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Nataria T. Joseph Contributes to Development of Clinical Toolkit for Cardiovascular Risk Screening

Seaver College associate professor of psychology Nataria T. Joseph recently contributed to the publication “Cardiovascular Risk Screening among Women Veterans: Identifying Provider and Patient Barriers and Facilitators to Develop a Clinical Toolkit” alongside colleagues from UCLA and the Veterans Health Administration. The article, published in Women's Health Issues, seeks to determine obstacles to cardiovascular risk identification and reduction among women veterans. In partnership with the Veterans Health Administration, the research team developed clinical tools to identify cardiovascular disease risk factors and promote risk-reducing lifestyle changes.

“Cardiovascular (CV) disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States, making CV risk screening and management a women’s health priority,” the article shares. “CV risk is heightened by depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, which have been identified as important factors for CV events in women veterans.”

The research team determined that addressing CV risk screening and reduction among women veterans is especially important given the increased risk of CV caused by mental health burdens, in addition to the traditional CV risks. The research team systematically assessed barriers to assessment and treatment from provider and patient perspectives.

Ultimately, the research team, including Joseph, designed a CV Toolkit, a “highly user-friendly and clinically relevant toolkit,” to improve education, reduce barriers to CV health, and increase risk prevention.

“Our systematic approach to assessing barriers and facilitators from provider and patient perspectives provides new insights into ways to overcome gaps in women’s CVD risk assessment and treatment,” the researchers share. “Iteratively eliciting end-users’ perspectives is critical to developing user-friendly, clinically relevant tools. CV risk reduction among women veterans will require multilevel tools and resources that meet providers’ and women’s needs.”

Nataria Joseph is an associate professor of psychology. She received her PhD in clinical psychology (with health psychology and quantitative psychology minors) from the University of California-Los Angeles. Her research interests focus on socioeconomic adversity, daily life socioemotional stressors, and resilience factors that influence health behaviors and cardiovascular health markers such as ambulatory blood pressure. Her teaching focuses on research methods, health psychology, and aging.

To read the complete article, visit Women's Health Issues.