In this issue: Research Grant Opportunities, AHNA 2012 Conference Research Activities, Research Profile: Judith Fouladbakhsh, Acupuncture Reduces Protein Linked to Stress and much more.

Connections in Holistic Nursing Research
March 2012 
Volume 4 Issue 1

In This Issue
Thank You Jeanne
AHNA Research Teleconference
Research Profile:
Judith Fouladbakhsh
Nurse Leaders in the News
Research at AHNA's 2012 Conference
Opportunities for Nurses
Research in the News
AHNA Researchers in Action
Quick Links

AHNA's 32nd Annual Conference

Holistic Nurses: Catalysts for Conscious Change 
June 13-16, 2012



by Jen Reich, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, Connections Co-Editor 


This issue of Connections in Holistic Nursing Research highlights some of the pioneering holistic nursing research that AHNA members across the country are bringing to the forefront of our profession.  One of the most valuable things I learned from my fellowship mentor, Dr. Mary Koithan, is that we need to rethink how we conduct research studies when we are evaluating whole systems of healing. For example, perhaps other methods and designs besides the Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) may be more effective for the evaluation of homeopathy or acupuncture or any system of healing that takes into account the individual differences in our healing process.  As holistic nurses we can take the lead in designing methods of evaluation that mirror the way we practice.


In this issue, we feature nurse researcher Dr. Fouladbakhsh in an enlightening interview with Co-editor Jackie Levin. Dr. Fouladbakhsh shares her experience with building a holistic research program from pilot study to submission of a federally funded grant.


This issue also highlights the progress of the AHNA research committee and includes the research presentations that will be presented at the annual conference in June.  We hope you are inspired to consider research in holistic nursing in all settings, from bedside to academia.

Thank You Jeanne

The Research Committee wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the former AHNA Executive Director, Jeanne Crawford, to the renewed development and accomplishments of AHNA's Research Committee.  For the last 8 years Jeannie provided continuous encouragement in the creation of various projects, assigned staff and later supported the addition of a Research Coordinator to the Leadership Council. She provided guidance and support in a gentle and professional manner.  We thank her for vision and hard work and wish her well in her future endeavors.

Save the Date - AHNA Research Webinar Coming in May

The next research teleconference/webinar will be on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 from 1-2 pm Eastern (12-1 central, 11-12 mountain, 10-11 pacific).  A panel of holistic nurse researchers will discuss holistic nursing research and answer member questions related to research. Watch for information on registering coming soon.

Research Profile:  Judith Fouladbakhsh, PhD, APRN, BC, AHN-BC, CHTP

Interview by Jackie Levin, RN, MS, AHN-C, CHTP, Connections Co-Editor
In this issue, we thank Dr. Judith Fouladbakhsh, PhD, APRN, BC, AHN-BC, CHTP for giving us this opportunity to learn about her work as a holistic researcher. Dr. Fouladbakhsh is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Click here to view Dr. Fouladbakhsh's bio and publications.


Dr. Fouladbakhsh began the interview thanking the American Holistic Nurses Association for funding a recent pilot study on Gentle Yoga and Lung Cancer Patients. This began an inspiring line of dialogue on the important role pilot studies have on the holistic nursing research process.


JL: Can you describe in what ways receiving the grants from AHNA and Sigma Theta Tau for your pilot study "Gentle Yoga in Lung Cancer Patients and Survivors" impacted your research project and process?

JF: The awarded funding expressed someone trusted us and was committed to our research work. This means a lot to a researcher. It says, "You have a solid plan, go out and see what the results are." This is where a pilot study is invaluable. It allows the researcher to take a risk into areas that are not yet well researched. In this way the seed money was more than the ability to pay for things such as the cortisol sampling kits, blankets and mats. It's the confidence in our project.


JL: How did it give you more confidence?

JF: You see, research proposals are often judged by the question, "Is it fundable?" The next question asked is, "What is the science behind this intervention in this particular population?" This posed an internal challenge. Do I go where the funding is, or do I pursue research I know to be valuable and would move holistic nursing research and patient care forward? I think the wise answer is to marry the two. This pilot study allowed us to break down stereotypes and pre-conceived judgments that yoga would not be a successful intervention for lung cancer patients.


