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Alexandra Garcia, PhD, RN | Associate Professor

Email Alexandra Garcia

Phone: 512 471-7973 | 512 475-7296
Fax: 512 471-4910

Office: NUR 5.156 | NUR 3.432
The University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing
1710 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78701

Alexandra A. Garcia, PhD, RN, is an Associate Professor in the Family and Public Health Nursing and Nursing Administration Division. She is the director of the master’s public health nursing concentration and coordinates study abroad programs for the School of Nursing. She has taught courses for undergraduate and graduate students in research, public health, and global health. Her research focuses on the symptom experience of Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes and the exploration of social, cultural, and economic influences on health promotion practices, diabetes self-management, and quality of life. Dr. Garcia received her Diploma in Registered Nursing from The Union Memorial Hospital School of Nursing; her Bachelor’s of Science from The College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and her Master’s of Science from The University of Maryland at Baltimore. She earned her PhD in nursing from The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.

Active Projects

  • Co-Investigator, “Meta-Analysis of Biobehavioral Determinants of Health Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes,” #R01NR011450-01 funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health; Principal Investigator, Sharon A. Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN; funding period September 2009 – August 2013.
  • Principal Investigator, “Home-Based Diabetes Symptom Self-Management for Mexican Americans,” # 1R21DK076705-01A funded by the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health; funding period August 2008 – July 2010. This RCT is testing feasibility and preliminary measures of effectiveness of a new way of teaching diabetes self-management.

Completed

  • Co-Investigator, “Reducing Postpartum Weight Retention Among Low Income, Ethnically Diverse Women,” # 5R21NR010269-02 funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health; Principal Investigator, Lorraine O. Walker, EdD, RN, FAAN; funding period July 2007 – April 2010.
  • Co-Investigator, “Integrating Education, Group Support, and Case Management for Diabetic Hispanics,” #1R34DK073286-01A1 funded by the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health; Principal Investigator, Sharon A. Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN; funding period September 2006- August 2008.
  • Principal Investigator, “Home-Based Diabetes Symptom Self-Management for Mexican Americans,” research grant award funded by Office of the Vice President for Research, The University of Texas at Austin; funding period October 2007 – August 2008.
  • Co-Investigator, “Partnering to Address Community Health Issues with Del Valle Residents,” funded by the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research in Underserved Populations Small Grants Program, UT Austin School of Nursing NINR/NIH-funded center grant (5P30NR005051, A. K. Stuifbergen, PI); Principal Investigator, Sharon D. Horner, PhD, RN; funding period June 2006 – May 2007.
  • A. Garcia, Principal Investigator; R. Angel, Co-Investigator of “Exploring Diabetes Symptoms: Revision of the Diabetes Symptom Self-Care Inventory,” a pilot study of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research in Underserved Populations (A. K. Stuifbergen, PI of CHPR). This pilot study revised and tested the Diabetes Symptom Self-Care Inventory (DSSCI), the only known tool developed to measure Mexican Americans’ diabetes-related symptoms. Revisions were based on findings from focus groups and cognitive interviews. Test-retest and internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the DSSCI were examined.
  • S. Brown, Principal Investigator; C. Hanis, Co-Investigator; A. García, Graduate Research Assistant, Minority Supplement Research Assistant, and Research Associate on “Education and Group Support for Diabetic Hispanics.”
    This R01 adapted and tested a three-month version of a self-management intervention to determine if the shortened version was applicable to clinical practice and attained the same positive health outcomes.
  • A. Mann, Principal Investigator; A. Garcia, Co-Investigator of “Characteristics of Community Interventions to Decrease Depression in Mexican American Women,” a pilot study of the Southwest Partnership Center for Nursing Research (L. Rew, PI of SWPC). This pilot study used focus groups to investigate the characteristics of community-based interventions that Latinas with depression are using or might find helpful.
  • A. Garcia, Principal Investigator; S. Brown, Sponsor of “Mexican Americans’ Integration of Diabetes Self-Care.” The purpose of this Individual National Research Service Award study was to explore Mexican Americans diabetes symptoms and symptom experience using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Refereed Articles

