Abir K Bekhet

Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

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Publications (44)18.72 Total impact

  • Abir K Bekhet, Jaclene A Zauszniewski
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    ABSTRACT: More and more American older adults are relocating to retirement communities, and they experience challenges in adjusting to new surroundings that may increase their depression and mortality. An instrument not previously tested in the United States, the Index of Relocation Adjustment (IRA), may help in early identification of poor relocation adjustment. This study examined the psychometric properties of the IRA using secondary data from a convenience sample of 104 older adults who relocated to 6 retirement communities in Northeast Ohio. Cronbach's alpha was .86. The IRA was correlated with measures of positive cognitions (r = .48, p < .01) and relocation controllability (r = -.62, p < .01), suggesting construct validity. Results indicated a single factor reflecting relocation adjustment with loadings for all items ranging from .62 to .83. The IRA is potentially useful as a screening measure for early detection of poor adjustment among relocated older adults.
    Journal of applied gerontology : the official journal of the Southern Gerontological Society. 06/2014; 33(4):437-455.
  • Jaclene A Zauszniewski, Abir K Bekhet
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    ABSTRACT: Women family members of adults with serious mental illness are at great risk for emotional distress. This study examined associations between characteristics of 60 women (age, race, and education), their relatives with mental illness (age, diagnosis, and years since diagnosis), and the family situation (relationship, living arrangements, and care provided) and symptoms of emotional distress. Depressive symptoms were greater among those with younger, non-sibling relatives. Anxiety was greater among Caucasians and those with a recently diagnosed family member, particularly bipolar disorder. Anger was associated with providing direct care. The findings are informative for tailoring interventions to minimize emotional distress in future family caregivers.
    Archives of psychiatric nursing 04/2014; 28(2):102-7. · 0.90 Impact Factor
  • Abir K Bekhet, Jaclene A Zauszniewski
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    ABSTRACT: Worldwide, the population of elders is increasing significantly. Relocation can be a positive or a negative experience, depending on many factors, including culture. The purpose of this study is to compare individual characteristics (age, gender, marital status, education, perceived health status, activities of daily living), relocation factors (movement preparation, time passed since relocation, closeness of prior home to the present, and whether relocation was from home or another facility), and adjustment in relocated American and Egyptian elders. This secondary analysis study merged data from two cross-sectional descriptive studies of a 104 elders relocated to retirement communities in Northeast Ohio and 94 elders relocated to retirement communities in Alexandria, Egypt. Our findings indicated that American elders have greater independence in daily activities (t (161.23) = -3.03, p = .003); better perceived health (χ(2)[3, N = 198] = 53.21, p < .001), better education (χ(2)[1, N = 198] = 47.28, p < .001), better preparation before the move (χ(2)[1, N = 198] = 40.58, p < .001), and better relocation adjustment (t (196) = 9.42, p < .001) than relocated Egyptian elders. Our results indicate that culture should be taken into account when caring for older adults who relocate to retirement communities. Additionally, interventions, such as counseling, and preparation before relocation are needed to help elders adjust to relocation.
    Issues in Mental Health Nursing 02/2014; 35(2):80-7.
  • Abir K. Bekhet, Jaclene A. Zauszniewski
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    ABSTRACT: Background The increasing life expectancy of older adults has prompted an increase in chronic conditions that may interfere with their daily living and impact physical and mental health. Objectives This study examined associations between commonly reported chronic conditions, daily functioning, self-assessed health, and depressive symptoms of elders. Methods/Design A secondary analysis of existing data from 314 elderly residents of 29 facilities was conducted. Results The most frequently reported conditions were arthritis (64%), hypertension (47%), and heart problems (35%). Elders who reported having all three of these most frequently reported conditions differed significantly from those who reported none or one of the three conditions (p < .001) on their perception of interference with daily functioning and self-assessed health. Although differences on depressive symptoms were found between groups defined by number and combinations of conditions, specific trends in the data were not detected. Elder’s rating of interference of their chronic conditions on daily functioning was moderately associated with their self-assessed health (r = -.50, p < .001) and depressive symptoms (r = .41, p < .001). Conclusion While chronic conditions may be unavoidable, assessing their comorbidity in elders is important for developing interventions to preserve their daily functioning and promote their optimal health.
    Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: PurposeThis study examined relationships between vulnerability/risk and protective factors, and family functioning in women family members of adults with serious mental illness. Design and Methods Using a descriptive, correlational design, this secondary analysis examined characteristics of the family member with mental illness (e.g., diagnosis, level of care) and measures of caregiver stigma and strain, client dependence, family disruption, sense of coherence, and resourcefulness. FindingsFamily disruption was greatest in women who provided direct care and whose family member had major depression, followed by bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and panic disorder. Sense of coherence and resourcefulness were associated with lower family disruption, but did not mediate the effects of caregiver strain. Practice ImplicationsInterventions restricted to one family member may be insufficient for improving the family functioning.
    Perspectives In Psychiatric Care 12/2013; · 1.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding is limited of the meaning attributed to behaviors of children with autism spectrum disorder and strategies used to prevent challenging behaviors in the context of hospitalization. This qualitative study consisted of two focus groups (n = 10; five mothers and five health care providers [HCPs]). Transcripts were analyzed using the qualitative method of narrative inquiry. The meaning attributed to behaviors by the mothers and the HCPs differed. The mothers attributed behaviors to the child's communication of frustration, hyperactivity, and self-calming. The HCPs attributed challenging behaviors to self-stimulation and child aggression. Strategies to prevent behaviors also differed. Mothers focused on preparation prior to hospitalization and attempts to partner with HCPs. HCPs identified fewer strategies and consulted mothers for strategies to manage challenging behaviors. HCP and parent collaboration could lead to strategies to increase supports for children with autism spectrum disorder in the hospital to decrease their frustration and challenging behaviors.
    Journal of Pediatric Health Care 11/2013; · 1.76 Impact Factor
  • Abir K Bekhet
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    ABSTRACT: Caregiving for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can affect family caregivers' self-assessed health. The purpose of this study was to determine whether depressive symptoms, positive cognitions, resourcefulness, and well-being will differ significantly among those who rated their health as fair, good, or excellent. This study is a secondary analysis of 109 ASD caregivers who were recruited from the Interactive ASD Network. Depression was significantly lower among those who rated their health as excellent than among those who rated their health as fair. Positive cognitions, resourcefulness, and well-being were significantly higher among those who rated their health as excellent than among those who rated their health as fair. Interventions to enhance caregivers' positive cognitions, resourcefulness, and well-being are recommended.
    Perspectives In Psychiatric Care 11/2013; · 1.04 Impact Factor
  • Abir K Bekhet, Jaclene A Zauszniewski
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    ABSTRACT: Caregiving for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be very costly to caregivers' well-being. Resourcefulness interventions have shown increases in positive health outcomes. However, before delivering the intervention, there should be a reliable and a valid measure to test resourcefulness. The psychometric properties of the Resourcefulness Scale (RS) have not been examined among ASD caregivers. This study examined the psychometrics of the 28-item RS in a convenience sample of 204 ASD caregivers. A Cronbach's alpha of .91 showed the internal consistency of the RS. Construct validity was supported by the emergence of two dimensions of resourcefulness (personal and social) in a confirmatory factor analysis and by substantial intercorrelations between the two subscales (r = .48, p < .001). Findings suggested the reliability and validity of RS among ASD caregivers, which is a necessary step toward implementing resourcefulness interventions to help ASD caregivers to deal with their stress and improve their quality of life.
    Western Journal of Nursing Research 10/2013; · 1.22 Impact Factor
  • Abir K Bekhet, Jaclene A Zauszniewski
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    ABSTRACT: Caregivers of persons with dementia are prone to depression. Early identification of cognitive depressive symptoms is important to prevent the development of clinical depression. The Depressive Cognition Scale (DCS) can be used for early detection, but the scale's psychometrics have not been tested in caregivers of persons with dementia. In this study, 80 caregivers of persons with dementia completed the eight-item DCS and measures of caregiver burden and resourcefulness. A Cronbach's alpha of .88 indicated internal consistency. Construct validity was supported by significant correlations with caregiver burden (r = .40; p < .001) and resourcefulness (r = -.54; p < .001). Principal components factor analysis resulted in two factors in which five items loaded cleanly on one factor and two items have cross-loadings. Because prior factor analysis in previous studies resulted in one factor, we did confirmatory factor analysis in which we forced the items on one factor. All the items loaded on the single factor and the amount of variance explained was 55.99%. The findings suggest the DCS is useful for early detection of depression in caregivers of persons with dementia.
    Issues in Mental Health Nursing 09/2013; 34(9):678-84.
