Von Visger Selected for CTSI Pilot Studies Award

Published December 23, 2021

Tania Von Visger, PhD, RN, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, was selected for a 2022-23 Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Pilot Studies Award in the amount of $38,940. 


Her project, “Piloting an Evidence-based Mobile Mindfulness Practice to Support Self-Management Among Underserved and Racial Minority Adults with Pulmonary Hypertension,” explores mindfulness meditation as a self-management strategy for underserved racial minority (URM) patients with pulmonary hypertension.

The investigators hypothesize that mindfulness meditation would reduce symptom burden, depression and anxiety among these patients, but that accessing the intervention is challenging due to health disparity. Additionally, URM patients often do not have access to early diagnosis and treatment options that have been shown to improve clinical outcomes for pulmonary hypertension, contributing to a higher mortality rate among African Americans.

They note that there is limited evidence regarding self-management strategies among URM patients with pulmonary hypertension, and that there is a knowledge gap in how this patient population adopts mindfulness-based intervention via technology assisted methods. The investigators aim to determine the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary impacts of a mindfulness meditation mobile-health program for URM patients with pulmonary hypertension.

“While we have several scientific aims of what we would like to accomplish in this work, the fundamental goal is how we can best help our pulmonary hypertension patients deal with challenges that they have in managing this condition,” says Von Visger. “We know that mindfulness practice is an effective complementary health intervention. We need to figure out how to integrate this intervention in clinical practice and ensure ongoing practice for patients living with this chronic cardiopulmonary condition.”

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