August 17, 1994
Media Contact:Joann Rodgers
Phone: (410) 955-8659

The U.S. Army has given a Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing scientist a $783,572 grant to explore pain management and coping strategies for women with breast cancer who undergo bone marrow transplants. The grant to Fannie Gaston-Johansson, D.M.Sc., FAAN, RN is one of the largest grants in the history of the School.

The first African American member of the Hopkins nursing faculty, Gaston-Johansson holds the Elsie M. Lawler Chair and is director of the school's post-master's nurse practitioner program.

Gaston-Johansson says strategies she'll test on 142 patients and their primary caregivers include oral communication, use of relaxation videotapes, and education about negative, distorted-thinking patterns.

"What is unusual about our study is that we include a patient's significant other," says Gaston-Johansson, "because the burden of care on this primary caregiver is quite extensive."

The American Cancer Society estimates that 182,000 new cases of female breast cancer occur each year in the United States. "Bone marrow transplants are usually a last- resort treatment after surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation fail," says Gaston-Johansson.

The four-year grant funds a yearlong follow-up of patients who enter the study a month before their treatment.

The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command is spending $151.5 million nationwide on breast cancer research as part of new federal initiatives in women's health.

-- JHMI --
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