  • Abir K Bekhet, Jaclene A Zauszniewski
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    ABSTRACT: Caregivers of persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are prone to depression, and early identification of cognitive depressive symptoms is important to prevent the development of clinical depression. The Depressive Cognition Scale (DCS) can be used for early detection, but the scale's psychometrics has not been tested in caregivers of persons with ASD. In this study, 95 caregivers of persons with ASD completed the eight-item DCS and measures of caregiver burden and resourcefulness. A Cronbach's alpha of .90 indicated internal consistency. Construct validity was supported by significant correlations with caregiver burden (.59) and resourcefulness (-.57). Principal component factor analysis produced a single factor with 58% of the variance explained. The findings suggest the DCS is useful for early detection of depression in caregivers of persons with ASD.
    Archives of psychiatric nursing 04/2013; 27(2):96-100. · 0.90 Impact Factor
  • Abir K Bekhet, Jaclene A Zauszniewski
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    ABSTRACT: Positive thinking interventions improve adaptive functioning and quality of life in many populations. However, no direct measure of positive thinking skills taught during intervention exists. This psychometric study of a convenience sample of 109 autism spectrum disorder (ASD) caregivers examined a new eight-item Positive Thinking Skills Scale (PTSS), which measures the frequency of use of positive thinking skills. The PTSS was found to be internally consistent (α = .90). Construct validity was supported by significant correlations (p < .01) with positive cognitions (r = .53), resourcefulness (r = .63), depression (r = -.45), and general well-being (r = .40). The findings support use of the PTSS as a potential indicator of intervention fidelity among ASD caregivers. However, because it is not specific for ASD caregivers, the PTSS has the potential for wider usage in other populations for whom the identification of specific positive thinking skills could provide direction for future intervention.
    Western Journal of Nursing Research 03/2013; · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Approximately 2.8 million people in the United States are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Family caregivers manage many aspects of their care, which is demanding, overwhelming, and can affect their mental health. Objective: This study examined the effects of caregiver burden (risk factor) and positive cognitions (protective factors) on resourcefulness (resilience indicator) in 95 caregivers of persons with ASD. Design: Descriptive, correlational, and cross-sectional. Results: Positive cognitions explained 32% of the variance in resourcefulness, F(1, 93) = 44.49, p < .001, and as positive cognitions increased, caregivers' resourcefulness increased. A substantial drop in the beta weight of caregiver burden from B = -.36 to -.04 when positive cognitions was entered the equation suggested that positive cognitions mediated the effect of caregiver burden on resourcefulness. Conclusion: The results support resilience theory and suggest a need for developing interventions to strengthen positive thinking among caregivers of persons with ASD.
    Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association 11/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Worldwide, caregivers find caring for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) challenging. Family members must manage many aspects of care giving, which is demanding, overwhelming, and can affect the family members' mental health. However learning how to be resilient may help family members overcome the stress and burden associated with caring for a person with ASD. A search was completed in Medline, PsycINFO, Proquest, Web of Science, and CINAHL using the key words "autism," "caregivers," "mothers," and "fathers," alone and in combination. Inclusion criteria were English language articles reporting studies with samples of children with ASD, as distinct from children with other intellectual or developmental disabilities. Fifty-eight articles that met these inclusion criteria were summarized and, from those, the authors selected 22 articles that included indicators of resilience. This integrative review highlights current research on resilience in adult family members of persons with ASD. Indicators of resilience, risk factors, protective factors, and outcomes of resilience were identified. The review indicates that parents of children with ASD who possess indicators of resilience are better able to manage the adversity associated with caring for children with ASD. Thus, enhancing resilience among family members of persons with autism may be beneficial to both the caregivers and care recipients.
    Issues in Mental Health Nursing 10/2012; 33(10):650-6.
  • Abir K Bekhet
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    ABSTRACT: Currently, 5.4 million persons in the USA are diagnosed with dementia, and this number is projected to rise to 7.7 million by the year 2030. Family caregivers provide up to 80% of the care needed by persons with dementia and published work suggests that caring for persons with dementia can be very costly to caregivers' health. This study examined the mediating and the moderating effects of positive cognitions on the relationship between caregiver burden and resourcefulness in 80 caregivers of persons with dementia. A descriptive, correlational, and cross-sectional design was used in this study. The researcher contacted the administrators at the Alzheimer's Association early stage programs in Southeastern Wisconsin and questionnaires were distributed to interested caregivers. Positive cognitions explained 31% of the variance in resourcefulness (F (1, 78) = 35.46, P < 0.001) and as positive cognitions increased, caregivers' resourcefulness increased. Positive cognitions were found to be a mediator as evidenced by a substantial drop in the beta weight of caregiver burden from B = -0.28 to B = -0.11 when positive cognitions were entered into the equation. Interventions to strengthen positive thinking among caregivers of persons with dementia are needed to help caregivers overcome their burden.
