School of Nursing and Health Studies Research


Dr. Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda
1. JOVEN (Juntos Opuestos a la Violencia Entre Novios/Together Against Dating Violence):
The purpose of Project JOVEN (YOUTH) is to develop and pilot test a school-based, theoretically grounded, teen dating violence prevention program targeting 9th grade Hispanic students. A community-based participatory approach will be taken to develop, refine and manualize the JOVEN program for Hispanic 9th graders, including components for parents and school personnel (Phase I), and pilot test the program to assess its feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy in preventing and reducing the occurrence of TDV and affecting theoretically linked mechanisms of change (Phase II). The JOVEN intervention has the potential of being the first evidenced-based teen dating violence prevention program specifically designed for Hispanic youth. This project is funded by the RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars Program. JOVEN is a community-based participatory research project that is built upon a strong relationship between the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies, the University of Miami School of Education, the Coordinated Victim Assistance Center (CVAC) within the Miami-Dade County Department of Human Services, and Hialeah Senior High School. Research activities will be carried out by a team comprised of representatives from each of these organizations and will be conducted at Hialeah Senior High School. Dr. Gonzalez-Guarda’s Website

2. An Assessment of Health Education Needs of Clients Seeking Services at the Coordinated Victim Assistance Center (CVAC): The purpose of this study is to assess the needs and preferences for health education among clients seeking services at CVAC, a domestic violence service agency. Students will be collecting data from key informants and clients seeking services at CVAC. This data will be used to identify priority health educational topics to address and to develop a health education program at CVAC. The resulting health education program will be implemented and evaluated by UM students during a practicum for the Bachelors of Science in Public Health (BSPH). This study is being conducted as part of course NUR 499: Selected Topics (Independent Study) with 3 students. Dr. Gonzalez-Guarda’s Website

Dr. Sarah Lawson
Engaging 18-25 Year Old Hispanic Men in Sexual Assault Prevention:
This prospective cohort study is designed to test the effectiveness of using a bystander based intervention to reduce sexual assault with English and Spanish speaking men ages of 18 to 25 that are not enrolled in a 4-year college program. Since the intervention has been used effectively with Caucasian men enrolled as traditional students at the university level, focus groups were used to adapt the intervention to our subject population. The goal of the study is to test the effectiveness of the intervention through data collected on knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about sexual assault related to consent and the changes in prosocial behavior in both English and Spanish speaking Hispanic men ages 18 to 25 years old overtime as compared to a control group not receiving the intervention. The study will use several facilities within the community to collect data and deliver the intervention. The community based organizations involved are Coordinated Victim Assistance Center (CVAC) and Entre Nosotras Foundation.  Both CVAC and Entre Nosotras foundation has provided use of their facilities for training and data collection.  Maria Becerra, from Entre Nosotras Foundation, is involved in recruitment, educational presentation, and liaison in the community. Dr. Lawson’s Website

Dr. Joseph de Santis
1. Health Risks of Transgender Women:
The goal of this mixed method pilot research project is to explore the health risk behaviors of 50 transgender women living in South Florida.  Participants will complete measures of health risks in Phase I of the study.  In Phase II, a qualitative interview will be conducted to gain 30 participants’ perspectives on how to address health risk behaviors in the transgender community. The project is funded by the Aqua Foundation for Women. It is under IRB review and is scheduled to begin March 1, 2012.  This study will be conducted in partnership with South Beach AIDS Project, Inc. (SoBAP).  SoBAP will be granting the PI access to their transgender clients to recruit participants.  Dr. De Santis serves on the Board of Directors and the SoBAP’s IRB. In addition, he has undergraduate students there in a community health nursing clinical course for HIV/STI counseling and testing. Dr. De Santis’s Website

