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Two University of Wisconsin Oshkosh scientists will offer research-based nursing strategies for helping patients cope during a Research to Reception Speaker Series event April 24 at Reeve Memorial Union.

College of Nursing professors Sharon Chappy and Suzanne Marnocha will discuss the results of their recent qualitative studies and their implications for contemporary nursing care at the invitation-only event, hosted by Chancellor Richard H. Wells and the UW Oshkosh Foundation.

Based on her study of patients undergoing chemotherapy for various malignant conditions, Chappy will talk about the meaning of hope and social support in patients receiving chemotherapy.

“One conclusion was that patients had hope no matter what stage of illness they were in,” she said. “They hoped for different things — seeing a grandchild get married or a child achieve an accomplishment. Very few hoped for a cure but were resolved to living a quality life with their disease.”

Chappy also found that patients need ongoing support from their social networks, such as church, school and family, as they undergo treatment, not just at the beginning when they are first diagnosed.

“Nurses need to help mobilize support networks if people have difficulty doing it themselves,” she said. “Nurses need to assure they are providing care in such a way that maximizes realistic hope.”

In addition, Marnocha will present findings from her study “Military Wives Adaptation and Coping with Deployment during Wartime,” in which she conducted in-depth interviews with 11 soldiers’ wives from northeastern Wisconsin.

“Spouses are often silent partners trying to manage the home, family and work environments,” she said. “By understanding how deployment and separation affect these women and their relationships, healthcare providers can better care for their families.”

Marnocha noted that it is important to understand how deployment affects spouses of soldiers before and at the time of notification, during their absence and after they return home.

Military wives reported several common themes, including a desire for normalcy, a sense of emotional turmoil, a need to take the reins of the family and a need to re-establish roles upon the spouses’ return.

The Research to Reception Speaker Series showcases the breadth and depth of the UW Oshkosh faculty’s scholarly and creative activities. In November 2008, two faculty members from the College of Business presented “From Wall Street to Main Street: How Economic Policies Impact Behaviors.”