The American Academy of Nursing today announced the designation of John Lowe, PhD, RN, FAAN, as an Academy Edge Runner for his Talking Circle Intervention, a model of care for the prevention of substance abuse by American Indian/Alaska Native and other Indigenous youth. Dr. Lowe is a Professor of Health Disparities Research and Director of the Indigenous Nursing Research for Health Equity Center at the Florida State University College of Nursing. Edge Runners are part of the Academy's Raise the Voice campaign, which promotes new, evidence-‐based and nurse-designed models that better serve patients at lower costs and have measurable results.
"The Academy is delighted to recognize Dr. John Lowe for his work in creating a replicable framework for a group of individuals to support, and gain insights from one another in moving away from substance abuse, and toward positive goals," said Academy President, Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. "Patient care models developed by Edge Runners show how nurses are leading the way in transforming America's health system for the better."
American Indian/Alaska Native and Indigenous youth begin alcohol use earlier and are more likely to have initiated substance use than other racial/ethnic groups. The death rate for American Indian/Alaska Native youth is double that of youth of other racial or ethnic groups. Early substance use is associated with antisocial behavior, conduct disorder, other mental health disorders, and school failure.
Dr. Lowe's Talking Circle Intervention employs a tradition among American Indian/Alaska Native and Indigenous people that is still in practice today. Because these communities consider the whole greater than the sum of its parts, and believe healing should take place in the presence of a group, Dr. Lowe applies the Talking Circle Intervention to create an environment where participants support one another. Through the Talking Circle intervention, the traditional sense of belonging is fostered and participants experience healing.
Dr. Lowe also has developed and tested video-conferencing to deliver the Talking Circle intervention. Through this technology, the model of care is now being delivered to multiple American Indian/Alaska Native n communities throughout the United States.
Using National Institute on Drug Abuse diagnostic evaluations to compare intervention methods, Dr. Lowe found that the Talking Circle is more effective than standard education for decreasing substance use among American Indian/Alaska Native and Indigenous populations. Furthermore, communities where the Talking Circle Intervention is being implemented have reported a positive impact on their economies due to the decrease in costs associated with substance abuse. The Talking Circle Intervention has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Programs as an evidence-based program affecting juvenile well-being.
A full profile of the project can be read here: http://www.aannet.org/edge-runners--talking-circle-intervention