JL: Can you describe this?

JF: We found there are strongly held beliefs about lung cancer patients and their interest in CAM. In proposing Yoga as an intervention for the lung cancer population, we were faced with clinicians and research reviewers' hard held beliefs that yoga is only a physical exercise. The other judgments we faced, even by our nursing colleagues, were that lung cancer patients wouldn't be interested in yoga, physically capable of yoga or that their life expectancy is so short that they wouldn't complete the study.


JL: Dr. Fouladbakhsh, can you describe the pilot study?

JF: Our pilot study aimed to determine if yoga was feasible for post-treatment Stage I-IIIa non-small cell lung cancer patients who are living in the community. We also wanted to examine the effects of yoga practice on breathing, mood, sleep and quality of life. Since this was a pilot, we wanted to recruit a small number of participants; we also did this as a one-group (intervention only) study. This way we could look at changes in our participants over time. They came for 14 weeks, (3 weeks pre-intervention; 8 weeks of the yoga intervention, and 3 weeks post-intervention). They all participated in 40-minute yoga classes for 8 weeks and we had excellent attendance. We also evaluated their mood, sleep and quality of life at different time points, finding improvement. Participants also came for follow-up sessions after the study.


JL: How did you accomplish all this with just the seed funding?
JF: We had to get creative in how to access support and resources from the College of Nursing and our health care community. We asked for volunteers from nursing and medicine. The students took the university CITI Research Training Course required by our university Human Investigation Committee (takes about 8-10 hours online) and became our research assistants. The volunteers helped with the pre and post assessments, data collection and continue still working on and presentation and publication of our results. So far we have presented our data at national and international conferences where we have received great interest in our work.


JL: What did you learn and what surprised you as a result of this pilot study?
JF: We learned that our study patients began to experience yoga as a way of life. We learned the importance of not judging who would be interested in practicing CAM. One of our oldest participants traveled a long distance weekly to attend the class and now she calls herself a Yogini. Another began to use the breath work to reduce anxiety when getting her blood drawn. We also didn't know what to expect from the oncologists and pulmonologists. Because the patients tend to be so sick, the assumption was you'll never get them moving. But one oncologist said after the study, "This is wonderful. The next study will be with our stage 4 patients." He got it, that it's the power of the breath and meditation that could have benefits at the end of life. This wasn't about showing yoga as a cure or something that prolongs life, but rather the improved quality of life.

A big surprise came from the patients during the follow-up interviews. They thanked us for doing the study, for even considering doing this for lung cancer patients. They felt judged up front by others, that they caused their disease from smoking, even those these women were not smokers. I didn't know that this population had sensed this in this way...Read more.

Nurse Leaders in the News

Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Nurse Leader Interviewed
Related to our theme on the attributes of Pilot Studies and the AHNA focus on Leadership, Nursing Outlook Talk interviewed nurse leader Debra Barksdale, PhD, FNP-BC, ANP-BC, CNE, FAANP, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on PCORI (Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute) This relatively new organization focuses their research efforts on patient identified needs in real world settings in alignment with the Institutes of Medicine's goals. This organization needs holistic nurses to submit and help shape this national agenda. Read the interview with Veronica D. Feeg, PhD, RN, FAAN at the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS) Conference, October 2011.


Nurse Elected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees!
Linda Burnes Bolton, RN, DrPH, FAAN is the newest member and only nurse on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees. She has served as past president of the American Academy of Nursing and the National Black Nurses Association. She is a published researcher on nurse retention, nurse practice standards and minority health. RWJF is a source for holistic nurse researchers at all levels of research. Learn more or watch video.

AHNA's 2012 Conference
Holistic Nurses: Catalysts for Conscious Change
June 13 - 16, 2012, in Snowbird,

AHNA's 32nd Annual ConferenceThe AHNA 2012 conference will have many stimulating opportunities for holistic nursing research exposure. During pre-conference on Wednesday, June 13th, members of the research committee will offer a full day workshop on "Holistic Nurses Create Change through Translational Research." The workshop will discuss 'translational research' in the morning with examples given of specific holistic research and its application in practice. In the afternoon of the same day "research team building" will be the topic. Participants will work together in groups and look at how they might form a research 'team' around an idea or question. At lunch Rorry Zahourek, outgoing research coordinator, will provide a discussion on the development and challenges of holistic nursing research and research in AHNA.


