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.


Winters-Stone, K.M., Lyons, K.S., Bennett, J.A., & Beer, T. (2014). Patient and spouse predictors of symptom incongruence in older couples coping with prostate cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer, 22, 1341-1348. DOI: 10.1007/s00520-013-2092-0. PMCID in progress.

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. NIHMSID #507780.

Lee, C.S., Lyons, K.S., Gelow, J.M., Mudd, J.O., Hiatt, S.O., Nguyen, T., & Jaarsma, T. (2013).
Validity and reliability of the European heart failure self-care behavior scale among US adults with symptomatic heart failure. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 12, 214-218. DOI: 10.1177/1474515112469316.

McCarthy, M.J., Lyons, K.S, Powers, L.E., & Bauer, E.A.  (2013). Gender, health ambiguity, and depression among survivors of first stroke: A pilot study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 94, 193-195. DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.07.019.

Carter, J.H., Lyons, K.S., & Lindauer, A., Malcom, J. (2012). Pre-death grief in Parkinson’s caregivers: A pilot survey-based study. Parkinsonism and Related Disorder, 18, S15-S18. DOI: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2012.06.015.

McCarthy, M.J., Lyons, K.S, & Powers, L.E. (2012). Relational factors among depressive symptoms among Stroke-Survivor spouse dyads. Journal of Family Social Work, 15, 303-320. DOI: s10.1080/10522158.2012.696230.

Winters-Stone, K.M., Lyons, K.S., Nail, L.M., & Beer, T. (2012). The Exercising Together Project: Design and baseline data from a randomized, controlled trial to determine the benefits of partnered strength training for couples coping with prostate cancer. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 33, 342-350. DOI: 10.1016/j.cct.2011.10.015. NIHMSID # 337743

McCarthy, M.J., Lyons, K.S., & Powers, L.E. (2011). Expanding post-stroke depression research: Movement toward a dyadic perspective. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 18, 450-460.

McCarthy, M.J., Powers, L.E., & Lyons, K.S., (2011). Post-Stroke Depression: Social workers’ role in addressing an under-recognized psychological problem for couples who have experienced stroke. Health & Social Work, 36, 139-148.

Fromme, E.K., Bascom, P.B., Kenworthy-Heinige, T., Smith, M.D., Lyons, K.S., Richardson, R.H., Guthrie, A.E., & Tolle, S.W. (2010) Incorporating routine survival prediction in a US hospital based palliative care service. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 13, 1439-1444. DOI: 10.1089/jpm.2010.0152

Carter, J.H., Lyons, K. S., Stewart, B. J., Archbold, P. G., & Scobee, R. (2010). Does age make a difference in caregiver strain? Comparison of young versus older caregivers in early-stage
Parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders, 25, 724-730. DOI: 10.1002/mds.22888
esearch: Movement toward a dyadic perspective. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation

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.

Carter, J. H., Stewart, B. J., Lyons, K.S., & Archbold, P. (2008). Do Motor and Non-motor Symptoms in PD Patients Predict Caregiver Strain and Depression? Movement Disorders.

White, D., Newton-Curtis, L., & Lyons, K.S. (2008). Development and initial testing of a measure of person-directed care. The Gerontologist.

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.

Lyons, K. S.,  & Sayer, A.G. (2005). Longitudinal dyad models in family research. Journal of Marriage & Family, 67, 1048-1060.

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.

Lyons, K. S.,  Zarit, S. H., & Townsend, A. L. (2000). Families and formal service usage: Stability and change in patterns of interface.  Aging and Mental Health, 4, 234-243.

Lyons, K. S., & Tiernan, J. (1999). Dependency, life satisfaction and context in the urban elderly. The Irish Journal of Psychology, 20, 58-68.

Lyons, K. S. & Zarit, S. H. (1999). Formal and informal support: The great divide. The International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 14, 183-192.