Student Research

2023 Student Research Festival

Twelve posters and presentations were prepared by Health Sciences and Public Health students for Carroll's 2022 Student Research Festival (SRF) based on research projects they did under the supervision of Health Sciences faculty.

  • Natalie Abernathy: Diagnosis Methods in Horses with Potomac Horse Fever. Presentation
  • Aura Arroyo: In Middle Aged Women with HPV and Risk of Cervical Cancer, How Does HPV DNA Testing Compare to Cervical Cytology in Detecting Cervical Cancer. Presentation
  • Bailey Babin: Effects of Soy on Male Fertility. Presentation
  • McKenna Bomengen: How Carotenoid Micro Supplementation Effects the Onset on Age Related Macular Degeneration, a Systematic Review. Presentation
  • Rylyn Erickson: Effect of implementing alternative nutrition and dietary lifestyle interventions on treatment plans for patients with clinical anxiety or depression. Presentation
  • Sarah Greene: The Impact of Psychosocial Intervention for Depression following Lower Extremity Injuries: A Systematic Review. Presentation
  • Macie Holmes: Under Pressure: A Systematic Review of Weighted Blankets. Presentation
  • Sadie Jones: Effects of Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) from Aerobic and Anaerobic exercise in middle aged and older Adults with Alzheimer’s. Presentation
  • Marie Moseley: The prevalence of ventricular tachycardia reoccurrence following catheter ablation amongst those with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Presentation
  • James Normandeau: Comparing Surgical and Pharmaceutical Techniques for Treating Uncomplicated Appendicitis. Presentation
  • Dominique Taugher: Chronic Wound Treatment Using Mesenchymal Stem Cells: A Systematic Review. Presentation
  • Baxter Tuggle: Hybrid Closed Loop Insulin Delivery System Treatment for Adults and Adolescents with Type One Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review. Presentation

2022 Student Undergraduate Research Festival

Sixteen posters and presentations were prepared by Health Sciences and Public Health students for Carroll's 2022 Student Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF) based on research projects they did under the supervision of Health Sciences faculty.

  • Austin Bedke: The Effectiveness of Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation on Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review. Photo | Presentation
  • Sarah Conway: Treatments for Post-Concussion Syndrome: A Systematic Review. Photo | Presentation
  • Breanna Cook: Heparin Treatment for Pregnant Women with Protein S Deficiency: A Systematic Review. Presentation
  • Trent Durfey: Effects of Massage Therapy on Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review. Photo | Presentation
  • Katie Donaldson: Combined Targeted Therapy of Herceptin and Perjeta for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer, a Systemic Review. Photo | Presentation
  • Sarah Graham, Tarryn Cherry, Madison Lundberg, Ibrahim Nouh, Henry Phillip, Emma Rausch: How To Support a Survivor. Photo | Presentation
  • Sarah Graham: The Effectiveness of Low Dose Aspirin for Preventing Preeclampsia: A Systematic Review. Photo | Presentation
  • Lucas Jensen: Radioligand Therapy and Targeted Antigen Therapy in Treatment of Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review. Photo | Presentation
  • Amber Jones: How Osteopathic Manipulation Treatment Interventions Affect Headache Disorders, A Systematic Review. Photo | Presentation
  • Sophie Loveless: Comparing the Recommended Protein Intake to the Actual Protein Intake Among Collegiate Athletes, a Systematic Review. Photo | Presentation
  • Emilie Maes, Brayton Homes, Bryan Brensdal, Brandon Duffy, Michael Sullivan, Ellen Huttle, Trent Durfey, London Lambrecht, Broder Thurston: Expanding Coaching Boys Into Men. Presentation
  • Danielle Olsen: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy in Pediatric Clients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review. Photo | Presentation
  • Grace Shelton: Dry Needling for Treatment of Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review. Photo | Presentation
  • Eliza Shepherd, Breanna Cook, Kami Koster, Bridget Onley, Genesis Wilkinson, Sadie Jones, Emma VanSickle, Grace Kraut: Assessment of the Physical Accessibility of Carroll College. Photo | Presentation
  • Tristan Stigan: Stem Cell Therapy for Treatment of Lower Back Pain Due to Degenerative Disk Disease: A Systematic Review. Photo | Presentation
  • Callie Warfle: Effects of Kinesiotape on Athletes: A Systematic Review. Photo | Presentation

2021 Student Undergraduate Research Festival

Posters and presentations were prepared by Health Sciences and Public Health students for Carroll's 2021 virtual Student Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF) based on research projects they did under the supervision of Health Sciences faculty or as part of an internship.

