By Alex Coleman
The Research and Evidence-based Practice Conference sponsored by the College of Nursing has quickly become one of the highlights for both students and faculty annually. This year, due to COVID-19, we are disappointed that we are unable to present the incredible research done by students and faculty all together in person like normal. Nevertheless, the show must go on! There were many powerful presentations to not share them with our peers. We would like to highlight a few of them!
Our first project highlight was entitled “Social Connection Among Hispanic Elders with Sensory Impairments.” A second study we would like to highlight was conducted by Amy Strobelt SN, Marc-Aurel Martial PhD MPH RN, and Elizabeth Hopkins MLS. They condensed their research under the title “Implications to Culturally Congruent Nursing Care: A Scoping Review of Anemia in Haiti.”
Haiti is an island nation that shares a border with the Dominican Republic, is the poorest nation in the Caribbean, and is currently suffering from a severe anemia epidemic. In severe anemic conditions, which are not uncommon among the Haitian population, the symptoms contribute to cyclical poverty that can span generations. Those who suffer from anemia struggle to work due to extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, and many other unfortunate symptoms, and thus have a difficult time breaking their poverty cycle. In Haiti, children of 6-59 months and women of reproductive age are the most impacted population.
This project aimed to synthesize what research currently exists regarding anemia in Haiti and recognize what gaps exist in that literature. In order to be included in the review, the research had to meet several criteria and pass multiple screenings. In the end, the team was able to learn much more about what interventions have been used, how effective they were, what research has shown is the most prevalent cause of anemia, etc.
Ultimately, from their findings, they recognized that there is an increasing need for nursing staff and effective platforms for treatment delivery in Haiti, especially because Haiti is such a rural population. In addition, they saw a gap in policy makers’ and key partner’s focus on building local capacity for food fortification—adding necessary nutrients to food at higher levels than what the original food provides. Increasing this focus would help to eliminate some of the most common causes of anemia in Haiti, including iron-deficient diets. Lastly, their research showed that only two articles which met all of their criteria were published in French, one of two national languages of Haiti. There is a huge need for making the anemia research findings available in both French and Haitian Creole in order to encourage adoption of prevention and treatment practices by the Haitian people.
“It is also important to remember that we are all living in an increasingly globalized world,” said Strobelt in her closing remarks. “While you may never travel to Haiti, you will likely care for Haitian patients during your nursing career. It is important to understand the culture so that you can treat and care for your patients to the best of your ability.” If you would like to read more about our first project highlight, follow this link: https://byunursing.wordpress.com/2020/12/07/annual-research-conference-is-in-the-books/