Ongoing and Completed Studies
Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback in Pain Patients: Pilot Intervention for Pain, Fatigue & Sleep
Co-Principal Investigator: Jim Burch
Funding Source: US Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Research and Development, Clinical Science Research and Development Program
Study Period: 4/1/15–3/31/19
This randomized, sham-controlled, pilot intervention trial will examine whether heart rate variability biofeedback improves parasympathetic tone and ameliorates pain, stress and insomnia among Veteran patients with chronic, neuromusculoskeletal pain.
DIDACTIC: Dissemination and Implementation of a Diet and Activity Community Trial in Churches
Funding Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health
Study Period: 5/1/14–3/31/18
This dissemination and implementation research is based on our previous efficacious intervention trial that which focused on diet, physical activity and stress reduction in collaboration with the African-American (AA) faith community to reduce inflammation (the HEALS intervention). Extraordinary success in engaging the AA faith and greater AA community through community-based participatory research now allows us to disseminate and implement this intervention. We will ensure that this research contributes to achieving our overall goal of reducing health disparities among AAs through the following specific aims: (1) disseminate and implement the successful HEALS intervention in the AA faith community; (2) evaluate and monitor the dissemination process for adoption, recruitment, retention and fidelity to the HEALS intervention; (3) conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis of intervention dissemination and implementation to reduce health disparities in parameters associated with inflammation; and (4) enhance the capacity of the target community to sustain the delivery of the evidence-based intervention and engage in future research to address health disparities through cultivation of a network of active church and community educators and leadership development activities.
Use of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback for Symptom Management among Cancer Survivors: Pilot Intervention
Co-Principal Investigator: Jim Burch
Funding Source: Greenville Health System Cancer Institute
Study Period: 3/1/15–3/31/16
This study will test the hypothesis that heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-B) restores autonomic balance and has the effect of reducing pain and related symptoms among cancer survivors. The specific aims are to: (1) conduct a randomized, controlled, pilot intervention trial to determine whether HRV-B increases HRV coherence among cancer survivors (minimum N of 20 [10 per group], up to 100 total [50 per group]); (2) determine whether HRV-B reduces pain, stress, fatigue, depression or insomnia among cancer survivors; and (3) determine whether an increase in HRV coherence reduces pain, stress, fatigue, depression, or insomnia in the study population.
Revisiting the Perceived Racism Scale
Principal Investigator: Cheryl A Armstead
Funding Source: Institute for African-American Research (IAAR)
Study Period: 2013–2014
The experience of racism is a complex, multidimensional phenomenon exhibiting both historical and contemporaneous influences on health. At present, the perceived racism scale (PRS) is one of few established instruments that capture the complexity of the experience of racism. The PRS will be psychometrically evaluated with the goal of enhancing the revised instrument’s (PRS-R) ability to identify important pathways by which racism “gets under the skin” to produce health disparities. The new scale will not only provide an updated measure of the frequency of exposure to racism but will also take a step forward in improving its predecessor’s assessment of racism in health care and coping responses to racism among middle aged African Americans (AAs). Enhanced sample size and measurement of racism-related pathways to ethnic disparities will improve the PRS-R’s sensitivity and scope. Middle-aged AAs are more likely than any other group to have coexisting chronic disease risk factors and comorbid health conditions (e.g., cancer, high blood pressure). This age cohort is particularly important to our understanding of psychosocial determinants involved in the onset of cancer, hypertension and other chronic diseases. Making necessary psychometric adjustments and norming our questionnaire on middle-age AAs is a pivotal step toward closing the gap in ethnic health disparities.
Home Ownership and Health Study
Investigator: Cheryl A Armstead
Funding Source: University of South Carolina - Intramural: Associate Professor's Development Grant
Study Period: 7/1/08–6/30/13
This study developed, piloted and implemented an online survey measuring the association between home ownership and health, a portion of which inquired about home foreclosures and stressors.