Hewner co-investigator on study about supporting self-management in adolescents with asthma

Published October 19, 2017

Sharon Hewner, PhD, RN, associate professor, UB School of Nursing, has been named a co-investigator for an ongoing NIH/NINR grant titled, “Peer-Led Asthma Self-Management for Adolescents (PLASMA).” Hyekyun Rhee, PhD, RN, PNP, FAAN, professor and endowed chair of nursing science at the University of Rochester, is the principle investigator on this multisite study.

Asthma is a serious chronic health condition, especially for vulnerable populations such including inner-city adolescents. Supported asthma self-management is thought to improve asthma control, reduce exacerbations and admissions, and improve quality of life for those individuals living with asthma. This randomized-controlled study will be implemented in three cities — Buffalo, New York; Baltimore, Maryland; and Memphis, Tennessee, all regions identified as having high rates of pediatric asthma and asthma-related morbidity.

Hewner’s role will be to utilize de-identified New York Medicaid data to complete outcomes analysis, incorporating results from all three sites using a COMPLEXedex hierarchical algorithm she developed. The researchers will analyze participants enrolled in the study, as well as a sample drawn from comparable urban nonparticipants with asthma.

Rhee, an alumna of the University at Buffalo School of Nursing, is internationally recognized for her program of research in developing innovative approaches to asthma self-management using technologies and peer dynamics to improve asthma outcomes in adolescents.

Hewner’s analysis will evaluate the impact of the peer-led intervention on health outcomes, including emergency department visits and adherence to asthma medications, and will demonstrate the important contribution of big data in improving health.