Six papers and 16 research posters will also be presented at conference. See the full conference schedule for more information. The one-on-one consultations will be available Friday 4:30-6:00 PM as well as on Saturday morning and can be chosen when you register for the conference. You will receive a questionnaire to fill out before conference and will be paired with a mentor who will best be able to meet your needs. If you are willing to be a mentor please see more information below.


The research committee meeting will be Friday evening 6:00-7:00 PM. All are welcome. We look forward to seeing you in Snowbird Utah.


One-on-One Volunteers Needed 

It's that time again!  Research Consultants are needed for the One-on-One Consultation Sessions!


If you are planning to attend AHNA's fabulous Conference in Snowbird, Utah this June, please consider volunteering as a consultant for a 1.5 hour continuing nursing education (CNE) session to mentor a fellow holistic nurse.  The purpose of the Research One-on-One Consultation is to provide support to novice nurse researchers through education, individualized project development, and mentoring from more experienced nurse researchers. 


We are hoping to offer mentees a wide variety of expertise.  If you have experience in developing research projects/studies, have knowledge on mixed methodology, qualitative and/or quantitative studies and can offer information on facilitating student participation in a research project, then AHNA would be honored to have you help us (and your fellow RN researchers) in our One-on-One Research Consultation.


The One-on-One Research Consultation is a CNE activity and both mentors and mentees will receive one (1.5) contact hours. Contact Colleen Delaney at to volunteer.


Early-Bird Pricing Ends March 15th
Don't miss early-bird rates, register for conference before March 15, 2012.

Opportunities for Nurses

J. Patrick Barnes Research Grant
The Daisy Foundation is encouraging nurses who seek to improve treatment of patients with auto-immune diseases and cancer to apply for a research or evidence-based practice grant through the J. Patrick Barnes Grant program. Successful applicants can also apply for subsequent funding to share their findings at professional conferences. The first deadline to submit a letter of intent is April 2, 2012. Grants also will be awarded beginning in the fall with a letter-of-intent submission deadline of Sept. 14. For additional information and to access a grant application, visit


American Journal of Nursing Seeks Article Submissions 

The American Journal of Nursing (AJN) is seeking submissions for their Viewpoint column. AJN seeks conversational style articles of about 650 words that challenge fellow nurses to think about a health-related topic you feel strongly about. Viewpoint should grab the reader's attention in the first two sentences, identify the problem or issue, make a compelling argument supported by anecdotes and/or statistics, and leave the reader with a challenge to think or behave differently. Review author guidelines for Viewpoint and other types of articles at


American Nurses Foundation Research Grants Available 

The American Nurses Foundation (ANF) 2012 Nursing Research Grant (NRG) application is now available on the ANF website. ANF is offering 27 awards with funding ranges between $2,500-$25,000. Applications are being accepted until midnight Tuesday, May 1, 2012.


ICN Congress 2013: Website and Call for Abstracts
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has issued the Call for Abstracts and launched the website for its 25th Quadrennial Congress and CNR which will be held in Melbourne, Australia, May 18-23, 2013 under the theme of Equity and Access to Health Care. The deadline for abstract submission is September 14, 2012. The abstract submission guidelines are available on the Congress website: The online abstract submission system will be live as of April 16, 2012.
Research in the News
Acupuncture Reduces Protein Linked to Stress In First of its Kind Animal Study
The research, published in the December 2011 journal Experimental Biology and Medicine, showed that in rats, acupuncture reduced blood levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY), which is secreted by the fight or flight/sympathetic nervous system. The study's lead author, Ladan Eshkevari, Ph.D., from Georgetown's School of Nursing & Health Studies is a nurse anesthetist and certified acupuncturist. Dr. Eshkevari designed the research based on her clinical observation of her patients saying they often felt relaxed after an acupuncture session. While this may not be new news for Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and clients, it does show a biochemical response to acupuncture specific to stress.