Gwyneth Lyman (Major: Anthrozoology)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences, Anthrozoology

The Mental Health Considerations of Having an Animal Companion for Impoverished Populations

Objective: To review literature on the impact of companion animals on mental health in low-income populations.

Methods: PubMed and CINAHL were used to identify literature on the relationships between mental health and the presence of a companion animal in low-income populations.

Results: Certain factors, like the cost of animal care and the destruction of property by an animal, were shown to be stressors, but overall, animal companions were found to have a strong, positive associations with owners’ improved mental state. This may be due to increased social interaction and routine formation.

Conclusions: The benefit of pet ownership is suggested by research to have an overall positive impact on the mental state of low-income owners. Support structures providing greater access to food, toys, and veterinary care for impoverished pet owners would provide many with the resources needed to support their animal and in turn, their own mental health.

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Kendyl Pierson (Majors: Health Sciences, Public Health)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Finding the Most Effective Treatment Method for Myofascial Trigger Points: A Systematic Review

Myofascial Trigger Points (MTrP’s) are muscular nodules found in soft tissue often surrounding an injury and are commonly found in major muscles used in strenuous activity. Although the exact number of those with symptoms of MTrPs is unknown, it is estimated that this illness affects as many as 9 million people in the United States. MTrP’s can affect any population but especially those who participate in sports. MTrP’s reduce muscle elasticity, cause weakness, and produce pain in response to direct pressure. By looking at studies that compare different treatment plans, this research will identify the most effective approach to address MTrP’s. Research will provide information to both clinical treatment outlets and to the general public in order to help individuals make more informed decisions on the most economical treatment option for their specific case.

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Serena Nelson (Majors: Health Sciences, Psychology)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Neurofeedback Training as an Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum

Objective: To review relevant literature analyzing the effectiveness of neurofeedback training (NFT) as an intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Methods: Studies were gathered through PubMed and CINAHL to evaluate the change in cognitive, behavioral, and social difficulties associated with ASD.

Results: The six studies included in this review reported cognitive, behavioral, and social improvements for children with ASD that received NFT. Studies showed that brain activity (as measured by EEG) normalized in comparison to typically developing (TD) participants. Parents reported that participants' behavioral and social symptoms reduced in severity.

Conclusion: The use of NFT as an intervention for children with ASD is associated with an overall improvement in functioning and a decrease in symptoms

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Broder Thurston (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Relationship Between Vitamin D3 and Breast Cancer Apoptosis

Objective: To review published literature regarding the effect of vitamin D3 treatment on the rates of cell death and growth inhibition in cultured human breast cancer cells.

Methods: Literature identified using PubMed and CINAHL was evaluated for the impacts of treating human breast cancer cells with vitamin D3 analogs. The interventions included calcitriol, EB 1089, calcipotriene and CB 1093.

Results: The majority of the literature supported vitamin D3 as a viable treatment option for breast cancer cells, especially the MCF7 cell line. Lab studies have shown promising anti-proliferative and apoptotic results in these cells, as well as other cell lines. Vitamin D3 treatment is most effective when used in conjunction with other treatment options, including celecoxib and chemotherapy.

Conclusions: In lab settings, vitamin D3 analogs have shown promising effects on human breast cancer cells in terms of limiting growth and replication and inducing apoptosis. This systematic review concludes that vitamin D3 treatment has the potential to be effective in humans and should be considered a promising treatment option. Future research should be conducted to determine the efficacy of D3 in treating breast cancer in human subjects.

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Rachel Vance (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Music Therapy Effects on Alzheimer’s Related Anxiety and Depression

Objective: To review current literature regarding the effects of music therapy on Alzheimer’s-related anxiety and depression.

Methods: Literature was gathered through PubMed and CINAHL for review of the effects of music therapy on anxiety and depression in individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease

Results: This literature review found favorable results for music therapy as an alternative to pharmacological interventions for Alzheimer’s-related anxiety and depression. The most effective intervention combined music therapy and medication that was already prescribed to the patients.

Conclusion: Music therapy can help decrease anxiety and depression in Alzheimer’s patients, with the best results coming from long term music therapy. Music therapy should be further researched as an additional treatment option for those with Alzheimer’s related anxiety and depression.

