December Scholar 2010
OHSU School of Nursing December Scholar
Karen Lyons, PhD
The main focus of my work is to improve the care and well-being of chronically-ill middle-aged and older adults, and their families. In particular, my research has focused largely on family care dyads. My work to date has shown both the difficulties families and couples experience during the illness journey, but also the sources of great strength families have. My currently funded research involves two studies that specifically focus on the importance of communication and symptom recognition in families living with lung cancer and fibromyalgia. Both of these illness contexts involve social stigma, and as a result, are under-studied with little known about the family experience. Findings will be used to pilot family-based interventions. Being a faculty member gives me the perfect opportunity to impact, not only research, but practice and policy related to family care, and to work with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, teachers, clinicians, students, and staff in pursuit of this goal. I strive to foster and mentor development of future family care researchers in and out of the classroom, and to work with clinicians to effect change and assure translations of my research in ways that will impact the lives of families and couples living with chronic illness in meaningful ways.