  • Carpenter, L. M., & García, A. A. (in press). Assessing the outcomes of a study abroad course for nursing students. Nursing Education Perspectives.
  • Sumlin, L. & Garcia, A. A. (in press). Effects of food-related interventions for African American women with type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Educator.
  • Mackert, M., Stanforth, D., & Garcia, A. A. (in press). Undermining of nutrition and exercise decisions: Experiencing negative social influence. Public Health Nursing.
  • Brown, S. A., García, A. A., Winter, M. A., Silva, L., Brown, A., & Hanis, C. L. (2011). Integrating education, group support, and case management for diabetic Hispanics. Ethnicity and Disease, 20, 20-26.
  • García, A. A. (2011). Cognitive interviews to test and refine questionnaires. Public Health Nursing. Epub ahead of print version. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2010.00938x.
  • García, A. A. (2011). The Diabetes Symptom Self-Care Inventory for Mexican Americans: Development and pilot testing. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 41, 715-727. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2010.06.018.
  • Sterling, B. S., Fowles, E. R., Garcia, A. A., Jenkins, S. K., Wilkinson, S., Kim, M., Kim, S., Latimer, L., & Walker, L. O. (2009). Altered perceptions of personal control about retained weight and depressive symptoms in low-income postpartum women. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 26, 143-157.
  • Garcia, A. A. (2008). Clinical and life quality differences between Mexican American diabetic patients at a free clinic and a hospital-affiliated clinic in Texas. Public Health Nursing, 25, 149-158.
  • Brown, S. A., Blozis, S. A., Kouzekanani, K., García, A. A., Winchell, M., & Hanis, C. L. (2007). Health beliefs of Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes: The Starr County Border Health Initiative. The Diabetes Educator, 33, 300-308.
  • Garcia, A. A. (2006). Is health promotion relevant across cultures and the socioeconomic spectrum? Family and Community Health, 29(1S), 20S-27S.
  • Mann, A. S. & García, A. A. (2005). Characteristics of community interventions for Latinas with depression. Hispanic Healthcare International, 3, 87-93.
  • García, A. A. (2005). Diabetes symptom prevalence and treatments among Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Educator, 4, 543-554.
  • Brown, S. A., Blozis, S. A., Kouzekanani, K., Garcia, A. A., Winchell, M., & Hanis, C. L. (2005). Dosage effects of diabetes self-management education for Mexican Americans: The Starr County Border Health Initiative. Diabetes Care, 3, 527-532.
  • Benavides-Vaello, S., García, A. A., Brown, S. A., & Winchell, M. (2004). Using focus groups to plan and evaluate diabetes self-management interventions for Mexican Americans. The Diabetes Educator, 30, 238, 242, 244, 247-250, 252, 254, 256.
  • Garcia, A. A., Brown, S. A., Winchell, M., & Hanis, C. L. (2003). Using a Behavioral Checklist to document diabetes self-management behaviors in the Starr County Diabetes Education Study. The Diabetes Educator, 29, 758, 760, 762, 764, 766.
  • Brown, S. A., Becker, H. A., Garcia, A. A., Barton, S. A., & Hanis, C. L. (2002). Measuring health beliefs in Spanish-speaking Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes: Adapting an existing instrument. Research in Nursing and Health, 25, 145-158.
  • Brown, S. A., Garcia, A. A., Kouzekanani, K., & Hanis, C. L. (2002). Culturally competent diabetes self-management education for Mexican Americans: The Starr County Border Health Initiative. Diabetes Care, 25, 259-268.
  • Garcia, A. A., Villagomez, E., Brown, S. A., Kouzekanani, K., & Hanis, C. L. (2001). The Starr County Diabetes Education Study: Development of the Spanish language diabetes knowledge questionnaire. Diabetes Care, 24, 16-21. Erratum in Diabetes Care, 24, 972.
  • Brown, S. A., Upchurch, S. L., Garcia, A. A., Barton, S. A., & Hanis, C. L. (1998). Symptom-related self-care of Mexican-Americans with NIDDM: Preliminary findings of the Starr County diabetes education study. Diabetes Educator, 24(3), 331-339.

Invited Articles

  • Garcia, A. A. & Benavides-Vaello, S. (2006). Vulnerable populations with diabetes mellitus. Nursing Clinics of North America, 41, 605-623.
  • Garcia, A. A. (2006). Commentary [Review of Humor and older adults: What makes them laugh?]. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 24, 194-195.
  • Brown, S. A., Garcia, A. A., & Winchell, M. (2002). Reaching underserved populations and cultural competence in diabetes education. Current Diabetes Reports, 2, 166-176.