delivering theory-based interventions for adults with SCD, and longitudinal clinical trial methods and data analysis. These short-term goals will be achieved through the integration of courses and mentored experiences guided by an interdisciplinary team of experts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill). Additionally, the applicant will use a randomized repeated measures design to conduct a pilot study, """"""""Improving Cue Recognition and Communication Skills to Reduce Health-Related Stigma and Improve Pain Management in SCD,"""""""" to obtain preliminary estimates of the efficacy of this self-care management intervention at improving cue recognition and communication skills and decreasing perceived stigma for young adults with SCD. After the intervention, a focus group will be convened to obtain feedback from participants about the intervention in order to better tailor content, timing, and dose to more fully develop a culturally sensitive self-care management intervention for adults with SCD. The intervention is based on the applicant's Theory of Self-Care Management for Sickle Cell Disease. The applicant's mentoring team, all located at UNC-Chapel Hill, will consist of nurse scientist Merle Mishel, PhD, RN, FAAN (primary mentor), clinical psychologist Karen Gil, PhD (secondary mentor), and hematologist/oncologist Kenneth Ataga, MD (secondary mentor). UNC-Chapel Hill provides an ideal setting for the candidate's development, with expertise from diverse resources, including a comprehensive sickle cell center. This environment will maximize the potential of the applicant to develop a successful program of research as an independent investigator aimed at improving self-care management in adults with SCD.
The project will assist the applicant to develop skills to design and deliver interventions to help adults with SCD improve their health and quality of life with self-care strategies. The interventions will increase the resources adults with SCD have to help themselves and better use the healthcare system.
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