Publications

Scholarly Journals--Published

  • Background: Pediatric brain tumor (PBT) survivors are at risk for developing sleep disturbances. While in other pediatric populations sleep disturbance has been associated with worse cognitive functioning, it is unclear to what extent this relationship generalizes to PBT survivors. The aim of the current study was to assess the relationship between sleep disturbance and aspects of cognition, including sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) as well as attention and working memory. Materials and Methods: Eighty-three PBT survivors 6–18 years of age who were at least 3 months post-treatment were included in the present cross-sectional study. Level of sleep disturbance was measured as a composite score reflecting various sleep problems as rated by caregivers. Cognitive measures included caregiver-ratings of sluggish cognitive tempo and attention problems, as well as performance-based cognitive measures assessing attention and executive functioning. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to assess associations between sleep and cognition. Results: Of all caregivers, 32.5% reported one or more sleep disturbances as “very/often true” and over 68% of caregivers rated at least one sleep-related item as “somewhat true.” Of all cognitive variables, scores were most frequently impaired for SCT (30%). A higher level of sleep disturbance was associated with worse SCT and parent-rated attention problems. Associations between sleep and performance-based cognitive measures assessing attention and working memory were not statistically significant. Conclusion: Findings of the current study highlight the importance of further investigation into the relationship between sleep and cognition in PBT survivors, which may assist efforts to maximize cognitive outcome and health-related quality of life in PBT survivors. The current study additionally suggests further investigation of SCT in this population is warranted, as it may be more sensitive to detecting possible associations with sleep disturbance relative to discrete measures that assess cognitive performance under ideal circumstances. (06/2022)
  • Duloxetine is indicated for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain in adults. It is also indicated for anxiety, depression, and fibromyalgia in children. A rare side effect of syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) secretion has been reported in adults, but not in pediatrics or pediatric oncology patients. We present the case of a 10-year-old child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, who developed SIADH after duloxetine was given for chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain and comorbid anxiety. The SIADH resolved after duloxetine was stopped. This case highlights a rare side effect of duloxetine and caution should be taken when prescribing duloxetine to children. (04/2022) (link)
  • Implementing Rounding Checklists in a Pediatric Oncologic Intensive Care Unit. Standardized rounding checklists during multidisciplinary rounds (MDR) can reduce medical errors and decrease length of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and hospital stay. We added a standardized process for MDR in our oncologic PICU. Our study was a quality improvement initiative, utilizing a four-stage Plan–Do–Study–Act (PDSA) model to standardize MDR in our PICU over 3 months, from January 2020 to March 2020. We distributed surveys to PICU RNs to assess their understanding regarding communication during MDR. We created a standardized rounding checklist that addressed key elements during MDR. Safety event reports before and after implementation of our initiative were retrospectively reviewed to assess our initiative’s impact on safety events. Our intervention increased standardization of PICU MDR from 0% to 70% over three months, from January 2020 to March 2020. We sustained a rate of zero for CLABSI, CAUTI, and VAP during the 12-month period prior to, during, and post-intervention. Implementation of a standardized rounding checklist may improve closed-loop communication amongst the healthcare team, facilitate dialogue between patients’ families and the healthcare team, and reduce safety events. Additional staffing for resource RNs, who assist with high acuity pat (04/2022) (link)