Loyola School of Nursing and Hines VA to Recruit Women Veterans at Risk for Heart Disease for Mindfulness Study
Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) researchers and Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital are recruiting women veterans at risk for heart disease for a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) study. MBSR is a form of complementary medicine that combines yoga and meditation.
Women veterans between the ages of 18 and 70, who have at least two risk factors for heart disease, are eligible to enroll in the study. Risk factors include high cholesterol,
high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, smoking, and a family history of heart disease or stroke.
“Women veterans are a rapidly growing population with unique health needs,” said Karen Saban, PhD, RN, APRN, CNRN, FAHA, associate professor, MNSON and health science
researcher at the Hines VA. “Women who enroll in this study will help us study alternative methods to improve the health and quality of life of those who have served.”
The eight-week study will determine the extent to which training in MBSR improves psychological well-being, decreases inflammation, and reduces heart disease risk. Researchers also will evaluate protective measures and risk factors, such as prior life adversity, social support and health behaviors that may alter the positive effects of MBSR.
“This is the first study that will look at mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques in women veterans at risk for heart disease,” said Fran Weaver, PhD, director, Center
for Management of Complex Chronic Care, Hines VA. “Given that heart disease is a major cause of death, this research also may have broader implications for the general
Evidence demonstrates that chronic stress doubles the risk of a heart attack and contributes to inflammation linked to artery disease and stroke. Veterans who have experienced
combat are at greater risk for stress and heart disease as a result. While previous research has focused on males, statistics reveal that a startling number (81 percent – 92 percent) of women veterans report experiencing at least one traumatic event, which contributes to stress. Women veterans also have significant rates of prior life adversity such as sexual assault and physical violence.
Using MBSR to reduce stress and develop coping strategies may improve psychological well-being and reduce heart disease risk in women veterans. Mindfulness techniques also
have been found to reduce symptoms of depression and improve quality of life in veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. People who use MBSR gain awareness about the relationship among their thoughts, emotions and reactions, which can change conditioned patterns of emotional responses.
This study is funded through a $1.1 million four-year grant from the VA Nursing Research Initiative
More Featured Stories
VideoWatch WTTW’s feature about the Edward Gorey exhibition at the Loyola University Museum of Art. The exhibition, which showcases Gorey’s fanciful illustrations and dark humor, runs through June 15.
In the newsDr. Zenko Hrynkiw, a graduate of Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine, walked six miles through an Alabama snowstorm to perform life-saving brain surgery on a patient. See his story on the NPR website.
QuinlanCan business schools afford to take their future success and survival for granted? On March 18, Quinlan will bring together thought leaders from around the globe to tackle this question head-on.
In the classroomFor many students, going a weekend without using a smartphone would be a nightmare. But School of Communication instructor Richelle Rogers has her students go unplugged for a few days—and it opens many of their eyes to their reliance on technology.
President’s MedallionMeet the 11 students who received this year’s President’s Medallion, an annual honor that goes to the University’s most outstanding scholars.
ScholarshipsLoyola University Chicago has selected its 2014–2015 Ricci Scholars, students who will travel to Italy and China during their junior year to study, travel, and conduct cross-cultural research.
AcademicsLoyola is one of just 283 universities to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter—less than 10 percent of colleges and universities in the country.
ExploreThe new Institute of Environmental Sustainability combines academics and research with sustainable agriculture and community living. And it does it all in one amazing facility.
Damen CenterThe Damen Center was designed from top to bottom with students in mind—making it the center of social life on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.