Probiotics Reduce Incidence of Infection in TBI Study
During this 21-day non-blinded pilot study at the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China, researchers applied Probiotics as an intervention for patients with closed head traumatic brain injury. The results of this study showed that 24 out of 43 participants developed infections, with Ventilator-associated pneumonia occurring in 43% of the study participants compared with 68% in a control group. Those in the Probiotic group also experienced reduced rates of nosocomial infections and shorter ICU stays. While the 28-day mortality rate was the same for both groups, Probiotics are a safe and useful adjunct to the TBI patient's care.
AHNA Researchers in Action
Coleen DelaneyColleen Delaney, PhD, RN, AHN-BC received a $5,000 Research Grant from Sigma Theta Tau International for her study Multicomponent Homecare Intervention for Older Adults with Heart Failure. The proposed study develops, implements, and tests the efficacy and feasibility of the Homecare Education, Assessment, Remote-monitoring, and Therapeutic activities (HEART) intervention. HEART, a nurse-led multicomponent home care intervention developed by Dr. Delaney uses telemonitoring plus evidence-based protocols to teach heart failure self care and to prevent and/or reduce depressive symptoms. Dr. Delaney will train nine home care nurses who will deliver the two-month intervention. The long-term goal of this project is to improve the care of home health care patients with heart failure.

Valerie EschitiDr. Valerie Eschiti,PhD, RN, AHN-BC, CHTP, CTN-A; and her co-principal investigator, Deborah Wisnieski, PhD, ARNP; co-investigators Jana Lauderdale, PhD, RN; Joan Walker, MD and Native Navigators Stacey Weryackwe-Sanford, LPN; and Leslie Weryackwe; received funding for the project, Perceived Barriers to HPV Vaccination by American Indian Youth and Caregivers, from the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center/Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust for 1/1/12-12/31/12. The purpose of this pilot project is to determine perceived barriers to HPV vaccination by American Indian youth and caregivers among those in Comanche Nation (Oklahoma) and Mississippi Band of Choctaw (Mississippi). Funding: $20,000. 
Dr. Eschiti was also selected from among over 200 applicants as grant reviewer for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) proposals. An in-person review meeting was held February 21, 2012 in Washington, DC.
Valerie Eschiti, Burhansstipanov, L., & Watanabe-Galloway, S. (2012) Native cancer navigation: The state of the science. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 16(1), 73-82. 

Jennifer Reich
& Cathy Michaels. (March 2012). Becoming whole: The role of story for healing. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 30(1), 16-23. doi:10.1177/0898010111412188

Carey S Clark. (March/April 2012). Beyond holism: Incorporating an integral approach to support caring-healing-sustainable nursing practices. Holistic Nursing Practice, 26(2), 92-102. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0b013e3182462197 


Anna M. Acee & Leighsa Sharoff. (January/February 2012). Herbal remedies, mood, and cognition. Holistic Nursing Practice, 26(1), 38-51. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0b013e31823bff70 


M. Velma Weitz, Kathleen Fisher, &  Vicki D. Lachman. (January/February 2012). The journey of women with breast cancer who engage in mindfulness-based stress reduction: A qualitative exploration. Holistic Nursing Practice, 26(1), 22-29.
doi: 10.1097/HNP.0b013e31823c008b


Rothlyn P. Zahourek. (January/February 2012). Healing: Through the Lens of Intentionality. Holistic Nursing Practice, 26(1), 6-21. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0b013e31823bfe4c


AHNA members names in bold. We would love to hear about your research. Have you started your dissertation, had a paper published, presented, etc. Send your "Researcher in Action" to

The Voice of Holistic Nursing 

American Holistic Nurses Association
323 N. San Francisco St. #201
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(800) 278-2462

Feel free to share the content in this eNewsletter with your e-mail contacts, list-serves, or favorite discussion boards/ blogs. Please just be sure to mention that Connections is a benefit of AHNA membership.


Connections in Holistic Nursing Research
Diane Wind Wardell, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, AHN-BC, CHTP/I

Jackie Levin, RN, MS, AHN-C, CHTP
Jen Reich, PhD, RN, ANP-BC
AHNA Leadership Council Coordinator for Research:
Rorry Zahourek, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, AHN-BC


Although the AHNA supports the concepts of holism, it refrains from endorsing specific practitioners, organizations, products, services or modalities. Opinions expressed in this eNewsletter may not reflect the position of the AHNA.