ATLANTA–Regena Spratling, associate professor of nursing and director of the Doctor of Philosophy in nursing program at Georgia State University, has received a two-year, $423,314 grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH, NINR) to develop Web-based intervention for the caregivers of medically fragile children who are dependent on medical technology.
Spratling is collaborating with other Georgia State faculty researchers, including Melissa Faulkner, nursing; Matt Hayat, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the School of Public Health; and Iris Feinberg, College of Education and Human Development and Ph.D. graduate of the School of Public Health.
About five percent of children in the United States have multiple chronic serious diseases, and some may also require the use of feeding tubes, tracheotomies, suction machines and more. These children receive intensive, specialized care at home by caregivers (parent, foster parent, grandparent, others).
The caregivers experience anxiety and depressive symptoms and have doubts about their ability in managing their child’s care. Researchers hope the modules developed with the NINR grant will help the caregivers to focus on the most commonly experienced symptoms and technology used at home and provide a variety of care options for each situation posed.
“The intervention modules will include the child’s most common behavioral responses with the management of their symptoms, Spratling said. “Using the technologies in the home, modules will provide suggestions for caregivers on how they can best help the child with care at home using multimedia and a Web-based format that is compatible with mobile devices.”
An abstract of the grant, 1R15NR018037-01, is available at the NIH’s Project RePORTER website.
Regena Spratling, R.N., Ph.D.
School of Nursing
Dr. Spratling is a pediatric nurse practitioner with 17 years of experience in pediatric nursing care. Her research focuses on children with complex chronic illnesses and require medical technology and their families, including children who have a tracheostomy and medically fragile adolescents who require respiratory assistance.