    International journal of mental health nursing 09/2012; · 1.29 Impact Factor
  • Abir K Bekhet, Jaclene A Zauszniewski
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    ABSTRACT: bekhet a.k. & zauszniewski j.a. (2012) Resourcefulness, positive cognitions, relocation controllability and relocation adjustment among older people: a cross-sectional study of cultural differences. International Journal of Older People Nursing doi: 10·1111/j.1748-3743·2012·00341.x Aims and objectives.  The purpose of this study was to examine and compare relocation controllability, positive cognitions, resourcefulness and relocation adjustment between American and Egyptian older people living in retirement communities. The purpose of this cultural comparison is to gain insight into influencing factors in each culture that might lead to interventions to help relocated older adults in both cultures adjust to their new surroundings. Background.  The population of older people in both the United States and Egypt is expected to double by the year 2030. With ageing, chronic illnesses increase and many older people need to relocate to retirement communities. Research has shown that positive cognitions and resourcefulness are positively correlated with adaptive functioning and better adjustment. Design and method.  A cross-sectional, descriptive design was used to compare relocation controllability, positive cognitions, resourcefulness and relocation adjustment of a convenience sample of American older people (n = 104) and a convenience sample of Egyptian older people (n = 94). The study was a secondary analysis of two studies of older people residing in six retirement communities in Northeast Ohio and in five retirement communities in Alexandria, Egypt. Results.  Examination of mean scores and standard deviations on the measure of positive cognitions using independent sample t-tests indicated that on average, the American older people reported more positive cognitions (t (131·16) = 11·29, P < 0·001), more relocation controllability (t (196) = -6·78, P < 0·001) and more relocation adjustment (t (196) = 9·42, P < 0·001) than the Egyptian older people. However, there was no significant difference between Egyptians and Americans in resourcefulness (t (174·16) = -0·97, P > 0·05). Conclusion: The results provide direction for the development of positive cognition interventions and engaging older people in the decision-making process to help them to adjust to relocation. Implications for practice.  Positive thinking and resourcefulness training interventions can be used by nurses to help relocated older people to adjust to the stress of relocation to retirement communities. These interventions can be used on primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. Primary interventions can help to prevent the stress of relocation before happening by helping older people to use their positive thinking and their resources and work with them before relocating to retirement communities. Secondary prevention can be used by nurses to help older people who have already relocated to retirement communities and have already experienced stress of relocation to help them out by decreasing the stress that they are suffering. Tertiary prevention can be used to prevent further stress and deterioration for those who have suffered physical and psychological symptoms as a result of relocation.
    International Journal of Older People Nursing 07/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: The population of American elders is increasing rapidly and relocation to retirement communities has been found to adversely affect their adjustment. This pilot study of 38 relocated elders evaluated, from elders' perspectives, six critical parameters of a resourcefulness training (RT) intervention designed to help elders adjust to relocation. Within the context of Zauszniewski's theory of resourcefulness, a pre-/post-test design with random assignment to RT or to diversionary activities (DA) was used. Objective questionnaires measured demographic and relocation factors. An intervention evaluation questionnaire was designed and given to the relocated elders in order to assess the six critical parameters--necessity, acceptability, feasibility, safety, fidelity, and effectiveness. Data concerning the critical parameters were collected during structured interviews within a week after the intervention. Seventy-six of the elders who scored less than 120 in the resourcefulness scale indicated a strong need for RT. While all non-white elders reported needing RT, 43% of white elders reported the same need. Elders indicated that learning about the experiences of others and taking part in discussions were the most interesting part of the RT. Approximately 95% of participants mentioned that they learned all parts of the intervention; few suggested having a stronger leader to keep the group on track. The qualitative findings from this pilot intervention study will inform future, larger clinical trials to help recently relocated elders adjust to relocation.
    Issues in Mental Health Nursing 07/2012; 33(7):430-5.
