Dr. Debra Sheets

Dr. Debra Sheets
Position
Associate Professor
School of Nursing
Credentials

PhD, MSN, RN-BC, CN

Contact
Office: HSD B214

I joined the School of Nursing in 2009 as an Associate Professor and have been a full-time tenured faculty member since 2011. I teach graduate and undergraduate nurses courses with in quantitative research, gerontological nursing, and nursing leadership. I serve as coordinator for the Nursing Informatics (NUHI) double degree program and also  serve on the graduate education committee.

I earned my doctorate in gerontology and public policy from the University of Southern California.  I have 20 years of clinical nursing experience in areas that include critical care, post-anesthesia care unit, and the transitional care unit. I have been board certified as a gerontological nurse and as a nurse educator and am a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.  I am also an elected fellow in the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE).

Research

My research focuses on healthy aging and health outcomes (e.g., caregiving, geriatric care, technology in home care) for older adults and their families. I am passionate about applied research in gerontology and geriatrics that can make a difference in the lives of older adults. 

Research projects include:

Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), Followup 1 (2015-2018). Principal Investigator: Raina P., Co-Principal Investigators: Wolfson C., Kirkland S., Co-Investigators: Balion C., Chambers L., Cynader M., Griffith L., Hogan D., Kobor M., Lathrop M., Liu-Ambrose T., Menec V., Mugford G., Paterson A., Patterson C., Payette H., Poulin M., Richards B., Shannon H., Sheets D., Taler V., Tuokko H., Wister A., Young L. et. al Total: $23,504,699.

 Island Health. Modeling Changes in Mobility, Cognition and Daily Activities to Predict Care Needs in Community Dwelling Older Adults Living with Cognitive Impairment. (2017-2018).  PI: Beach, C. and Hundza, S. Co-I: D. Sheets, S. MacDonald, A. Mitz, M. Klimstra, Y. Coady, M. Klimstra. $50,000

Developmental Evaluation of the Implementation and Impact of the EPIC (Eldercare Project In Cowichan) Model for Seniors with Complex Chronic Diseases and Frailty (Phase 1). PI: M. DeChamplain.  Consultants:  D. Sheets, E. Gallagher. Island Health Research Competition 2015. April 2016- October 2017. $50,000.

Comparison of the Implementation and Outcomes of the Collective Impact Framework Initiatives in Saanich and the Cowichan Valley for Seniors with Complex Chronic Diseases and Frailty (Phase 2).  PI: M. DeChamplain. Consultants:  D. Sheets, E. Gallagher. Island Health Catalyst Competition 2015. April 2016- October 2017. $25,000.

Ecumen Scholars Evaluation. Margaret A. Cargill Foundation. Consultant:  D. Sheets. 2016-2018.

Bringing together experts and stakeholders to explore how to reduce transitions from Assisted Living to Residential Care by leveraging available Technologies. MSFHR 2017 Convening & Collaborating (C2) Awards. Lead: C. Beach. Co-Lead: D. Sheets, S. MacDonald, S. Hundza, 1/2017-1/2018. $15,000

A tale of seven cities and the CLSA.  Progress towards Age-Friendly Friendliness across Canada. PI: E. Kristjansson, V. Menec., L. Plouffe, A. Robitaille, N. Jodoin, M. Toohey, Y. Kestens, E. Gallagher, D. Sheets. CIHR Catalyst Grant, 2017-2018

 


Teaching

To me, nursing is one of the most optimistic of sciences. All that we do is based on the assumption that human caring makes a difference in the health of individuals and societies.
Dean Fain, Univ of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

I value approaches to nursing education that inspire students to become accomplished nurses who care deeply about the health and welfare of patients and their families, as well as the broader society. Learning is a transformative process that involves knowing how to provide excellent nursing care as well as developing an ethical and relational practice. My pedagogical approach is student centered and recognizes the influence of context, experience and co-construction on learning. I assess the success of my teaching by evaluating outcomes that include mastering competencies, demonstrating critical and reflective thinking, and effectively communicating with others.

I strive to develop immersive, collaborative and supportive learning environments that empower the students in multiple ways of thinking (e.g., critical, creative and practical), to draw upon multiple domains of knowledge (e.g.. evidence-based, experience), and to develop creativity in clinical problem-solving. I want students to develop a lifelong curiosity for learning and an ability to think about problems and issues in integrated ways that recognizes the connections between multiple perspectives (i.e. interdisciplinary) and how they can contribute to the development of nursing knowledge and science.

