INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS

Measuring Parent-Child Interaction in an International Feeding Study (Bangladesh)
Dr. Byrne served as a consultant to a doctoral student at Cornell University (Amy Frith Terhune, PhD 2005) who is participating in an international feeding study in Bangladesh. After receiving training from Dr. Byrne, she has made on-site visits and with continued consultation is incorporating measures of parent-child interaction into the feeding study and evaluating the outcomes.

Relation of Maternal-Infant Feeding Interaction with Maternal Stressors and Distress (Bangladesh) Frith, A., Frongillo, E., Ruchira, N. & Byrne, M.

Previous research suggests that stress may affect maternal-infant interaction in a poor population. Given the importance of maternal-infant interaction in shaping the well-being of children, understanding which factors lower the quality of interaction is needed. We examined the relation of stressors and distress with quality of maternal-infant feeding interaction. As part of the MINIM at nutrition intervention study in Bangladesh, 120 mother-infant pairs were observed in the home at 3.5-4.0 months to assess quality of feeding interaction using the NCAST feeding scale. This scale is based on a checklist of 76 items forming four maternal and two infant subscales, and 18 contingency items. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and criterion validity were assessed. Questionnaires were administered to mothers to assess stressors (food insecurity and interpersonal conflict) and distress. Analysis of variance was used. Lower quality of feeding interaction was related to higher food insecurity (p < 0.01), greater interpersonal conflict (p < 0.05), and increased distress (p < 0.05). Interpersonal conflict was related to reduced maternal and infant modes of communication (p < 0.1), increased maternal negative behavior (p < 0.05), and specific maternal self-reported feeding cues (p < 0.05). Increased distress was related to reduced maternal and infant verbalizations (p < 0.05). Differences in quality of feeding interaction with stressors were larger than differences across populations. This study demonstrates the importance of assessing feeding interaction, the potential impact of stressors and distress in lowering the quality of feeding interaction, and the suitability of the NCAST feeding scale in a developing country.

Frith, A., Frongillo, E., Ruchira, N. & Byrne, M. “Relation of Maternal-Infant Feeding Interaction with Maternal Stressors and Distress in Bangladesh”.  Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, April 17-21 2004, Washington, DC.

Frith, A., Frongillo, E., Ruchira, N. & Byrne, M. “Relation of Maternal-Infant Feeding Interaction with Maternal Stressors and Distress in Bangladesh” American Public Health Association, November 16-20, 2004, Washington, DC.

Exchange Professorship (Sweden)
This was the first extended faculty exchange for Columbia University School of Nursing and Gothenburg University College of Health Sciences. The major goals of the six-week visit were to actualize the themes of earlier administrative contacts into specific projects. Dr. Mary Byrne was the exchange professor and was responsible for modeling a scholarly faculty role. Consultations and teaching at the Gothenburg University College of Health Sciences and affiliated hospitals resulted in two ongoing research projects: one in pediatric home care and one in cross-cultural health profession education. Dr. Byrne has maintained relationships with select Swedish faculty and continues collaborative projects and research.

Byrne, M. & Falk, K. (1996) Philosophical distanciation: A strategy for evaluation of international faculty exchanges in the health sciences. Nursing Leadership Forum, 2(4), 132-139.

Byrne, M. "Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations for International Nursing Practice", Gothenburg University and Swedish Council for Health Care invitational conference, Goteborg, Sweden, October 1996.

Byrne, M. (1998) Productive international faculty exchange. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 27, 1296-1304.

Health Needs of Hospitalized Swedish Children at Discharge (Sweden)
Based on work by Dr. Mary Byrne during a faculty exchange visit to Gothenburg University College of Health Sciences, this project identifies the needs of hospitalized children at time of discharge from one major regional medical center in western Sweden. The project has been developed in two parts. Phase One involved data collection at the hospital for a sample of children being discharged. This phase was undertaken by a Swedish nurse completing a master's degree and supervised by a Swedish researcher and by Dr. Byrne through E-mentoring and later on-site. Phase Two was directed by Dr. Byrne on-site in Sweden and included follow-up home visits and interviews with families. Data collection was continued by the master's student and Swedish researcher using protocols developed by Dr. Byrne while in Sweden. Plans are to continued related research, develop culturally relevant home care models and expand the models to Estonia, Latvia, and newly developing states. International conference participation included papers in Finland in July 1998 and South Korea in 1999.

Lundblad, B., Byrne, M., & Hellstrom, A-L. (2001) Continuing nursing needs of Swedish children at time of discharge from one regional medical center. Journal of Pediatric Nursing: Nursing Care of Children and Families, 16(1), 73-8.

Lundlad, B., Byrne, M. & Hellstrom, A-L. “Nursing Needs of Swedish Children at Time of Regional Medical Center Discharge”, Ninth Biennial Workshop of European Nurse Researchers Conference, Helsinki, Finland, 1998.

Collaborative Research and Writing on Cross-Cultural Projects (Sweden)
Dr. Byrne has created a liaison with an Assistant Professor of Nursing and a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Gothenburg and the university affiliated Sahlgrenska Medical Center. The collaboration, often with graduate students, is on a series of clinical research projects with cross-cultural aspects. In addition, Dr. Byrne is a resource for writing and disseminating results through publication in professional journals.