63°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Radwin To Study Quality Health

Dr. Laurel Radwin, who is beginning her third year at UMass Boston as an assistant professor in the Department of Adult and Gerontological Nursing, was recently awarded a $574,000 grant by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality Public Health Service. This mentored clinical scientist development award supports her continued research in the quality of cancer nursing care.

According to Radwin, “The previous study uncovered what these patients thought was important. It was limited by the methodology, though. The next study is longer and we will develop an instrument so that we can look at the quality and outcomes of patient care quantitatively.”

Inspired to approach the issue from the patient’s point of view while doing her dissertation, Radwin hopes to “systematically look at how people perceive what has happened to their health care especially following the health care reform in the 1990s. We are discovering that there are gender, age, and race differences in health care, so with this study we will look at how acute care nursing plays into the differences.”

The grant she received will help Radwin to realize this next step by providing her with a means of attaining resources, including course tuition, funds to hire and train additional research assistants, and other incidental expenses which are necessary to conduct this type of research. With the help of Dr. Kristine Alster, associate professor in the department of Adult and Gerontological Nursing, and Krista Rubin and Colleen Diamant, who are UMB students, and her mentor, Dr.Jacqueline Fawcett, she is close to completing an instrument that measures the quality of cancer nursing care from the patients’ perspective. This instrument expands her previous focused, in-depth look at 22 cancer patients to a more generalizable form in order to continue the five-year research program.

The ultimate goal of the study is to give nurses, who often “do not have much political pull”, a way to quantitatively illustrate the impact they have on patients. In a time of decreased medical centers and hospital budgets, this could prove very important. Radwin noted, “Hopefully, it will help them to argue for resources they need in their hospitals.”

Radwin stated, “Nursing has a hidden kind of good. It seems that the people who really feel the effects of what nurses do are the patients, so it is more credible to hear about it from them.”