Publications

  • Young, L., Koning, C., Sheets, D., Skar, P., Schick-Makaroff, K., Gordon, C. (2017, pending). Effectiveness of physical activity interventions with healthy older women: a systematic review. The JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports. (in review)

  • Skar, P., Bruce, A., Sheets, D. (2015). Organizational culture in emergency departments and the older adults: A modified scoping study. International Emergency Nursing. 23 (2): 174-178.

  • Sheets, D., (2015). Chapter. 6. Chronic Conditions Among Older Adults. Working with older adults: A professional’s guide to contemporary issues of aging. Society of Certified Senior Advisors®, Denver, CO.

  • Sheets, D., (2015). Chapter. 5. Physical Changes of Aging, Working with older adults: A professional’s guide to contemporary issues of aging. Society of Certified Senior Advisors®, Denver, CO.

  • Sheets, D., Liebig, P., and Segal-Gidan, F., (2015).  Is Age Relevant to Creativity?  In C. Cowan & K. Close (Eds.).  Creative aging.  Woodlake Publishing, Kelowna BC, pp 297-304.  ISBN: 978-1-77064-790-9

  • Sheets, D. (2015). Ch. 6. Rehabilitation.  In G. Rowles & P. Teaster (Eds.). Long-term care in an aging society. Springer.

  • Sheets, D., Black, K., Kay, L., (2014). Who cares for caregivers? Evidence-based approaches to family support. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 57, (6-7), S525-530.

  • Sheets, D. Home Telehealth and an aging population. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research. 45 (4): 9-13. (Editorial).

  • Young, L., Sheets, D., & Paul, K. (2013). Effectiveness of physical activity interventions with healthy older women: a systematic review protocol. The JBI Database of Systematic

  • Sheets, D. & Gallagher, E. (2012) International Spotlight: Aging in Canada- State of the art and science. The Gerontologist. 53 (1,1-8. doi:10.1093/geront/gns150

Refereed Abstracts (past 5 years)

  • Sheets, D., Frisch, N., Pauly, B. An innovative approach to engage undergraduate nursing students in a research course. Paper presented at the Western Northwestern Region Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (WNRCASN). February 17, 2017.  Victoria, BC.

  • Rodrigues, L., Sheets, D., Smith, A., (2016). Assessing the Outcomes of a Visual Arts-Making Program for Older Adults in a Complex Care Facility: Attention to Voice, Context and Stories, Paper submitted to the 22nd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion, Curitiba, Brazil, May 22-26, 2016.

  • Cicero, C., Sheets, D. Visual Messages: Reframing Aging in Media for Digital Natives, Poster submitted to Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), Long Beach, CA, March 2016. 

  • Gali, B., Brewster, P., Poss, J., Beach, C., Asche, C., Mitz, A.R., Hundza, S., Gorenko, J., Sheets, D., MacDonald, S.W.S. Characterizing changes in expected health care resource utilization among home care clients in Ontario. Paper presented at the Canadian Association of Gerontology (CAG) 45th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting, October 20-22, 2016, Montreal, Canada (Oral Presentation).

  • Gorenko J., Gali B., Brewster P., Poss J., Beach C., Asche C., Mitz A.R., Hundza S., Sheets D., MacDonald S.W.S. Changes in social participation and loneliness are associated with risk of transition from home to residential care. Poster presented at the Canadian Association of Gerontology (CAG) 45th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting, Montreal, Canada, October 20-22, 2016,

  • Sheets, D., Beach, C., Mitz, A.R., Hundza, S., MacDonald, S.M., Asche, C., Gali, B. Caregiver Perceptions of Technologies to Support Community-Dwelling Older Adults with Dementia.  Poster presented at the Canadian Association of Gerontology (CAG) 45th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting, October 20-22, 2016, Montreal, Canada (Poster Presentation).

  • Sheets D, Beach C, Mitz A, Hundza AS, MacDonald S, Asche CV, Gali B. Caregiver Perceptions of Technologies to Support Community-Dwelling Older Adults with Dementia. The Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting (GSA), November 16-20, 2016, New Orleans, USA (Poster Presentation)

  • Sheets D., Beach C., Mitz A., MacDonald S., Hundza S., Klimstra M, Asche C.,  Coady Y. (2015). Can Technologies Match the Abilities of Human Caregivers? A model for research and practice. Poster presented at the Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) 44th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting, Calgary, Alberta, October 23-25, 2015.

  • Rodriguez, L., Sheets, D., (2015). The Impact of Visual Arts Programs on Meaningful Social Engagement for Older Persons: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature. Poster presented at the Canadian Association on Gerontology 44th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting October 23-25, 2015, Calgary, Alberta.
  • Young, L.E., Koning, C., Sheets, D., Schick-Makaroff, K., Skar, P., & Paul, K. (2015). Effectiveness of physical activity interventions with healthy older women: a systematic review. JBI Methodology Symposium, Adelaide, Australia, Sept 3, 2015.

