Van Riper awarded UNC Sleep Innovation Research Grant

Professor Marcia Van Riper has been funded for a UNC Sleep Innovation Research Grant to support her study of Family Management of Sleep Problems in Children with Down syndrome. The UNC Sleep Innovation program is a new campus-wide initiative to make Carolina a leader in sleep research worldwide.

Working with Dr. Riper is an interdisciplinary team that includes a number of School of Nursing investigators:

Marcia Van Riper, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor SON
Kathleen Knafl, PhD, FAAN, Frances Hill Fox Distinguished Professor SON
Louise Fleming, PhD, Associate Professor SON
George Knafl, PhD, Emeritus Professor SON
Mary Ellen Wells PhD, RPSGT, R.EEG T., R.NCS T. Director and Associate Professor, Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science, UNC Department of Allied Health Sciences
Clare Harrop, PhD, Assistant Professor, UNC Department of Allied Health Sciences
Heather Hazlett, PhD Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities and UNC Department of Psychiatry

Guided by the Family Management Style Framework, the aim of the study is to identify key modifiable sleep and family management variables to be incorporated into an intervention to strengthen caregiver and family capacity to address sleep problems. Specific aims include:

  1. Examine relationships among facilitators and barriers (child’s health status, family resources, family environment, health care system), family management processes, and outcomes in children with Down syndrome (DS) (i.e., overall health, sleep problems, adaptive behavior, and HRQL) and their primary caregivers (i.e., sleep problems and HRQL) in 80 families of children with DS.
  2. Provide explanatory insights into factors contributing to family management of sleep problems and health-related quality of life of children with DS and their primary caregivers through qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of primary caregivers from 10-15 families.
  3. Examine the feasibility of using overnight measures of sleep (actigraphy and videosomnography) in combination with sleep diaries with a subsample of families with the aim 2 family cohorts.

Congratulations to Marcia and her team!