Office of Health Research
The purpose of the Office of Health Research (OHR) is to enhance and extend the academic activities of the College of Nursing by helping faculty and graduate students develop and conduct research that builds the scientific foundation for clinical practice, prevents disease and disability, manages and eliminates symptoms caused by illness, and enhances end-of-life and palliative care. Conducted in the context of an urban environment, College of Nursing research focuses on advancing nursing science to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes across the lifespan among diverse individuals, families and communities.
OHR's mission is to support faculty and students in the development and conduct of research and scholarly activities that advance nursing science. The office promotes learning and scholarship, enhances research productivity and assists faculty and graduate students in securing external funding to support research.
Urban Health Research in the College of Nursing
Faculty within the Wayne State University College of Nursing conduct interdisciplinary research and scholarship dedicated to improving urban health. Within the college, urban health research is defined as the study of the determinants and distribution of health and disease in populations living within an urban context (Galea & Vlahov, 2005). Faculty research is focused in five areas:
Stress and health
Research within the area of Stress and Health examines the interaction of psychological stress and emotion states with physical and mental illness and health across the lifespan. Particular emphasis is on the mediational role of stress- and emotion-responsive biological systems.
Wellness: Health promotion/illness prevention
Wellness research is done to promote long-term health, including healthy behaviors, and to prevent illness and comorbidities across health conditions, settings, and the lifespan. Research in this area focuses on the physical, social, behavioral, and environmental determinants of health, as well as the assessment of behaviors that lead to a healthy lifestyle. The ultimate goal of this research is the development of evidence-based, personalized interventions to promote wellness among individuals living within an urban context.
Self-management of chronic conditions
Research on patient-focused self-management is done to engage individuals and families as active participants in maintaining and improving disease management and quality of life while living with a chronic condition or multiple chronic conditions. Self-management research encompasses health strategies that allow an individual and their healthcare provider to adapt treatments to individual circumstances by accounting for social, cultural, economic, and emotional factors that can influence their health and quality of life.
Symptom science is focused on developing and applying new knowledge in biology and behavior, including in genomics and biomarkers, to improve our understanding of a variety of symptoms that can occur with numerous acute and chronic illnesses and conditions. Symptom science research focuses on understanding the biological and behavioral aspects of symptoms, with the goal of developing and testing new interventions to reduce the disabling effects of symptoms and improving patient health outcomes and quality of life.
End-of-life and palliative care
Research related to end-of-life and palliative care is done to assist individuals, families, and healthcare professionals in managing the symptoms of advanced, serious illness, planning for end-of-life care decisions, and promoting health care delivery processes. High-quality, evidence-based palliative care is a critical component of maintaining quality of life at any stage of illness, not limited to but inclusive of the end of life. Activities in this area address issues such as: relieving symptoms and suffering; enhancing communication between patients, families, and clinicians; and understanding decision-making surrounding care of advanced illness at the end of life.