  • Payne, A., & Sheets, D., Beach, C. (2015). Technology Supports for Community--‐Dwelling Older Adults with Dementia and Family Caregiver. Poster presented at the 3rd Annual Technology Evaluation for the Elderly Conference. Toronto, ON, Sept. 27-29, 2015. Canadian Geriatrics Journal.

  • Young, L.E., Sheets, D., Koning, C., Schick-Makaroff, K., Skar, P., Paul, K., & Godfrey, C. (2015) Effectiveness of physical activity interventions with healthy older women: a systematic review. Canadian Association on Gerontology 44th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting October 23-25, 2015, Calgary, Alberta

  • Sheets, D., Segal-Gidan, F., Liebig, P. (2014). Reconnecting Creativity and Aging: New Explorations. Poster accepted for the  67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November, Washington, DC. The Gerontologist. Volume 54
  • Young, L., Sheets, D., Skar, P., Schick-Makaroff, K., Konig, C. & Gordon, C. (2014), Effectiveness of Physical Activity Interventions with Healthy Older Women: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Poster accepted for the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November, Washington, DC. The Gerontologist. Volume 54
  • Sheets, D., Holroyd, A., Mukai, K. Cummings, L., & Collishaw, W. (2014). The Impact of The Enhanced Seniors Team (EST) on Acute Care Outcomes for Frail and/or At-Risk Older Adults. Poster presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November, Washington, DC. The Gerontologist. Volume 54
  • Sheets, D. (2012). Changing family caregiving: Innovative approaches to support dynamic needs. Paper presented at the 41st Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting of the Canadian Association of Gerontology. October, Vancouver, BC

  • Mallidou, A, Young, L., Sheets, D., Liu, G., & Tuokko, H. (2012). Widowhood, health, SES and social participation: Emerging vulnerabilities in later life for women. Paper presented at the 41st Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting of the Canadian Association of Gerontology. October, Vancouver, BC.

  • Young, L.E., Mallidou, A., Sheets, D., Liu, G., & Tuokko, H. (2012). Transitions in older women’s lives: Examining the impact of becoming a widow on health and social participation. CIHR Advancing Excellence in Gender Sex and Health Research. October, Montreal, Quebec

  • Young, L.E., Sheets, D., Mallidou, A. (2012). Older Widows: What are the Risks for Health and Well-being? Paper presented at Aging and Society Conference, Vancouver, BC. November 5-6, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE51FFAB0EADD4274&feature=view_all.

  • Kivnick, H., Sheets, D. de Medeiros, K., Schmidt, P., Maier, J. (2012). Integrating the arts and humanities in teaching gerontology. Symposium presented at the 65th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November, San Diego, CA. The Gerontologist. Volume 52, p. 721.

  • Sheets, D., Kaskie, B., Villa, V., Steward, S. (2012). The gerontological imagination: Research in health and aging from the first cohort of doctorates in gerontology. Symposium presented at the 65th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November, San Diego, CA. The Gerontologist. Volume 52, p. 656.

  • Sheets, D., Markwood, S., Cherry, D., Kelly, A., Revilla, L (2012). Public awareness and family caregiving: Improving access to information and support. Symposium presented at the 65th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November, San Diego, CA. Volume 52

 Other Publications (past 5 years)
  • Sheets, D. & Young, L.E., (2013). Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging: Aging study data collection site opens in Victoria. Research Communique’. School of Nursing, University of Victoria. October 2013

  • Sheets, D. (2013). Family and Informal Caregiver Initiative External Evaluation Final Report. Weinberg Foundation, Owings Mills, MD, 327 pp.

  • Mallidou, A., Young, L.E., & Sheets, D. (2013). Effectiveness of Community-Based Physical Activity/Exercise Programs on Older Women’s Physical Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Research Communique’. School of Nursing, University of Victoria. October, 2013.

  • Mukai, K., Holroyd, A., Sheets, D., Cummings, L., (2014) Evaluation of the Impact of the Enhanced Seniors Team (EST) Service at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.  Final Report.  Project funded by Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, HSPRSN Health Human Resources Research Program, through an Innovation for Evaluation Grant.

