Jennifer Bail, R.N., a second-year student in the UAB School of Nursing’s Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program, has been selected as an ACS doctoral scholarship in cancer nursing award winner. Bail’s grant application was one of 12 received by the ACS for 2016 and one of only six funded nationwide.
This is the second straight year a UAB Nursing student has received an ACS scholarship in cancer nursing.
The grant will provide Bail a total of $30,000 of support over two years as she enters the dissertation phase of her studies. Bail’s research project, “Cancer-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Intervention Adherence Among Breast Cancer Survivors: A Mixed Methods Study,” aims to guide the development of future cognitive interventions for breast cancer survivors.
“We are doing a very good job of helping women survive breast cancer, with five-year survival rates of 90 percent,” said Bail, who lost her mother, Judy Uhr, to breast cancer in 2001. “But what about those 3.1 million women who have survived but are now having poor quality of life because of cognitive impairment?”
Often called by the misnomer “chemo brain,” cognitive impairment in breast cancer survivors — a decline in attention, memory, executive function, information processing speed or some combination of those cognitive domains — is actually multifaceted. In addition to the effects of chemotherapy or radiation, breast cancer survivors also often deal with hormonal and sleep issues, stress, depression, and anxiety.