Karen S. Lyons, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Oregon Health & Science University
School of Nursing Portland Campus
3455 SW US Veterans Hospital Rd. SN-ORD
Portland, Ore. 97239

Phone: 503 494-3975
FAX: 503 418-0903
E-mail: lyonsk@ohsu.edu

Currently accepting Ph.D. students

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"My program of research focuses on family care experiences of chronic illness in an older adult with an emphasis on psychological and relational issues. In particular, I am very interested in balancing the needs of both members of the care dyad throughout the illness trajectory, and how incongruence between patient and family member impacts care transitions and the health and well-being of both members. I have published in the areas of family care and family relationships, most notably the interface between family and formal service use, dyadic incongruence in the care situation, the effects of changing physical and mental health on relationship quality in the care dyad, and early-warning signs in predicting long-term health, depression, and strain of Parkinson’s disease spouses. My current research examines symptom incongruence, communication, decision-making, and family relationships in both end-of-life and chronic illness contexts, involving both care dyads and couples."


Dr. Lyons is a research psychologist with a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University.


Lyons, K.S., Winters-Stone, K.M., Bennett, J.A., &Beer, T.M. (e-pub ahead of print). The effects of partnered exercise on physical intimacy in couples coping with prostate cancer. Health Psychology. Doi:10.1037/hea0000287.

Miller, L.M., Lyons, K.S., Bennett, J.A. (2015). Incongruent perceptions of pain and physical function among families living with lung cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer, 23, 2755-2762. doi: 10.1007/s00520-015-2640-x. PMID: 25669967.

Lyons, K.S., Vellone, E., Lee, C.S., Cocchieri, A., Bidwell, J.T., D'Agostino, F., Hiatt, S.O., Alvaro, R., Juarez-Vela, R., &Riegel, B. (2015). A dyadic approach to managing heart failure with confidence. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 30 (Suppl 1), S64-S71. doi: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000234. PMID: 25658186.

McCarthy, M.J. & Lyons, K.S. (2015). Incongruence between stroke survivor and spouse perceptions of survivor functioning and effects on spouse emotional health: A mixed methods pilot study. Aging & Mental Health, 19, 46-54. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2014.913551 PMID: 24831861.

Lyons, K.S., Bennett, J.A., Nail, L.M., Fromme, E., Dieckmann, N., & Sayer, A.G.  (2014).The role of patient pain and physical function on depressive symptoms in couples with lung cancer: A longitudinal dyadic analysis. Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 692-700.  doi: 10.1037/fam0000017.PMID: 25090253.

Lyons, K.S., Lee, C.S., Bennett, J.A., Nail, L.M., Fromme, E., Hiatt, S.O., & Sayer, A.G. (2014). Symptom incongruence trajectories in lung cancer dyads. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 48, 1031-1040. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2014.02.004. PMID: 24747222

Lyons, K.S., Jones, K.D., Bennett, R.M., Hiatt, S.O., & Sayer, A.G. (2013). Couple perceptions of fibromyalgia symptoms: The role of communication. PAIN®, 154, 2417-2426. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2013.07.018. PMCID: PMC3808472.

Lyons, K.S., Stewart, B. J., Archbold, P. G., & Carter, J. H. (2009). Optimism, pessimism, mutuality, and gender: Predicting 10-year role strain in Parkinson disease spouses. The Gerontologist, 49, 378-387. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnp046.

Lyons, K.S., Sayer, A.G., Archbold, P. G., Hornbrook, M., & Stewart, B. J. (2007). The enduring and contextual effects of physical health and depression on care dyad mutuality. Research in Nursing & Health, 30, 84-98. doi:10.1002/nur.20165.

Lyons, K.S.,  Stewart, B. J., Archbold, P. G., Carter, J. H., & Perrin, N. A. (2004). Pessimism and optimism as early-warning signs in Parkinson's disease caregiving. Nursing Research, 53, 354-362.

Lyons, K.S., Zarit, S. H., Sayer, A. G. & Whitlatch, C. J. (2002). Caregiving as a dyadic process: Perspectives from caregiver and receiver. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences,57B, P195-P204.