  • Beach, C., Sheets, D., MacDonald, S., Hundza, S., Mitz, A., (2015). eHOME-iCARE: Using Technology to Improve Caregiving at Home. Island Health Research Roundup, Spring-Summer 2015

  • Beach, C., Sheets, D., MacDonald, S., Hundza, S., Mitz, A., (2017). Helping Seniors with Dementia. Island Health Magazine, Jan 2017 retrieved from http://viha.uberflip.com/i/765804-island-health-magazine-winter-2017

Projects

Healthy Aging

CIHR: Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), Wave II. (2015-2018). Principal Investigator: Raina P., Co-Principal Investigators: Wolfson C., Kirkland S., Co-Investigators: Balion C., Chambers L., Cynader M., Griffith L., Hogan D., Kobor M., Lathrop M., Liu-Ambrose T., Menec V., Mugford G., Paterson A., Patterson C., Payette H., Poulin M., Richards B., Shannon H., Sheets D., Taler V., Tuokko H., Wister A., Young L. et. al Total: $23,504,699.

This longitudinal study involves 11 universities across Canada and 50,000 participants, age 45 to 85 years of age, who will be followed for at least 20 years. Our data collection site gathers comprehensive data on 3000 participants including: ECG, carotid ultrasound, bone density, spirometry, hearing and vision, gait and mobility, cognitive assessments, bio-specimens, etc. The ultimate aim of the CLSA is to find ways to improve the health of Canadians by better understanding the aging process and the factors that shape the way we age.

Caregiver Support

Technology Evaluation for the Elderly (TVN).Modeling changes in assessments to predict needs and guide care planning in home care. (2015-2016). Co-PI: D. Sheets; C. Beach, S. MacDonald, Co-Is. S. Hundza, Y. Coady, C. Asche, M. Klimstra, Technology Evaluation for the Elderly (TVN). $100,000

This study will develop a predictive frailty measure for seniors receiving home care by applying advanced analytic methods to data from the Resident Assessment Instrument- Homecare (RAI-HC). Specifically, we propose to: 1) develop predictive models of frailty that can inform decision-making, 2) implement the frailty measure with health care professionals working with home care clients, and 3) explore the impact of the frailty intervention on clinical decision making regarding transitions of care services utilization and health outcomes.

Island Health,Technology Supports for Community--;Dwelling Older Adults with Dementia and Family Caregivers. (2015-2016). PI: Sheets, D. and Beach, C. Beach. Co-I: Mitz, A.  $40,000

This study explores how advanced technologies could provide 30 to 60 minute breaks for the caregiver. It investigates exactly how family and formal caregivers interact with clients, and will identify the proper mix of modern technologies necessary to provide safe, effective periods of automated caregiving.

Island Health. Modeling Changes in Mobility, Cognition and Daily Activities to Predict Care Needs in Community Dwelling Older Adults Living with Cognitive Impairment. (2015-2016).  PI: Beach, C. and Hundza, S. Co-I: D. Sheets, S. MacDonald, A. Mitz, M. Klimstra, Y. Coady, M. Klimstra. $50,000

This project will develop key markers of mobility and cognitive decline from continuous home monitoring data to aid in early detection and prevention of adverse events (e.g., delirium, falls, wandering) for home-dwelling older adults with memory problems. This study is a crucial step in advancing the use of aggregate data that anticipates the care planning needs of home care clients with dementia. Early and accurate identification of changes in health status allows for timely interventions that can mitigate and prevent adverse events.

Humanities and Arts in Aging

University of Victoria Internal Research Grant: exploring the Impact of an Arts-Based Arts Program on the Social Inclusion of Older Adults in Residential Care (2015-2016). PI: Sheets, D.

This qualitative research project uses case study methodology to investigate the social participation of older adults living in residential care in an arts program. Findings will extend our understanding of the ways in which the arts can provide opportunities for meaningful social activities that improve quality of life.

Completed Projects

Sheets, D. & Holroyd, A., (Co-PI). Cummings, L. & Mukai, K. (Co-I). (2011-2014). Evaluation Plan for Enhanced Seniors Team (EST). Funding: Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

As Co-Investigator for the Evaluation of the Enhanced Seniors Team (EST) (2011-2013), I examined the impact of a geriatric team in the emergency department (ED) on the outcomes of frail older adults. Our findings indicated that older adults seen by the geriatric ED team had significantly better health and functional outcomes. The final report has influenced changes by our health authority in nursing practice and health system policies aimed at improving geriatric care in hospital

Sheets, D., (PI). (2009-2013).  National Evaluation of the Caregiver Initiative. Funding: Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

As the Principal Investigator of an evaluation for a national Caregiver Initiative ($8.1 million, 2009-2012)) in the United States, I evaluated the health outcomes of 14 evidence-based projects in eight states providing support to over 2000 family caregivers. Outcomes of the caregiver programs showed reductions in depression, burden and stress and have directly contributed to the expansion and replication of several projects and brought attention to the needs of caregivers by local, state and national policymakers.