Publications by authors named "Megan Loew"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Empirically Derived Profiles of Health-Related Quality of Life in Youth and Young Adults with Sickle Cell Disease.

J Pediatr Psychol 2021 Mar;46(3):293-303

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

Objective: Determining how the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is impacted by living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) can inform psychosocial interventions. The purpose of the present study is to determine if demographic and treatment variables predict membership into empirically derived subgroups of HRQOL among youth and young adults with SCD.

Methods: Three hundred and seven youth and young adults with SCD (mean 17.63 years ± 3.74 years, 50.5% female) completed the Pediatric Quality of Life InventoryTM Sickle Cell Disease Module. Latent profile analysis examined subgroups/classes of HRQOL and relationships with demographic and treatment variables.

Results: Three distinct classes emerged: High HRQOL (34% of the sample), Moderate HRQOL (44% of the sample), and Low HRQOL (22% of the sample). Being female was associated with increased odds of being in the moderate or low groups. Living with more severe SCD (genotypes HbSS and HbSβ0 thalassemia) was associated with increased odds of being in the Low HRQOL group. Treatment with chronic red blood cell transfusion therapy was associated with increased odds of being in the High HRQOL group. Older age predicted a small increase in the odds of being in the Low versus High HRQOL group.

Conclusions: The present study adds to the literature on HRQOL in SCD by exploring person-centered, empirically derived groups of HRQOL. Identification of demographic and treatment factors that predict membership into those groups within a large sample assists in tailoring needed psychosocial interventions for youth with SCD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsaa104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7977438PMC
March 2021

Use of Wise Device Technology to Measure Adherence to Hydroxyurea Therapy in Youth With Sickle Cell Disease.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2021 01;43(1):e19-e25

Hematology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.

Despite broad support for hydroxyurea (HU) therapy, suboptimal adherence is reported for youth with sickle cell disease. Valid adherence measurement is crucial to understanding the relationship between medication behavior, disease response, and patient-centered health outcomes. The current pilot study examined the feasibility of the Wise electronic device for longitudinal HU adherence measurement in a sample of 36 youths prescribed HU. The study also explored the association between HU adherence, as measured by the Wise device, with other adherence measures (ie, family report, lab values, pill count, and medication possession ratio). A measure of family-reported acceptability was also completed. Overall, results supported the feasibility of the Wise device (rate of consent=82%, device use=75%, device failure=3%) for HU adherence measurement and most families rated their experience using their device positively (favorable responses ranged from 67% to 100%). Associations between HU adherence, as measured by the Wise device, and other adherence measures were not significant. Overall, the feasibility was supported. The Wise device allows longitudinal measurement of adherence with HU from initiation as a young child (ie, with liquid formulations) through adolescence and provides a novel means of adherence measurement for both clinical and research use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000001997DOI Listing
January 2021

The Adolescent and Caregiver Sickle Cell Disease Self-management Skills Checklist: Preliminary Reliability and Validity.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2020 01;42(1):12-19

Department of Psychology.

Adolescents with sickle cell disease (SCD) need assistance in developing the knowledge and skills that contribute to increased disease self-management and successful transition to adult-based health care. This study evaluated the preliminary psychometric properties of the Self-Management Skills Checklist (SMSC and SMSC-C; Adolescent and Caregiver versions), a measure of perceived SCD-specific knowledge and skills. A retrospective cohort study included 114 adolescents (mean=15.6 y) and their caregivers. We examined internal structure and reliability, score changes over time, and group differences. Cronbach coefficient alphas were 0.79 and 0.74 for caregiver-reported Skills and caregiver-reported knowledge, respectively, and 0.77 and 0.44 for adolescent-reported skills and adolescent-reported knowledge, respectively, indicating good internal consistency for 3 of the subscales. Poor reliability in the adolescent-reported knowledge summary score and factor analysis suggest an interpretation item-by-item, independent of one another. Participant group differences in age and chronic transfusion treatment existed in both summary and subscale scores of the SMSC and SMSC-C. Follow-up administrations of the scales indicated an increase in caregiver-reported skills for their adolescents from time 1 scores (M=3.72±0.83) to time 2 scores (M=3.99±0.63) (t16=2.178, P=0.045). Findings provide preliminary support for the usage of the SMSC and continued development to improve its psychometrics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000001618DOI Listing
January 2020

The adaptation and validation of a stigma measure for individuals with multiple sclerosis.

Disabil Rehabil 2021 Jan 25;43(2):262-269. Epub 2019 May 25.

Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Augusta University - Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA, USA.