2. The Influence of Cultural Factors on High Risk Sexual Behaviors of Hispanic Men who have Sex with Men (MSM): The goal of this mixed method research project is to explore the influence of Hispanic cultural factors on sexual behaviors, mental health, substance abuse, and violence in a sample of 150 Hispanic MSM residing in Miami-Dade County.  The study is currently in Phase I, where participants complete measures of sexual behaviors, acculturation, mental health, substance abuse and violence.  In Phase II, up to 30 participants from Phase I will participate in a qualitative interview to gain participants’ perspectives on how to incorporate Hispanic culture into risk reduction programs for Hispanic MSM.  This study is funded by UM’s NIH-funded Developmental Center for AIDS Research (D-CFAR, 5 P30 AI073961-04). This study will be conducted in partnership with South Beach AIDS Project, Inc. (SoBAP). Participants will be recruited from SoBAP. Dr De Santis serves on the Board of Directors and the SoBAP’s IRB. In addition, he has undergraduate students there in a community health nursing clinical course for HIV/STI counseling and testing. Dr. De Santis’s Website

Dr. Daniel Santisteban
The following three studies are part of an adolescent treatment program developed by Principal Investigator, Dr. Daniel Santisteban.  Studies are focused on minority youth who suffer from depression, suicide risk, aggression/violence, ADHD, school failure, drug use, and the severe family conflicts that result from these behaviors. The studies aim to: 1) Create innovative treatment programs that are effective at helping adolescents and families. 2) Address the unique stressors that Hispanic and African American youth and families face. 3) Provide state of the art treatment to our Miami-Dade County community at no charge for individuals eligible to participate. 4) Evaluate the program’s effectiveness and continuously strive to improve services to the community.  Partners from the community with very close working relationships have included: the Thelma Gibson Health Initiative, Miami Behavioral Health Center/Spectrum Programs, Regis House, the Children’s Trust, MDC public schools whose students our programs serve, MDC juvenile justice and diversion programs whose youngsters we serve, the Health Council of South Florida, the MDC Truancy Prevention Program, and Community churches serving minority families, including Trinity and Hosanna.
1. Preventing Health Disparities in Hispanic Youth: Changing Trajectories: This is a five year study funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.  This project is a randomized clinical trial that provides treatment to 200 Hispanic youngsters 11-14 years of age who have problems with depression, ADHD, conduct problems and family conflict.  Treatment is offered over a 4-month period. This study is part of an adolescent treatment program developed by Principal Investigator, Dr. Daniel Santisteban.
2. Culturally Informed Family Based Adolescent Treatment: A Randomized Trial: This is a 5-year study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  This project focuses on Hispanic youngsters 14-17 years of age who already struggle with substance use problems.  Treatment is offered over a 4-month period. This study is part of an adolescent treatment program developed by Principal Investigator, Dr. Daniel Santisteban.
3. A Culturally Informed Tele-Intervention for Minority High Risk Youth and their Parents: This is a 2-year randomized trial funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.  This program developed a culturally unique intervention for African American and Hispanic youth (12-15 years of age) and families, and adds a technology component.  Families are provided a mini-laptop to access psycho-educational and health promotion videos on things like parenting, and child mental health symptoms, and to communicate with counselors from home. This study is part of an adolescent treatment program developed by Principal Investigator, Dr. Daniel Santisteban. Dr. Santisteban’s Website

Dr. Doris Ugarriza
Postpartum Depression in Adolescents: A Pilot Study:
The purpose of the research is to describe the strength of the relationship between social support and the development of postpartum depression. Using two tools, one to screen for postpartum depression and the other to assess the degree of social support, we are testing postpartum adolescent mothers for the degree to which the presence of social support is a barrier to the development of postpartum depression. Recruitment for subjects for this study is done at the well-baby clinic at Jackson Memorial Medical Center, Ambulatory Care Center. The nurses working in that clinic work with PhD Students in Nursing data collectors to recruit and collect data. The relationship is voluntary, collegial, and set up for the purpose of furthering health of new mothers through collaborative efforts between the School of Nursing and Health Studies and Jackson Memorial Medical Center. Dr. Ugarriza’s Website