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School of Nursing Asthma Researcher Receives “Research in Minority Health” Award

Posted: March 3, 2014

Dr. Sharon Horner

Sharon Horner, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate dean for research and the Dolores V. Sands chair in Nursing Research professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, was awarded the 2014 “Research in Minority Health” award by the Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS) during their annual conference Feb. 12–15 in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Horner's research focuses on improving the health of families with children with asthma. She has received approximately $3.5 million over 15 years in federal funding for her primary work with school-aged children and their families who live in rural areas. Her secondary research focus is on health promotion and risk prevention among school age and early adolescent youths.

“In our most recent health promotion intervention, we asked study participants, who ranged in age from 10 to 13, to set goals for physical activity, nutrition, and asthma self-management that they were willing to work on,” said Dr. Horner. “After 12 weeks, we found that not only were the children able to manage their behaviors and experience good outcomes, but their level of confidence had greatly improved.”

Dr. Horner is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Nursing Research to test her intervention in a stratified randomized control trial. The focus of the intervention is to improve asthma management behaviors of parents and children; reduce asthma symptom frequency and duration, and lung inflammation. Her recently completed study found significant improvements in children’s asthma management behaviors, skill in using a metered dose inhaler, and reductions in absenteeism, days and nights with asthma symptoms, and days when activity was limited by asthma.

The award recognizes the contributions of an individual or group conducting research that has significance for improving the health care of minorities and other under-represented groups in the Southern region.

Last year’s winner of the award was Sharon Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN, and the Joseph H. Blades Centennial Memorial Professor in Nursing at the UT Austin School of Nursing.