Leigh Koonmen , BSN-RN, PhD student »

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Leigh Koonmen , BSN-RN, PhD student

University of Kentucky PhD
Home Lexington Kentucky United States


I am a full time student in the University of Kentucky Nursing PhD program and a part-time bedside nurse on an Internal Medicine progressive unit. My research area of interest is diabetes self-management through dietary adherence with a special consideration for patients with a dual diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. I am currently working on a qualitative study examining the barriers and motivators in adhering to the diabetic and low sodium diet for patients and their family caregivers. I work as a full time research assistant under my advisor, Dr. Misook Chung, for her study examining the effects of motivational interviewing on dietary adherence in the heart failure population. I plan to use motivational interviewing as my dissertation intervention for patients with the dual diabetic and low sodium diet. In my spare time I serve as the secretary for the Graduate Nursing Activities and Advisory Council, which promotes networking and mentorship opportunities for nursing graduate students in addition to raising funds to assist graduate students with travel expenses when presenting at conferences.


Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Scholar – Chronic Health
Dissertation: Self-Management of Chronic Illness Through Dual Diet Adherence in Patients with Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diagnoses Using the Dyadic Approach

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