I originally wrote this post for The Barton Blog. Read the entire article on their site, and check out the open locum tenens nurse practitioner positions.
Winter is coming, and with it comes more than just colder temperatures. Each year, about 0.5 – 3% of people in North America meet criteria for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a temporal pattern of major depressive episodes usually presenting with atypical symptoms such as mood reactivity, hypersomnia, weight gain, and carbohydrate craving.
The condition was first identified in the early 1980s when psychiatrists Norman Rosenthal, Al Lewy, and Peter Mueller recognized seasonal patterns in the depressive episodes of their patients. They reasoned that the darkness of winter months suppressed melatonin, a chemical partially responsible for physical manifestations of depression: imbalances of eating, sleeping, weight control, and libido (Rosenthal, 2013).
Continue reading on The Barton Blog.
A few months ago, I wrote a blog post titled "Choosing a Doctorate Degree: A How-to Guide for Uncertain Nurses." Since then, I have received a handful of emails from my readers with questions about the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, why I chose to pursue it, and what my scholarly project is about. This post is about the latter.
The DNP course of study culminates in the completion of a scholarly project. The DNP degree focuses on the integration and application of knowledge; therefore the scholarly project generally falls in the realm of translational research. According to theAmerican Association of Colleges of Nursing, "The project may take many forms, but the common element through the variety of DNP projects is the use of evidence to improve practice, processes, or outcomes."
The title of my project is “Using Light Therapy to Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder: An Integrative Review and Clinical Practice Guideline.” I am conducting an integrative review of the literature regarding the use of light therapy to treat adult seasonal affective disorder. Once I complete this integrative review, I will develop a clinical practice guideline to aid clinicians in incorporating light therapy treatment into their practice. This would be the first clinical practice guideline to provide specific recommendations on the use of light therapy.
This past weekend I presented the proposal for my DNP scholarly project. I wanted to share my proposal presentation to shed some light on the DNP degree and scholarly project. I included a voice-over PowerPoint presentation below. This presentation includes an executive summary, literature review, objectives, methodology, and discussion of my proposed project.
After the presentation I was asked some very thoughtful questions from professors and colleagues alike. I included these questions and my answers below.
Why do you have multiple theoretical frameworks?
When I was researching methodologies for my project, I couldn't find one framework that applied to my entire project. There was no one, all inclusive framework for integrative reviews. Each framework out there seemed to fall short.
For example, the Joanna Briggs Institute offered an excellent method for appraisal, but did not address a systematic method for synthesizing data.
I searched for a rigorous framework for each part of the integrative review process: the critical appraisal, data collection, data analysis and narrative synthesis. I created my own process based on the most rigorous and applicable aspects of different methodologies.
What is the difference between a meta-analysis and an integrative review?
A meta-analysis is a systematic review of quantitative research. It uses statistics to combine the results from multiple studies to determine the overall effect size or p-value. It is a way of pooling together quantitative research to make one big conclusion about how strong a phenomenon is.
A meta-synthesis is the same thing, except it uses qualitative research.
An integrative review, on the other hand, analyzes both quantitative and qualitative research to provide a well-rounded synthesis of knowledge.
Another important distinction is the difference between a "literature review" or "narrative review" and an "integrative review." While literature and narrative reviews do synthesize multiple studies they do not use explicit systematic approaches to their review process and are more subjective.
Questions or comments? Feel free to email me or comment below.
I developed an algorithm to guide clinicians in prescribing and monitoring bright light therapy (BLT) in the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). At the beginning I reference the Morningness-Eveningness Questionaire (MEQ). See my blog post from 6-27-2014 for more details. I hope others find this useful!