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Faculty Presents Research at American Holistic Nurses’ Association Conference

Alia Crandall and Marty Downey with research poster
Alia Crandall and Marty Downey with their research poster at the AHNA Conference.

Marty Downey, associate professor for the School of Nursing, presented two posters on pilot studies at the American Holistic Nurses’ Association 2015 conference in Branson, Missouri on June 12-17.

The first poster, “A Randomized Control Trial of the Effects of Healing Touch for Newborn Male Infant Circumcision Inpatients,” was presented with Laurie Bourn, a neonatal intensive care unit nurse from St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center. Healing Touch is a complementary therapy that involves gentle, noninvasive touch that supports the human energy system by restoring balance and harmony. Downey mentored Bourn and Melora Kellis, also a nurse at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center who studied whether Healing Touch therapy in addition to the current standard of nursing care affected the pain scores, oxygenation and heart rates on newborn males undergoing a circumcision procedure. Preliminary data for this ongoing study may provide new information about the combination of the traditional care and holistic therapy, which may reduce the infant’s pain during the procedure. This may also encourage practitioners to integrate more holistic practices into traditional healthcare practices.

The second poster, “The Effectiveness of Two Holistic Therapies in Reducing Test Anxiety Among Nursing Students” was co-authored by Janet Willhaus, assistant professor for the School of Nursing, and Alia Crandall, a recent graduate of the Boise State baccalaureate nursing program. The research team sought to determine whether or not aromatherapy and Healing Touch therapy reduced test anxiety among nursing students. They found that these complementary holistic therapies may significantly reduce test anxiety among nursing students.

Crandall also attended the conference after receiving the Bea Alley Commemorative Conference Scholarship, which covers the registration fees for the full conference.