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Faculty Publications

McKillop Library supports and promotes the scholarship and research of faculty through its faculty lecture series and through this virtual and ongoing display of recent faculty publications. The display of faculty publications is updated biannually.

Louise Sullivan, Ph.D.

Louise J. Sullivan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor | Nursing

Dr. Sullivan has been a registered nurse since 1991, and received her doctorate in Philosophy of Nursing from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2014. She has been an associate professor in the Nursing department at Salve Regina University since 2015, and has taught a variety of both undergraduate and graduate level courses. She has also lectured at Curry College and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She is a member and former board member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, and is a member of the Eastern Nursing Research Society and the Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners.

Featured Fall 2021

 Mouth Care in Assisted Living

Potential Areas for Improvement

Christine E. Kistler, Jessica Scott, Kimberly Ward, Robin Zeigler, Louise Sullivan, Sarah E. Tomlinson, Christopher J. Wretman, Sheryl Zimmerman

Background: Poor oral care may lead to systemic disease, and there is evidence that assisted living (AL) residents lack quality oral care; in AL, poor care may be due to staff knowledge and attitudes, as well as organizational barriers to providing care. 

Objectives: Determine AL staff knowledge and attitudes regarding mouth care and barriers to changing care. 

Design: Self-administered repeated-measures questionnaires completed before and after oral care training. 

Setting and Participants: A total of 2012 direct care staff and administrators from 180 AL communities. 

Methods: Nine knowledge questions and 8 attitude and practice intention questions, and open-ended questions regarding training and obstacles to providing oral care. 

Results: Overall, 2012 participants completed pretraining questionnaires, and 1977 completed post-training questionnaires. Baseline knowledge was high, but staff were not uniformly aware of the systemic-oral link whereby mouth care affects pneumonia and diabetes. Almost all staff reported learning a new technique (96%), including for residents who resist care (95%). Suggested areas to improve mouth care included having more hands-on experience. The primary perceived obstacles to care centered around residents who resist care and a lack of time. 

Conclusions and Implications: Based on reports of having benefitted from training, AL staff overwhelmingly noted that new knowledge was helpful, suggesting the benefit of skills-based training, especially in dementia care. Mouth care in AL has been sorely understudied, and merits additional attention. 


Kistler, C. E., Scott, J., Ward, K., Zeigler, R., Sullivan, L., Tomlinson, S. E., Wretman, C. J., & Zimmerman, S. (2020). Mouth care in assisted living: Potential areas for improvement. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.


Abstract Only:   DOI 10.1016/j.jamda.2020.11.038

Please fill out an Interlibrary Loan Request Form or contact a librarian to access this publication.

Featured Spring/Fall 2018

 Towards Changing the Long Term Care (LTC) Paradigm

Explicating the Concept of Thriving in Older Adults Living in LTC

Louise Sullivan and Danny G. Willis

Abstract:   A phenomenon of interest for nursing is the facilitation of humanistic health care experiences and quality of life (Willis, Grace, & Roy, 2008). Inquiry into the concept of thriving as it manifests in the older adult residing in long-term care aligns with this interest. Thriving has been described by scholars in various disciplines but no context-specific definition for the LTC resident currently exists. Contrary to the generally held negative view of LTC, there is emerging evidence that older adult lTC residents “do well” or thrive in this environment.

APA Citation

Sullivan, L., & Willis, D. G. (2018). Towards Changing the Long Term Care (LTC) Paradigm: Explicating the Concept of Thriving in Older Adults Living in LTC. Issues in Mental Health Nursing39(5), 388–397.


Abstract Only:   DOI 10.1080/01612840.2017.1390021

Please fill out an Interlibrary Loan Request Form or contact a librarian to access this publication.