: Stigma negatively impacts quality of life for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Availability of instruments to assess levels of stigma are crucial for monitoring and targeted intervention. The study aims to adapt the Reece Stigma Scale for use with this specific population and examine its reliability and validity.: The scale was administered the 137 participants included in a larger study on identity and multiple sclerosis. Validity was evaluated utilizing the Downing model, as well as assessing potentially related constructs, including adherence, depression, anxiety, quality of life, self-efficacy, and post-traumatic growth.: Principal component analysis revealed a one factor solution with excellent internal consistency. Additional construct support offered evidence that higher levels of stigma are related to lower adherence and self-management efficacy, higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as more dissatisfaction with quality of life.: This study provides preliminary support for an adapted version of the Reece Stigma Scale, specific to the multiple sclerosis population. The validation data suggests strong psychometric properties. Our findings underscore the clinical importance of measuring and addressing stigma among these patients, with the potential to improve medical (i.e., adherence), psychological (i.e., depression and anxiety), and quality of life outcomes.Implications for rehabilitationUnderstanding stigma-related experiences is crucial to enhance psychosocial factors related to multiple sclerosis.Stigma-related experiences also impact disease treatment outcomes for individuals with multiple sclerosis.The Reece Stigma Scale is a valid and reliable measure of felt stigma created for use in HIV populations. This study adapted and validated the use of the scale among individuals with multiple sclerosis.Clinicians and researchers working within the rehabilitation and treatment area of multiple sclerosis may benefit from using the adapted Reece Stigma Scale to measure and address stigma experiences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2019.1617793DOI Listing
January 2021

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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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzy221DOI Listing
October 2019

Predictors of anxiety among sexual minority individuals in the Southern US.

Am J Orthopsychiatry 2018 10;88(6):723-731. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

Department of Psychiatry & Health Behavior.

Sexual minority individuals experience a disproportionate burden of mental health issues, particularly in less populous cities of the southern United States. Unique identity-related stressors may explain these disparities. The current study examines relationships between sexual minority stress, identity, and anxiety in sexual minority individuals from a small metropolitan area of the South. Sexual minority individuals ( = 249) from the Central Savannah River Area completed a survey assessing minority stress (i.e., identity-based discrimination, internalized homophobia), identity (i.e., outness comfort, community connectedness) and history of anxiety as part of a larger lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer community health needs assessment. All minority stress variables were significantly, positively associated with an anxiety history whereas community connectedness was significantly, negatively associated with anxiety history at the bivariate level. A multiple logistic regression model revealed that assault history was significantly associated with increased odds of anxiety history, whereas community connectedness was associated with decreased odds of anxiety history. These results demonstrate an influence of discriminatory experiences on anxiety in sexual minority individuals of the South and the protective value of community connectedness. Providers and advocates should work at the individual, community, and systemic levels to eliminate lesbian, gay, bisexual discrimination and facilitate community involvement, thereby reducing mental health disparities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ort0000363DOI Listing
March 2019

In-home salivary melatonin collection: Methodology for children and adolescents.

Dev Psychobiol 2018 01 20;60(1):118-122. Epub 2017 Nov 20.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

In-home salivary collection quality and adherence to a prescribed collection methodology for evaluation of dim light melatonin onset (DLMO) is unknown in children. Primary aims of this study were to 1) describe a novel family centered methodology for in-home salivary collection; 2) determine the acceptance and feasibility of this methodology; 3) measure adherence to collection instructions; and 4) identify patterns between participants' age and quality of samples collected. After receiving instructional handouts from the study team, families utilized in-home salivary melatonin collection. Participants (N = 64) included 39 children (21 female, mean age 9.5 ± 1.61 years) and 25 adolescents (11 female, mean age 15.9 ± 2.12 years) with craniopharyngioma. Participants were 90% adherent to collection schedule, and 89% of the samples collected were of sufficient quantity and quality, with no differences found between age (child vs. adolescent) and melatonin sample quantity and quality. In-home saliva collection provides an acceptable and feasible method to collect salivary melatonin and biomarkers in children and adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dev.21584DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748004PMC
January 2018

Body Image and Risk Behaviors in Youth with HIV.

AIDS Patient Care STDS 2017 Apr 23;31(4):176-181. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

1 Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital , Memphis, Tennessee.

Body image concerns are common among people living with HIV. Among adults with HIV, body image concerns have been shown to be related to risky sexual behaviors; little research has been conducted among youth living with HIV (YLWH). The current study examined the predictors, including body image, of sexual risk behaviors among YLWH. Adolescents from a single clinic (n = 143; age range, 16-24 years; 69% male; 95% African American) completed a computerized self-report survey to assess demographic, behavioral, and body image domains. Demographic and clinical data were abstracted from the medical record. Logistic regression analyses assessed associations between risk factors and risky sexual behaviors. Results indicated that YLWH who reported less favorable body image perceptions (p = 0.04) and more sexual partners (p = 0.05) were less likely to use condoms during their last sexual encounter. YLWH with six or more sexual partners were more likely to use drugs or alcohol during their last sexual encounter (p = 0.03). A belief that their HIV medications changed their body physically (p = 0.05), history of HIV-related complications (p = 0.03), an undetectable viral load at their most recent clinical laboratory draw (p = 0.01), and having a high school diploma or equivalent (p = 0.001) were independently associated with disclosure of participant's HIV status to a romantic/sexual partner. Findings suggest that body image perceptions may influence risky sexual behavior in YLWH. Further study is warranted to understand and intervene upon this relationship to improve individual and public health outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/apc.2016.0259DOI Listing
April 2017