UNC Research Week: Giscombé tests a variety of stress management tools that may reduce the risk of chronic cardiometabolic illnesses among African American women.

To celebrate UNC Research Week, we are highlighting just a few of the incredible nursing scientists here at SON.

Project
The Harmony Study — A Culturally-Relevant, Randomized Controlled, Stress Management Intervention to Reduce Cardiometabolic Risk in African American Women

Principal Investigator
Cheryl Giscombé, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN

African American women have disproportionately high rates of disability and death from chronic cardiometabolic illnesses — including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke — compared to other groups of women in the U.S. Gender- and race-specific factors that lead to elevated risk for cardiometabolic illnesses have been historically understudied for African American women, and Giscombé and her team are setting out to change that.

This study for African American women with elevated cardiometabolic risk — those who are overweight or have a family history, for example — will test how culturally relevant social support, stress management and mindfulness tools will reduce their risk before they actually develop the disease. By addressing factors that may impact their risk, and helping participants develop healthier eating habits and increase physical activity, this project could ultimately lead to cardiometabolic risk reduction and better health outcomes for African American women.