Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

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Degree Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Degree Track

Post Master's DNP Completion

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Month Degree Awarded



Bhutanese Refugees, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERDS), peptic ulcer disease (PUD), language, cultures


Dr. Kalpana Poudel-Tandukar, PhD, MPH, MPHC, CGM

DNP Project Chair

Dr. Pamela Aselton, PhD, MPH, FNP-BC


Background: Bhutanese refugees in the United States frequently suffer from gastrointestinal diseases especially gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)and peptic ulcer disease (PUD) which may impact on their quality of life. Purpose: This DNP Project utilized individualized patient education to help improve knowledge on prevention and management of GERD to decrease exacerbations. Methods: Three sessions of individualized live patient education with 15 Bhutanese refugee patients living in Western Massachusetts were provided. Pre and post intervention surveys on patient's symptoms, quality of life, degree of patient knowledge about disease and self-care management and number of ambulatory care visits utilizing the GERD Impact Scale (GIS) questionnaire.

Result: Statistically significant improvements were noted in overall symptoms and quality of life (5.25 points), knowledge scores (2.40 points) and number of ambulatory care visit (0.66 visit). The percentage of patients reported daily experiencing burning sensation on chest or behind the breast bone, pain on chest or behind the breast bone and sore throat or hoarseness was decreased by 53.3%, 26.67% and 33.3% respectively. Moreover, there was 62.5% decrease in ambulatory care visits.

Conclusion: This culturally tailored individualized patient education program helped promote patient's knowledge on disease process, risk factors and self-care management of GERD and PUD. It was also helpful in reducing short term and long-term complications of GERD and PUD, increasing quality of life and decreasing ambulatory care visits among Bhutanese refugee population living in Western Massachusetts.

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