SON Researchers Receive NIH Funding to Study Childhood Chronic Conditions and the Family

Knafl-Sandelowski Group Grant Knafl-Sandelowski research team

Kathleen Knafl, Frances Hill Fox Distinguished Professor & Associate Dean for Research, and Margarete Sandelowski, Cary C. Boshamer Professor, have received funding from the NIH National Institute of Nursing Research to complete a 5-year study to synthesize findings from empirical research addressing the intersection between family life and childhood chronic physical conditions.

Over the course of the 5-year project, they will receive $1,642,197 in direct funding. Other members of the research team include Jamie Crandell, Jennifer Leeman, and Julia Shaw-Kokot.

An estimated 18% of children under 18 years old have a chronic condition that requires they use more health-related services than other children. These conditions can include a chronic physical condition such as asthma or diabetes that increases risk for adjustment problems related to emotional and behavioral development and functioning.

The researchers will integrate findings from the empirical research literature to identify child, condition, and family factors that contribute to health outcomes for children with chronic physical conditions and their families. Study findings will be disseminated in forms accessible to and usable by both researchers and clinical decision makers and will provide an evidence base for developing and testing interventions that support optimal child and family adjustment. They will work with an Advisory Committee of Clinical Decision Makers who will provide ongoing input on the clinical relevance of findings and suggest additional analyses likely to yield results with substantial clinical impact.

To ensure that findings reach a broad clinical audience, the researchers are partnering with professional organizations representing clinicians who care for families of children with chronic physical conditions. The researchers will work with these organizations to identify a range of dissemination formats tailored to provide relevant information to the organization members. For example, reports might appear in an organization newsletter, website, or be presented through interactive CE programs.

Thus far, the researchers have established relationships with the Association of Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society, International Family Nursing Society, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, National Association of School Nurses, and the Society of Pediatric Nursing. They plan to identify additional organizations with whom to partner during the course of the study.