Publications by authors named "Kristin Niel"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Impact of sleep, neuroendocrine, and executive function on health-related quality of life in young people with craniopharyngioma.

Dev Med Child Neurol 2021 Mar 22. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Psychology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

Aim: To examine the impact of clinical factors, cognitive deficits, and sleepiness on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among young people with craniopharyngioma.

Method: Seventy-eight patients (67% White; 41 males, 37 females; mean age 10y 8mo, SD 3y 11mo, range 6-20y) with craniopharyngioma were assessed for tumor extent and diabetes insipidus. All patients underwent overnight polysomnography and multiple sleep latency tests after surgical resection. Executive functioning was assessed using parent-reported measures. Patients and their parents completed measures of HRQoL. None had a history of previous radiation therapy.

Results: Path analysis was used to test hypothesized relations while controlling for demographic and disease characteristics. Analyses revealed poorer parent-reported HRQoL among young people with greater executive functioning symptoms (estimate -0.83; p<0.001). Direct and indirect effects were found among diabetes insipidus, executive functioning, and parent-reported HRQoL. Diabetes insipidus directly predicted greater global executive functioning impairment (estimate 5.15; p=0.04) and indirectly predicted lower HRQoL through executive functioning impairment (estimate -4.25; p=0.049). No significant effects were found between excessive daytime sleepiness, tumor hypothalamic involvement, diabetes insipidus, executive functioning, and patient-reported HRQoL.

Interpretation: These findings suggest that young people with craniopharyngioma presenting with diabetes insipidus may benefit from targeted neurocognitive and psychosocial screening to inform interventions.
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March 2021

Psychosocial Factors and Psychological Interventions: Implications for Chronic Post-Surgical Pain in Pediatric Patients with Osteosarcoma.

J Clin Psychol Med Settings 2020 Nov 10. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Division of Anesthesiology, Department of Pediatric Medicine, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA.

This study retrospectively investigated psychological factors contributing to chronic post-surgical pain (CPSP) in pediatric patients after limb-sparing or amputation surgery for extremity osteosarcoma. Psychological factors were identified and analyzed by the Wilcoxon rank-sum and median two-sample tests. Univariate and multivariate Cox regressions were performed using gender, age, psychological factors, and psychological interventions related to CPSP duration as covariates. Duration of pain treatment was significantly longer in patients resistant to psychological interventions (p = 0.01) than those receptive to interventions. Shorter duration of pain treatment was associated with older age (p = 0.03) and receptiveness to psychological interventions (HR = 4.19, 95% CI [1.22, 14.35]). Older age and receptiveness to psychological interventions as part of pain management care are associated with needing a shorter duration of pain treatment. Our results highlight the importance of prospective investigations evaluating motivation to engage in psychotherapy and psychological interventions and identify risk factors for CPSP in pediatric oncology.
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November 2020

Actigraphy versus Polysomnography to Measure Sleep in Youth Treated for Craniopharyngioma.

Behav Sleep Med 2020 Sep-Oct;18(5):589-597. Epub 2019 Jul 14.

Department of Psychology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital , Memphis, TN.

Objective/background: Youth with craniopharyngioma are at increased risk for excessive daytime sleepiness and narcolepsy. Polysomnography (PSG) is the gold standard for diagnosing sleep disorders, but is time-intensive, costly, and does not offer an in vivo measure of typical sleep routine. We determined the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of actigraphy compared with PSG in measuring nocturnal sleep in pediatric craniopharyngioma.

Participants: Fifty youth with craniopharyngioma (age 3-20 years) were assessed by overnight PSG and concurrent actigraphy after surgical resection and before proton therapy.

Methods: PSG and actigraphy data were synchronized utilizing an epoch-by-epoch comparison method. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were calculated using measures of true wake, true sleep, false wake, and false sleep. Bland-Altman plots were conducted to further assess level of agreement.

Results: Actigraphy was 93% sensitive (true sleep [TS]) and 87% accurate (ability to detect TS and true wake) in measuring sleep versus wakefulness and was a reliable measure of sleep efficiency (SE) and sleep latency (SL). Specificity (true wake) was poor (55%) and total sleep time (TST) was underestimated by an average of 15.1 min. Wake after sleep onset (WASO) was overestimated by an average of 14.7 min.

