Dawn Langley-Brady, PhD, assistant professor for the Department of Nursing Science within Augusta University’s College of Nursing, has received a $25,000 grant from the Intramural Grants Program at Augusta University for her research, “Elucidating Biological Pathways of Essential Oils for Analgesia in Chronic Pain.”
Langley-Brady plans to use the findings to guide the creation of enhanced essential oil blends for potential use in people with chronic pain. While conducting the study, she will be utilizing a method familiar to her called local thermal hyperemia (LTH).
“I was blessed to have a research experience in Dr. Ryan Harris’s lab, LIVEP, at the Georgia Prevention Institute in 2017, where I learned LTH while testing an essential oil blend in a study with 20 healthy adults,” Langley-Brady said.
Langley-Brady is a member of the Society for Integrative Oncology and their Nursing Special Interest Group. After applying for the SIO New Investigator Forum in June, she was selected to receive one of four SIO Dr. Barrie Cassileth Young Investigator Awards for her proposed SOOTHE study: Essential Oils for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy.
Along with her award and title of SIO Dr. Barrie Cassileth New Investigator Scholar, Langley-Brady had the opportunity to attend the New Investigator Forum with other integrative oncology researchers, where she presented her proposed study and receive constructive feedback.
“That experience was invaluable, and I am deeply grateful to SIO and the NIF Faculty for seeing my potential and offering me guidance,” Langley-Brady said.
Langley-Brady’s passion for research is focused specifically on pain and symptom management after she observed how traditional Western approaches to pain management failed in many of her patients over her 30-year nursing career. Knowing there had to be a better way to decrease pain without increasing the risk of addiction or adverse effects is what sparked her interest in complementary approaches to pain and symptom management, and, while pursuing her MSN, she discovered the immense potential of natural products for pain.
“I enrolled in a foundational aromatherapy course taught by my mentor, Jade Shutes, and the rest is history,” Langley-Brady said.
When she began her PhD program at AU, Olivier Rixe, MD, formerly of the Georgia Cancer Center, asked her to try to help his patients with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
This request changed her direction in the program. Her dissertation research was a pilot mixed methods study on the effect of an essential oil blend on CIPN in breast cancer survivors.
Langley-Brady, who is an American Nurses Foundation scholar, as well as a board-certified advanced holistic nurse, a certified hospice and palliative nurse and a certified clinical aromatherapist, is a leader of the CSRA Chapter of the American Holistic Nurses Association and a board of director at large for AHNA.