MaryBeth Tank Buschmann, PhD, RN
Department of Biobehavioral Health Science
UIC College of Nursing
845 South Damen Avenue (MC 802)
Chicago, IL 60612-7350
Research / Discovery
For ten years, Dr. Buschmann published in basic science refereed journals the findings from her research in aging hamster, monkey, and cat brains. Since 1985, she has designed her research to dovetail with studies in aging humans' behaviors that have a biological basis in the human brain, specifically older depressed and Alzheimer's disease patients and older adults with pain. Her studies have focused on the use of expressive physical touch. This has been shown to be successful in depressed older adults by enhancing their self-esteem, life satisfaction, and other measures of psychological health. This intervention was next shown to be effective in reducing anxiety and disruptive behavior in more seriously compromised groups of demented older adults with Alzheimer's disease. In addition to the intervention of touch, she has also published a new Touch and Stress Model (2004) incorporating the touch model (Buschmann and Hollinger-Smith, 1994) and the lower stress threshold model (Hall and Buckwalter, 1987). Dr. Buschmann's other area of research is pain (especially chronic pain in older adults), its management, and nurses' knowledge concerning it. Most recently, she is researching end-of-life issues, especially with regard to older adults.
Teaching / Learning
Dr. MaryBeth Tank Buschmann is a professor emerita in the Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing. She joined the UIC faculty in 1975. Dr. Buschmann taught a course on older adult health that emphasizes the healthy older adult who is adapting well to physical, psychological, and social limitations and chronic conditions. She has taught and co-taught a course on research design, and she coordinated and taught in a clinical skills laboratory. Dr. Buschmann also lectured in other courses on spirituality; changes in family patterns with our graying society; and the pathobiology of cognition and pain.
Service / Practice
As a board-certified gerontological nurse, Dr. Buschmann regularly gives workshops statewide on chronic pain in the older adult and on the ''3 Ds'' (dementia, depression, and delirium). Her practice is parish nursing. As a parish nurse, Dr. Buschmann focuses on the intentional care of the spirit. But in so doing, she also cares for the body and mind of parishioners and their families. The facets of this work include functioning as a Health Educator-Counselor-Referral Agent-Advocate-Integrator with Faith. Presently, Dr. Buschmann also serves on the Board of Directors of Lutheran Homes and Services and the Beth esda Home and Retirement Center . In the latter position, she is a consultant and teacher of older adult care, including dementia care. Overall, this facility is changing its culture from an institutional medical model to a person-centered model of care. This facility teaches this change of person-centered care to the staff, especially nursing personnel, using the LEAP (Learn, Empower, Achieve, Produce) Program (for nursing retention in LTC), the SELF (Stimulate, Encourage, Learn, Foster) Program (for dementia care) and Person-centered Dementia Care; in these areas Dr. Buschmann was trained at Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging and Rush University.