Psychoneuroimmunology: an emerging framework for nursing research

Authors

  • Janice M Zeller PhD RN FAAN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor, Department of Medical Nursing and Associate Professor, Department of Immunology/Microbiology, Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
      Professor J M Zeller, Department of Immunology/Microbiology, Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, 1653 West Congress Parkway, Chicago Illinois 60612, USA
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  • Nancy L McCain DSN RN,

    1. Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
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  • Barbara Swanson DNSc RN

    1. Study Coordinator, Women's Interagency HIV Study, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
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Professor J M Zeller, Department of Immunology/Microbiology, Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, 1653 West Congress Parkway, Chicago Illinois 60612, USA

Abstract

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is concerned with the mechanisms of bidirectional communication between the neuroendocrine and immune systems Investigators in other disciplines have used this framework to guide the examination of possible relationships between behavioural factors and the progression of immunologically mediated illnesses and to evaluate the role of immune products m central nervous system disturbances Nurse scientists have an opportunity to make unique contributions to the growing field of PNI Unlike basic science research, which has as its goal the generation of fundamental knowledge concerning biological or behavioural processes, nursing research is driven by the need to promote excellence in nursing science as a guide for nursing practice Although a few nurse scientists have conducted PNI research to date, additional studies are needed to generate new knowledge concerning mind-body interactions in health and illness and to develop strategies that promote mental and physical well-being in persons at risk for immune dysfunction This paper highlights the few recently conducted nursing studies grounded in a PNI framework to illustrate the utility of PNI in advancing nursing science

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