candice whealon adey nyamathi amir rahmani awarded funds to study integrative interventions uc irvine school of nursing

From left, Candice Whealon, Adey Nyamathi and Amir M. Rahmani.

Three UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing faculty have been awarded grants to research integrative therapies.

Founding Dean and Distinguished Professor Adey Nyamathi, Assistant Professor Amir M. Rahmani and Assistant Clinical Professor Candice Whealon are studying the impact of mental health interventions among three populations:

  • People who are homeless
  • College students
  • Emergency room nurses

Their research is funded by the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute (SSIHI) Pilot Studies Program, which is funded by the Susan and Henry Samueli Endowment. The awards are designed to support exceptionally innovative and/or unconventional research that provides an understanding of the mechanistic basis or clinical outcomes related to the use of integrative therapies.

Study details

Impact of Community-Based Biofeedback Program on Drug Use and Mental Health among People Experiencing Homelessness

Principal investigator: Adey Nyamathi, ANP, PhD, FAAN; Co-investigators: Darlene Lee, ND, Lillian Gelberg, MD, MSPH; Benissa Salem, MSN, PhD, CNL

This study will refine and pilot test a study focused on providing a critical understanding of the impact of Heart Rate Variability – Biofeedback (HRV-BF) on homeless and unstably housed adults who have a history of drug and alcohol use, as well as depression during COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings will inform an intervention study that would promote strategies to offset unmet mental health symptoms and worsening substance use among people experiencing homelessness.

Harnessing the Power of Positive Connections to Reduce Loneliness in College Students

Lead principal investigator: Jessica Borelli, PhD Co-principal investigators: Amir M. Rahmani, PhD; Nikil Dutt, PhD; Co-investigators: Zahra Mousavi

This study will examine the efficacy of mSavorUs, a mobile-version of relational savoring, delivered as a preventative intervention to reduce loneliness and improve health in college students. Through our work, we aim to contribute to our understanding of loneliness and health among emerging adults and establish feasibility and usefulness of a mHealth approach to addressing feelings of loneliness.

Investigation of Burnout Prevention Education and Integrative Health Therapy in Emergency Room Nurse Wellbeing

Principal investigator: Marcela Dominguez, MD; Co-investigators: Candice Whealon, MSN, DNP; Rachelle Rodriguez, FNP, MSN; Diane Drake, PhD; Gideon Strich, MD

The aims of this pilot study are to design a burnout prevention course tailored for UC Irvine Medical Center ER registered nurses and test a low respondent burden survey to measure changes in wellbeing and to conduct a pilot study at the UCI Health Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute (SSIHI) to investigate an integrative health therapy using immune supporting supplements and nutritional therapy on 90-day changes of ER nurses’ wellbeing, burnout, and laboratory biomarkers of stress and immunity.