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Kamden Hilborn (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Long Term Effect of Caffeine Therapy on Development

Objective: To analyze relevant literature regarding long-term developmental impacts of caffeine therapy on infants with apnea of prematurity.

Methods: Literature was gathered through PubMed and CINAHL and assessed for any long-term developmental effects; positive or negative, that came from caffeine citrate treatment. Interventions included caffeine citrate administered at the recommended clinical dosage, early vs. late caffeine therapy and higher doses of caffeine.

Results: The reviewed literature supported the idea that caffeine citrate is beneficial to premature infants experiencing apnea. There was no common linkage of caffeine therapy and negative long-term developmental impacts. Caffeine therapy proved beneficial in major outcomes such as neurobehavioral development and motor development. Caffeine also showed a decreased rate in health risks such as death and disability.

Conclusions: The use of caffeine citrate as treatment for apnea of prematurity has shown positive long-term developmental impacts in neurobehavior and motor development. Alternative outcomes regarding possible negative effects of such treatments should be studied further.

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Anna Romero (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Review of Oxytocin and Bicarbonate Treatment for Dystocic Labor and Comparative Maternal and Fetal Outcomes

Dystocia is a condition that affects pregnant women and is characterized by a difficult, prolonged labor. Typical aspects of Dystocia include slow progression of cervical dilation, inadequate contractions and pushing, and generally poor uterine action. This strenuous process can negatively affect both the mother and infant, often leading to adverse outcomes. Three treatment options are commonly conducted when addressing this problem: labor augmentation through the use of drugs, instrumental assistance, and cesarean delivery; this study focused specifically on drug interventions. Currently, oxytocin treatments are most commonly used to treat labor dystocia. However, a relatively new treatment, sodium bicarbonate, has been tested on pregnant, dystocic women. The purpose of this study was to determine if a new bicarbonate treatment could be a beneficial addition to the labor process, resulting in better maternal and fetal outcomes, compared to the exclusive use of oxytocin. The goal was to provide insight into other effective treatments for Dystocia and give laboring mothers another non-invasive option for delivery. This information can be beneficial for healthcare providers as they are deciding how best to care for their patients and potentially decrease the incidence of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Furthermore, this study is meant to provide direction in the research aspect of labor and delivery, leading to a favorable advancement in this healthcare field.

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Anna Noteboom (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

How Gut Microbiome Interventions Affect Alzheimer’s Symptoms: A Systematic Review

Objective: To review current literature concerning the effectiveness of gut microbiome interventions on Alzheimer’s symptoms and biomarkers.

Methods: Literature was gathered through PubMed and CINAHL and assessed for the effectiveness of gut microbiome interventions on Alzheimer’s symptoms and biomarkers. The interventions included were antibiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), nutritional shifts, and probiotics.

Results: The majority of literature supported the stance that interventions to alter the gut microbiome have a favorable effect for Alzheimer’s patients. Antibiotics was the one intervention without full support from the literature. However, FMT, probiotics, and nutritional shifts had favorable results in both human and mice.

Conclusions: Gut microbiome interventions have shown promising results for Alzheimer’s patients in terms of symptoms and biomarkers. The interventions mentioned in this review should be researched further in order to provide additional treatment options.

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Brittany Cory (Majors: Health Sciences, Public Health)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Systematic Review of Deep Brain Stimulation as a Possible Treatment for Alzheimer’s

The goal of this systematic review was to assess current articles and their conclusions regarding the cognitive effects of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. Four of the seven reviewed studies found a strong correlation between increased cerebral metabolism and electrical stimulation as opposed to the typical decline in metabolism seen in AD. In addition to this correlation, DBS was also found to have a significant effect on slowing the degradation of brain cells. Although DBS was found to be correlated with increased cerebral metabolism, this did not result in an improvement of cognition. Sources used in this review were gathered from PubMed and CINAHL databases. These sources were screened for associations between DBS and cognition in Alzheimer’s patients. Further research on the connection between cerebral metabolism and cognitive function is still required to allow for use of DBS as a treatment for Alzheimer’s.

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Emily Steffan (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

The Effectiveness of D-Dimer and Ultrasonography in Ruling Out DVT

Objective. To review current literature on the effectiveness of ultrasonography and D-dimer assays in ruling out and diagnosing Deep Venous Thromboses (DVT).

Methods. Literature identified through PubMed and Google Scholar searches was reviewed regarding the effectiveness of D-dimer or ultrasonography in identifying DVT.

