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Managing stress of caring for family members with chronic diseases is topic of UTHSCSA seminar

San Antonio (March 17, 2003) — The School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) invites the public to its next Seminar Series on Health to be held from 7:45 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 26, at the Oak Hills Country Club, 5403 Fredericksburg Rd. Sharon Lewis, R.N., Ph.D., professor of acute nursing care and the Castella Distinguished Professor at the Health Science Center, will be the guest speaker. She will discuss "Family Caregiving: Why is it Stressful?"

Dr. Lewis also is a clinical nurse scientist at the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. She is the lead investigator on the Relaxation Therapy and Stress Management for Caregivers study at the Health Science Center.

According to the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA), the number of persons in the United States who provide care for an elderly, disabled or chronically ill friend or relative doubled in the year 2000. Dr. Lewis said that number will continue to grow.

"Caregivers provide an amazing service for their loved ones," she said. "However, they do it at a high emotional and physical cost to themselves."

The purpose of Dr. Lewis' study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is to determine the effectiveness of relaxation therapy to improve the quality of life, enhance immune function and promote the relaxation responses of caregivers for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses.

Cost for the seminar is $20 and includes a breakfast buffet. Free health screenings, provided by School of Nursing students, will be available immediately before and after the seminar.

For more information and to reserve a seat, call (210) 567-3833.

Contact: Aileen Salinas or Natalie Gutierrez