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Dr. Efrosini Papaconstantinou - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Dr. Efrosini Papaconstantinou Dr. Efrosini Papaconstantinou

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Nursing Program | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

Developing practical wellness interventions to promote healthy sleep habits in at-risk populations

Biography

A healthy sleep regime is as important to the body as proper nutrition. Yet, in a culture that thrives on being perpetually plugged in, the vast majority of adults and children fall short of the recommended amount of sleep needed each night, and too often sleep is interrupted. Proper sleep is vital for physiological recovery from daily activity, illness or injury; still, society continues to undermine its value.

Fascinated by the ripple effect of inadequate sleep, notable sleep expert Dr. Efrosini Papaconstantinou has extensively researched sleep patterns and disturbances in children, adolescents and their families. In 2014, she joined the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Nursing Program; and is focused on promoting the importance of sleep and the intricate role it plays in the brain’s ability to make important decisions; improve productivity, exercise, and nutrition; and promote cardiovascular and immune system function. Through her research, she aims to influence public policy to provide targeted interventions to improve sleep and other health outcomes for at-risk groups including hospitalized children and their families; and adolescents. She is one of only a few Canadian researchers using actigraphy, an objective measure of sleep and wake patterns.

As a paediatric clinical nurse, Dr. Papaconstantinou’s research motivation stems from witnessing first-hand, the negative effects of sleep deprivation on hospitalized children and their families. In 2014, she received her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science from the University of Toronto. For her dissertation, she developed a novel program to improve the sleep of paediatric patients during hospitalization and once they are discharged home. Results of her Relax to Sleep program showed that children who underwent intervention averaged 50 extra minutes of night-time sleep while in hospital, and they had less sleep disturbance after being discharged.

Dr. Papaconstantinou earned both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2001, and her Master of Science in Clinical Sciences in 2004, from McMaster University in Hamilton. From 2005 to 2010, she served as a full-time lecturer in the School of Nursing at York University’s Faculty of Health, then as a lecturer and clinical instructor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto from 2011 to 2013.

Industry Expertise (4)

Health and Wellness Education/Learning Research Program Development

Areas of Expertise (9)

Nursing Pediatrics Clinical Health Sciences Critical Care Nursing Sleep Patterns Predictors of Disturbed Sleep Child and Adolescent Health Randomized Controlled Trials Evaluation of Nursing Interventions

Accomplishments (4)

Rosenstadt Doctoral Research Dissertation Award (professional)

2012-01-01

Dr. Papaconstantinou received this $1,000 award to support her dissertation: The Feasibility and Acceptability of the Relax to Sleep Program on Sleep During Pediatric Hospitalization and Beyond: A pilot Randomized Controlled Trial, from the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto.

May Yoshida Memorial Fellowship (professional)

2011-01-01

Awarded $800 by the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto.

Doctoral Fellowship in Complementary and Alternative Health Care and Paediatrics (professional)

2008-01-01

Awarded $105,000 to conduct research on sleep patterns and disturbances in children over three years, Dr. Papaconstantinou received this prestigious endowment from the Hospital for Sick Children, SickKids Foundation in Toronto, Ontario.

Rosenstadt Nursing Fellowship (professional)

2007-01-01

Awarded $5,000 by the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto.

Education (3)

University of Toronto: PhD, Philosophy in Nursing 2014

McMaster University: MSc, Clinical Health Sciences 2004

McMaster University: BSc, Nursing 2001

Graduated Summa Cum Laude

Affiliations (9)

  • Registered Nurses Association of Ontario
  • Pediatric Nurses Interest Group (RNAO)
  • Provincial Nurse Educator Interest Group (RNAO)
  • Complementary Therapies Nurses' Interest Group (RNAO)
  • Canadian Association of School of Nursing: Simulation Interest Group
  • Canadian Sleep Society
  • Sleep Research Society
  • International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing

Event Appearances (9)

Advancing the Philosophical Roots of the Artistry of Simulation

14th Annual Conference: International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation & Learning  Atlanta, Georgia

2015-06-10

Coping, Perceived Stress Eating Patterns, and Sleep Characteristics (CoPES) of 4th year Undergraduate Nursing and Medical Laboratory Science Students in Practicum

LABCON 2015, Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science  Montréal, Québec

2015-05-22

Kidzzz Sleep: Are they getting enough?

Lynngate Junior School Advisory Council  Toronto District School Board, Toronto, Ontario

2014-11-04

Kidzzz Sleep: Are they getting enough?

Durham's Best Start Network  Region of Durham Headquarters, Oshawa, Ontario

2014-09-26

The Relax to Sleep Study: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)

The 28th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies  Minneapolis, Minnesota

2014-06-01

The Relax to Sleep study: A Pilot RCT, Young Investigators Presentation

Seventh Bi-Annual Conference on Pediatric Sleep Medicine  Amelia Island, Florida

2013-11-07

A Behavioural-Educational Intervention to Promote Pediatric Sleep During Hospitalization and Beyond: A Pilot RCT

6th Conference of the Canadian Sleep Society  Halifax, Nova Scotia

2013-10-04

Promoting Pediatric Sleep During Hospitalization

Connaught Global Challenge International Symposium  Toronto, Ontario

2012-09-27

The Acceptability, Feasibility, and Effectiveness of the Relax to Sleep Program on Sleep During Pediatric Hospitalization and Beyond: A Pilot RCT

First International Symposium on Nursing Intervention Research, April 2011  Montréal, Québec

2011-04-06

Sample Talks (1)

Sleep Disturbance in Children and Their Families Across the Continuum of Care

Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres Knowledge Exchange Network Webinar http://ken.caphc.org/xwiki/bin/view/Other/Sleep+disturbance+in+children+and+their+families+across+the+continuum+of+care, November 11, 2015.

Research Grants (3)

Coping, Perceived Stress Eating Patterns, and Sleep Characteristics (CoPES) of 4th year Undergraduate Nursing and Medical Laboratory Science Students in Practicum

UOIT 

2015-02-01

This research focuses on examining the sleep and eating patterns, coping mechanisms and perceived stress facing nursing students completing clinical placements, most often 12-hour, night shifts, in their final year of study. The goal is to develop a wellness intervention to improve sleep and health outcomes.

SHOCK in Nursing Education

UOIT Teaching Innovation Fund $7996

2015-01-01

This research is aimed at creating an interactive online module to teach nurses about physiological shock, including anaphylactic and septic shock.

The Feasibility and Acceptability of a Behavioural-Educational Intervention to Improve Pediatric Sleep During Hospitalization: A pilot RCT

CIHR Team Research Grant in Sleep and Biological Rhythms $4000

2011-10-01

The objective of this pilot trial was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a novel intervention to promote sleep in hospitalized children.

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Courses (3)

Child and Adolescent Health

HLSC 2801U, 2nd Year, Undergraduate Course

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Interprofessional Health Care Teams

HLSC 3601U, 3rd Year, Undergraduate Course

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Nursing Synthesis

NURS 4700U, 4th Year, Undergraduate Course

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Articles (1)

The Feasibility and Acceptability of a Behavioural-Educational Intervention – the Relax to Sleep Program – to Increase Pediatric Sleep during Hospitalization: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial University of Toronto

2014-11-01

Hospitalization can contribute to common sleep difficulties related to environmental, physiological, and psychological factors. Interventions aimed at hospitalized children need to be developed and piloted with rigorous evaluative methods. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a behavioural-educational intervention – the RELAX TO SLEEP program – aimed at increasing nighttime sleep for hospitalized children.

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