Saint Louis University

Center for Risk Reduction

Dr. Norma Metheny - Description of Research
Over the past two decades, Dr. Metheny's research has focused on methods to reduce risk for complications associated with tube feedings. Her earliest work, funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, evaluated a series of methods to determine when feedings were properly positioned. Among the methods included in these studies were pH and appearance of feeding tube aspirates as well as chemical constituents of the aspirates (including enzymes and bilirubin). Dr. Metheny's more recent activities, also funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, have focused on reducing risk for aspiration associated with tube feedings. Using an animal model, she and her colleagues evaluated a series of methods to detect aspiration. Results from that study verified that the blue dye and glucose methods are not effective. In the animal study, and in subsequent human studies, she and her colleagues showed that finding pepsin (the major gastric enzyme) in suctioned tracheal secretions was an excellent marker for aspiration of gastric contents. At present, Dr. Metheny is working with pediatric clinicians to identify methods to determine feeding tube placement in children.

Dr. Metheny's findings have been widely published and used in national-level guidelines to promote safe enteral feedings.  Please click here to view the faculty page of Dr. Norma Metheny.

Dr. Helen Lach - Description of Research
Dr. Lach's research interests are primarily in the area of injury prevention and health management with community-dwelling older adults and their families. She has studied falls and fear of falling, management of safety problems for people with Alzheimer's disease in the home setting, and other issues in health education/health promotion. More recently, Dr. Lach has utilized home monitoring systems to observe the movement of people with fear of falling. Using new technology, she aims to broaden the reach of the evidence-based fall prevention program.  
Please click here to view the faculty page of Dr. Helen Lach.

Dr. Joanne Schneider
Description of Research

Dr. Schneider's research focus is health behavior in older adults with a particular emphasis on exercise behavior. Her National Institute of Nursing Research funded research project focused on changing older adults' perceptions about their exercise behavior. More recently, Dr. Schneider has shifted her efforts to meta-analysis of health behavior research.  Please click here to view the faculty page of Dr. Joanne Schneider.



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