About PriSSM

Our research is informed by the socio-ecological model, which starts with the individual and then broadens out to look at the family and the community. 

Suzanne Bakken, PhD, RN, FAAN, Principal Investigator

The Precision in Symptom Self-Management (PriSSM) Center is an interdisciplinary collaboration at Columbia University School of Nursing that is supported by a five-year National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) grant (P30 NR016587).

Research at the PriSSM Center advances the science of symptom self-management for Latinos through a social ecological lens that takes into account variability in individual, interpersonal, organizational, and environmental factors across the life course.

The specific aims of the PriSSM Center are to:

  • Develop sustainable interdisciplinary, biobehavioral research capacity for symptom self-management research by establishing a sociotechnical infrastructure including centralized research resources.
  • Enable symptom self-management feasibility research that will develop into new programs of research and independent investigator research applications by supporting six pilot projects.
  • Advance symptom self-management for Latinos through synergistic research activities informed by a social ecological lens and precision medicine approaches.
  • Assess the PriSSM Center activities, impact, and sustainability through formative and summative evaluation.

Through its cores, the PriSSM Center uses its outstanding institutional resources and proposed research activities to better understand how genetic ancestry, culture, and other factors influence Latino symptom self-management and to reduce this scientific knowledge gap for Latinos of diverse heritage.

Studies under the PriSSM umbrella are designed with help from people in the population being studied, and the results are shared with the study participants as well as with professionals.

PriSSM Center Cores

Administrative Core

Leader: Suzanne Bakken, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, School of Nursing and Department of Biomedical Informatics

The aims of the Administrative Core are to:

  • Establish an innovative sociotechnical infrastructure comprising three Cores (Administrative, Pilot Projects, Precision Medicine) that supports the planning, implementation, and dissemination of six pilot projects and other Center activities.
  • Maintain an organizational structure that ensures the scientific, ethical, regulatory, and financial integrity of the Center and supports the Center’s day-to-day management.
  • Provide expertise and guidance to pilot project investigators and other Center investigators on multi-faceted engagement and dissemination strategies.
  • Apply community-engaged approaches to develop and/or refine genomic educational resources and human subjects research documents that meet standards for ethical considerations, Latino cultural appropriateness, and health literacy.
  • Implement a formative and summative evaluation plan that includes measurable goals and ongoing assessment of the Center’s progress, impact, and efforts to facilitate sustainability.

The Administrative Core’s approach for achieving these aims is informed by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) Logic Model for Center Sustainability and takes advantage of the exceptional resources of Columbia University including its Clinical and Translational Science Award-funded services. The Administrative Core leaders, investigators, and staff have substantial expertise in the center topic and in administrative processes. The center engagement and dissemination strategies are multi-faceted, incorporate use of social media, and take advantage of our knowledge and experience in translation, implementation, and dissemination in a variety of fields including symptom science, self-management, precision medicine, data science and informatics, community-engaged research, health disparities, and Latino health. The center evaluation plan is innovative in its use of big data from social media and other big data streams and a variety of data science analytic methods including topic modeling, organizational network analysis, and social media data mining. Together these activities form the foundation for sustainability of the PriSSM Center.

Pilot Projects Core

Leaders: Arlene Smaldone PhD, CPNP-PC, CDE, School of Nursing and College of Dental Medicine, and Walter Bockting, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and School of Nursing

The aims of the Pilot Projects Core are to:

  • Establish, refine, and maintain the Pilot Projects Core sociotechnical infrastructure for the development, selection, and implementation of six symptom self-management pilot projects.
  • Enhance the competence of pilot project investigators and other Center investigators in biobehavioral research for symptom self-management.
  • Provide expertise and guidance to pilot project investigators and other Center investigators on symptom self-management, interdisciplinary collaboration, biobehavioral approaches, study design and implementation, and selection of measures and data sources.
  • Support the implementation of the pilot project components of the formative and summative evaluation plan.

The Pilot Projects Core is designed to function in synchrony with the Administrative and Precision Medicine Cores. Together they provide the guidance and resources required by eligible nurse scientists to develop and lead the six proposed pilot projects, to conduct these studies efficiently, and to use the results to yield a foundation for an evolving body of knowledge and programs of biobehavioral research in symptom self-management for Latinos. To address the learning needs of Pilot Project Principal Investigators, the Pilot Projects Core will support the creation of tailored learning plans and identification of relevant training resources for symptom science, precision approaches, cultural awareness of Latino health needs, and translating and disseminating findings to the range of stakeholders represented by investigators, study participants, funders, and the Latino community. These efforts will be enabled by use of infrastructure, including the management and regulatory processes in the Administrative Core, and scientific expertise of PriSSM Center investigators, as well as the Precision Medicine Resources of Columbia’s Clinical and Translational Science Award, the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. The expertise and coordinated efforts of the Pilot Projects Core will ensure the building of increased biobehavioral research capacity in symptom self-management in a manner consistent with the National Institutes of Health Symptom Science Model. This increase in research capacity will advance the science of symptom self-management for Latinos.

Precision Medicine Core

Leaders: Elaine Larson, PhD, RN, FAAN, CIC, School of Nursing and Department of Epidemiology and Lena Mamykina, PhD, Department of Biomedical Informatics

Description: The aims of the Precision Medicine Core are to:

  1. Establish, refine, and maintain the Precision Medicine Core sociotechnical infrastructure for the collection and/or retrieval, storage, analysis, interpretation, and integration of multiple data sources to support the Center to (a) design and implement six symptom self-management pilot projects and (b) to create and maintain a common data element registry suitable for sharing with the National Institutes of Health and others.
  2. Expand and leverage existing institutional “omics” data resources including the Columbia GENomic Integration with Ehr (GENIE) virtual biobank.
  3. Provide expertise and guidance to Pilot Project investigators and other Center investigators on selection of data sources (genomic and other biomarkers, clinical, symptom self-reports, quantified-self, environmental) and analytic approaches (biostatistics, statistical genetics, data science) for symptom self-management.
  4. Support the implementation of the data science components (e.g., network analysis, topic modeling) of the formative and summative evaluation plan.

To achieve these aims, the Precision Medicine Core integrates expertise and resources related to variety of data sources (genomic and other biomarkers, clinical, symptom self-reports, quantified-self, environmental) and analytic approaches (biostatistics, statistical genetics, data science). A federated information architecture supports instantiation of the Social Ecological Model with multiple data sources and tools to enable precision in characterization of genotype and phenotype, precision in identification of intervention targets, and precision in intervention. The Precision Medicine Core is innovative in its focus on Latinos who vary significantly in genetic ancestry as well as cultural background and in the use of the Columbia GENIE Virtual Biobank to locate existing “omics” data resources for pilot projects. The proposed precision approaches will advance the science of symptom self-management for Latinos in a manner consistent with the National Institutes of Health Symptom Management Model.