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    Abir K Bekhet, Jaclene A Zauszniewski
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    ABSTRACT: Loneliness is often manifested by intense feelings of emptiness and abandonment and can lead to depression and suicide. The prevalence of loneliness in older adults is estimated to be 40%. This secondary analysis examined differences between elders reporting and elders not reporting loneliness and the effect of gender on resourcefulness and measures of physical and mental health within the context of L. C. Hawkley and J. T. Cacioppo's (2010) theoretical model of loneliness. A descriptive, comparative design was used to examine gender differences and associations among loneliness and indicators of physical and mental health. Results indicated that for overall health, and indicators of physical health (functional status and number chronic conditions), no significant differences were found between those who reported loneliness and those who reported no loneliness. There were significant differences, however, between lonely elders and nonlonely elders on indicators of mental health, including both anxiety and depressive symptoms. Differences between lonely elders and nonlonely elders on measures of resourcefulness approached significance. The findings from this study suggest that intervention programs designed to prevent or reduce loneliness in older adults may be beneficial for preserving their mental health.
    Archives of psychiatric nursing 06/2012; 26(3):214-24. · 0.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Educating undergraduate nursing students in psychiatric nursing can be challenging. Engaging and connecting with nursing students using various teaching strategies based on Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory will be described. Nursing students have the opportunity to learn about mental illness and mental health in a creative class and then transfer this new knowledge to any health care setting. Individual student and group activities in the classroom include mental health promotion group posters, Hearing Voices™, homework using crayons, and use of therapy balls and therapy communication cards. Out of the classroom assignments include a creative psychiatric media project and, interviewing nonnursing helping professionals on crisis management engages the nursing student on a multiple intelligences level. Popular learning activities include a fun therapy day where students are introduced to multiple (positive and negative) therapeutic modalities as well as mock party where students role-play individuals with personality disorders. Undergraduate nursing students are more willing to learn psychiatric nursing knowledge and skills in a creative classroom environment using spatial, interpersonal, body-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligences. Learn how to infuse one or more of these teaching strategies into your nursing classroom.
    Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association 01/2012; 18(1):40-62.
  • Abir K Bekhet, Jaclene A Zauszniewski
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    ABSTRACT: To describe the use of methodological triangulation in a study of how people who had moved to retirement communities were adjusting. Methodological triangulation involves using more than one kind of method to study a phenomenon. It has been found to be beneficial in providing confirmation of findings, more comprehensive data, increased validity and enhanced understanding of studied phenomena. While many researchers have used this well-established technique, there are few published examples of its use. The authors used methodological triangulation in their study of people who had moved to retirement communities in Ohio, US. A blended qualitative and quantitative approach was used. The collected qualitative data complemented and clarified the quantitative findings by helping to identify common themes. Qualitative data also helped in understanding interventions for promoting 'pulling' factors and for overcoming 'pushing' factors of participants. The authors used focused research questions to reflect the research's purpose and four evaluative criteria--'truth value', 'applicability', 'consistency' and 'neutrality'--to ensure rigour. This paper provides an example of how methodological triangulation can be used in nursing research. It identifies challenges associated with methodological triangulation, recommends strategies for overcoming them, provides a rationale for using triangulation and explains how to maintain rigour. IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH/PRACTICE: Methodological triangulation can be used to enhance the analysis and the interpretation of findings. As data are drawn from multiple sources, it broadens the researcher's insight into the different issues underlying the phenomena being studied.
    Nurse researcher 01/2012; 20(2):40-3.
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    ABSTRACT: Current psychiatric nursing practice remains grounded in tradition, unsystematic trial and error, and authority. Although some of the wisdom that has been passed down over time is questionable, it continues to influence nursing practice today. This state-of-the-evidence review examined features of intervention studies published between January 2006 and December 2010 in five psychiatric nursing journals; it compared findings with those from a previous study of comparable literature published between 2000 and 2005. The analysis included studies that evaluated strategies, procedures, or practices that promote mental health or prevent mental illness. Of the 553 data-based articles, 71% tested interventions; 54% were conducted in the United States. Intervention studies reflected psychological (38%) social (17%), and biological (1%) dimensions of the biopsychosocial model. Some studies involved two dimensions and 17% included all three dimensions. Studies involved nurses, students, or staff (15%), mentally ill (50%), or mentally healthy persons (35%) ranging in age from childhood through older adulthood. The 10 year review showed continuing progress toward increased dissemination compared to earlier years; less focus on nurses, students, and staff; an increase in international studies; and greater emphasis on holistic interventions. In this article, the authors note a need for more randomized, controlled trials and studies to compare effectiveness across interventions.
    Online journal of issues in nursing 01/2012; 17(3):5.

Publication Stats

165 Citations
18.72 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2014
    • Marquette University
      • College of Nursing
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • 2013
    • Research College of Nursing
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • 2012–2013
    • University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • Case Western Reserve University
      • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • 2008–2009
    • Alexandria University
      • Faculty of Nursing
      Al Iskandarīyah, Alexandria, Egypt