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Research spotlight: Predicting hospitalization for mental illness could aid early intervention

Research Spotlight: Mason Burley, “Evaluating Risk for Psychiatric Re-Hospitalization: a Recurrent Event History Analysis” (Individual Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program)

The treatment of people with serious mental illness has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, from long-term institutionalization to community-based care. But the community-care system is lacking, and some people with serious mental illness are repeatedly hospitalized, released and re-admitted, a costly and disruptive cycle.

Washington State University doctoral student Mason Burley wanted to identify consistent and reliable factors associated with psychiatric re-hospitalization to help guide public policy and treatment options.

Photo of Teresa Bigand gesturing to her research poster
Research Spotlight: Being overweight significantly increases odds of chronic pain

Research spotlight: Teresa Bigand, “Examining Risk for Overweight Status Among Adults with Chronic Pain

Doctoral student Teresa Bigand’s research concludes that being overweight significantly increases an adult’s odds of suffering chronic pain. In fact, the higher a person’s body mass index (BMI), the greater their likelihood of having multiple chronic pain conditions, she says.

So which comes first, the pain or the weight?

“One study seems to suggest that the weight comes first,” she said. “That’s more exciting for me, because if we can get people to get their weight under control, we can control two different disease processes at once.”

Bigand, who entered the … » More …

Mary Roberts, PhD student researher
WSU Nursing Research: teen relationships & the path to recovery

Mary Roberts, PhD student researher

By Sarah Schaub

It was her memory of the conversation she had with the 16-year old female patient that kept Mary Roberts, a PhD in Nursing student at WSU, awake while conducting research as part of her studies. The young girl shared that like her mother, she had found prostitution as a means to support her drug addiction. Her story mirrored countless patients who entered chemical dependency (CD) treatment.

“After she entered the CD treatment facility, I could finally grieve for her. She was safe for now and could … » More …

Nicole Armitage
PhD to Policy Change: How one Scholar’s Research Informed Policy Change in the U.S. Air Force


By Alli Benjamin

Following childbirth, many new moms are advised by their doctor to take one year to heal and return to pre-pregnancy weight. For active duty women in the U.S. Air Force, this wasn’t an option until March 2015, when the policy changed that required new mothers returning to work to pass a rigorous fitness test just six months after giving birth.

This policy change was informed by data gathered and published by Nursing alumna Nicole … » More …

Marian Wilson
Women are More Likely to Talk About Pain, Study Finds

Marian Wilson

WSU researchers say new approach reduces pill use

By LeAnn Bjerken – originally published in the Journal of Business
Dr. Marian Wilson, a second-year assistant professor at Washington State University Spokane, found in a study on chronic pain that women seem more open than men to participating in studies and sharing their symptoms.

“To me, it’s a very positive thing, seeing this amount of women who are willing to participate in open discussions of chronic pain,” says Wilson. “At the same time, it makes me worry about the men, as they … » More …

Donna Watson, PhD student
PhD Student Spotlight: Donna Watson

This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of OR Today magazine. For more stories about life in and out of the OR, visit

By Matt Skoufalos

Donna Watson, PhD studentAfter 33 years in perioperative practice, Donna Watson, RN, MSN, CNOR, FNP, is living proof that a career in nursing is more than the sum of its parts.

Donna Watson wants to make a difference

Watson entered the field straight out of high school because she “wanted to have a career in the sciences and provide care to individuals.” Today, she is the Director of … » More …

Becky Doughty
PhD student selected for Providence Health Systems’ Mission Leadership Award

Becky DoughtyPhD in nursing student Becky Doughty is the recipient of a Providence Health Systems Mission Leadership Award, which is awarded by the Providence Health & Services Board of Directors to a program or project that demonstrates “extraordinary community-focused services that exemplify the mission.” Doughty received the award for her work to establish a transitional respite care program for homeless patients who are dismissed from the hospital but are not healthy enough to be back on the street. Working with Providence Health Care and Catholic Charities of Spokane, … » More …

Leslie Randall
PhD Nursing Scholar in the News: Leslie Randall

APHA book details need, approaches to research in US Native communities – by Natalie McGil*

Leslie RandallIt has been nearly two decades since Leslie Randall, RN, MPH, participated in a research project measuring the infant mortality rate among American Indian tribes in South Dakota. Yet she said residents still remember her and her fellow researchers. “When I go back I’m constantly surprised that people still remember, even after all these years,” said Randall, who is now a doctoral nursing student at Washington State University.”They still remember, and they … » More …

Becky Doughty
Rebecca Doughty: A WSU College of Nursing PhD Student Success Story
Washington State University