Results. D-dimer assays should be the initial diagnostic test used after determining a patient’s clinical risk for DVT. If the D-dimer is negative, ultrasonography need not be used. If D-dimer is positive, ultrasonography must be performed to confirm a DVT diagnosis.

Conclusion. A positive D-dimer cannot be used to diagnose a DVT, so in patients with a high clinical risk, ultrasonography should be used. In patients with low or moderate clinical risk, a negative D-dimer can rule out a DVT.

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Kayla Morris, Health Sciences and Public Health Majors; Brayton Holmes, Public Health Major; Dana Beaty, Health Sciences Major; Kaitlynn Anderson, Health Sciences and Public Health Majors; Sarah Graham, Public Health Major; Keri Peterson, Health Sciences and Public Health Majors; Whitney Weeden, Health Sciences Major

Research Mentor: Kelly Parsley; Field of Study: Public Health

Lets Talk About Sex….ual Assault: Community Assessment of Carroll College Student Awareness of Sexual Assault on Campus

Sexual assault continuously impacts college campuses and students nationwide. A cumulative risk assessment encompassing four years of college suggests over one in three women will experience sexual assault by senior year (1). In addition, up to 7% of men on college campuses experience sexual assault (1). College students face multiple barriers to reporting, suggesting that one of the hardest parts about coming forward and seeking help is the shame that could come with it. Ten of the fourteen participants in one study were worried about the shame that would result from reporting. They also feared what people would think of them (2). Carroll College was recently awarded a grant to improve sexual assault prevention and response on campus. The students in Public Health Practice and Theories (PH 333) completed a literature review encompassing a total of 28 academic articles to gain better insights into sexual assault on college campuses. Additionally, students completed 14 interviews, two focus groups, environmental scans, and an outlet density scan of area resources that provide victim services in Helena, Montana. After learning the Carroll College campus was in need of more education regarding sexual assault prevention and victim services, students in PH 333 created educational materials, programing, and social media campaigns to implement a new culture of sexual assault awareness on campus.

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Madysen Hachler, Public Health and Anthrozoology Majors; Amelia Konen, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Major; Emma Rausch, Public Health Major; Jennifer Wagner, Public Health Major; Shannon Dinsdale, Public Health Major

Research Mentor: Kelly Parsley; Field of Study: Public Health

Take PRIDE in Your Mental Health Research Mentor

LGBTQ+ college students are more susceptible to mental health issues such as depression and thoughts of suicide (Effrig, 2011). Unfortunately, Carroll College students are not immune to this. Currently, Carroll has resources in place to help students with mental health issues, but they do not have resources that are specific to students in the LGBTQ+ community. While Carroll does offer counseling support, they could expand and update those resources to better meet the needs of LGBTQ+ students. A group of students in PH 333 Public Health Theories and Practice completed an assessment of resources specifically focused on ways to improve the resources available to LGBTQ+ students on Carroll’s campus. Students also created fliers for the community to share the current resources that Carroll and the City of Helena has to offer LGBTQ+ students.

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Eliza Shepherd, Public Health Major; Anthony Jones, Health Sciences Major; Emma Perry, Public Health Major; Nainoa Soto, Public Health Major; Elizabeth Gleasman, Public Health Major; Josephine Barker, Health Sciences Major; Madeline Arnold, Health Sciences Major

Research Mentor: Kelly Parsley; Field of Study: Public Health

COVID-19 and Isolation: The Effects of a Global Pandemic on the Carroll Community

A study performed on graduate and undergraduate students in September of 2020 discovered that 71.26% suffered from increased stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic (Wang et al.). They also found that less than half of the participants in the study felt able to cope effectively with chronic or newfound stress. Wanting to see how Carroll compared to this percentage, student researchers conducted interviews, focus groups, environmental scans, and outlet density scans in order to gather results. Student researchers found that Carroll students face similar levels of increased stress due to COVID-19 and isolation conditions. Carroll students reported worsening mental health conditions, particularly when in isolation. Interview and focus group participants described being isolated in empty apartments that didn’t include basic necessities needed for student life. There were reports of failed meal delivery, as well as students being forgotten and left in hotels. The information gathered from this project will be used to educate students on mental health services to help them address COVID-related stressors. This information will also be used to inform Carroll on the needs of their students to ensure these needs are met while they are in isolation.

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