Conclusions: Actigraphy was highly sensitive and accurate and was a reliable measure of SE and SL. Although there were differences in TST and WASO measurements by actigraphy and PSG, our findings provide the basis for future studies on the use of actigraphy to monitor treatment response to wakefulness-promoting medications in youth with craniopharyngioma who demonstrate excessive daytime sleepiness.
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September 2020

A quality improvement project to improve pediatric medical provider sleep and communication during night shifts.

Int J Qual Health Care 2019 Oct;31(8):633-638

Department of Psychology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, MS-101, Memphis, TN, USA.

Quality Problem Or Issue: Night-shift medical providers frequently experience limited sleep resulting in fatigue, often because of paging activity. Streamlined medical-specific communication interventions are known to improve sleep and communication among these providers.

Initial Assessment: We found that non-urgent paging communication occurred frequently during night-shifts, leading to provider sleep disturbances within our institution. We tested a quality improvement (QI) intervention to improve paging practices and determined its effect on provider sleep.

Choice Of Solution: We used a Plan-Do-Study-Act QI model aimed at improving clinician sleep and paging communications.

Implementation: We initially conducted focus groups of nurses and physician trainees to inform the creation of a standardized paging intervention. We collected actigraphy and sleep log data from physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician trainees and performed electronic collection of paging frequency data.

Evaluation: Data were collected between December 2015 and March 2017 from pediatric residents, pediatric hematology/oncology (PHO) fellows, hospitalist medicine nocturnists and nurses working during night-shift hours in PHO inpatient units. We collected baseline data before implementation of the QI intervention and at 1 month post-implementation. Although objective measures and provider reports demonstrated improved medical-specific communication paging practices, provider sleep was not affected.

Lessons Learned: Provider-based standardization of paging communication was associated with improved medical-specific communication between nurses and providers; however, provider sleep was not affected. The strategies used in this intervention may be transferable to other clinics and institutions to streamline medical-specific communication.
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October 2019

Disclosure and Stigma of a Positive HIV-Serostatus: A Two-Step Cluster Analysis of the HIV Disclosure Scale.

AIDS Behav 2018 05;22(5):1606-1613

California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University, Alhambra, CA, 91790, USA.

Despite national efforts to improve the public's education about an HIV diagnosis, stigma still plays a significant role in how persons living with HIV (PLH) decide to disclose their serostatus to friends, family, or healthcare workers. Disclosure can be related to both positive and negative psychological health outcomes, including rates of depression and perceived social support. Researchers often assess disclosure patterns in PLH due to its association with important health implications; however, to date, there are no empirically validated measures of HIV-serostatus disclosure. The HIV Disclosure Scale (HDS) was created to assess various aspects of the disclosure process and has been utilized in several studies as an adequate measurement of HIV-serostatus disclosure despite no available psychometric data. This study aims to uncover constructs measured by the HDS using exploratory two-step cluster analysis to provide an initial analysis of the psychometric properties of this scale.
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May 2018

Non-conventional practices and immune functioning among individuals receiving conventional care for HIV.

J Health Psychol 2011 Nov 6;16(8):1241-50. Epub 2011 May 6.

Yale University, USA.

Objective: to examine the relationships among non-conventional practices, adherence and immune functioning in individuals with HIV.

Methods: 92 participants completed an interview on non-conventional practices (complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), psychosocial therapies, and religious practice). They also completed the Psychiatric Symptom Index and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group Adherence Follow-up Questionnaire. Medical chart reviews determined CD4 count and viral load.

Results: Hierarchical logistic regressions revealed religious practice was associated with adherence and CAM was associated with viral load.

Conclusion: Participation in non-conventional practices in HIV populations may lead to positive health and health behaviors. Clinical implications are discussed.
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November 2011

Relationship of pain tolerance with human aggression.

Psychol Rep 2007 Aug;101(1):141-4

Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-3013, USA.

In research with animals as well as samples of chronic pain patients and elderly persons, pain has been positively correlated with measures of irritability, hostility, and aggression. The present investigation examined the relationship of pain tolerance with aggression. 72 men participated in the Response Choice Aggression Paradigm, described previously by Zeichner and colleagues, in which aggressive response to provocation was possible but not required of participants. Subjective pain tolerance, defined as maximal electrical shock willingly tolerated by participants, was assessed. Significant but small Pearson product-moment correlations between pain tolerance and aggression ranged between .21 and .32, with the largest accounting for 9% of variance.
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August 2007