Karen S Lyons, Ph.D.

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Dr. Lyons’ research focuses on family experiences of cancer and other chronic illnesses with an emphasis on psychological, relational and methodological issues. Dr. Lyons has been primary investigator on an R03 study of covarying well-being trajectories in family care dyads, and PI or coinvestigator on several studies related to family care, including studies of rural couples. She is currently PI of a four-year study of families living with lung cancer funded by the American Cancer Society and an R21 to examine couples coping with fibromyalgia. She is also coinvestigator on an R21 intervention targeting couples with prostate cancer. She has published in the areas of family care and family relationships, most notably on the interface between family and formal service use, family incongruence, the effects of changing physical and mental health on relationship quality in the family care dyad, predictors of ten-year change in physical function, depression, and role strain in spouses of patients with Parkinson’s disease, and the use of innovative multilevel modeling (MLM) in family research to enhance understanding of the family care dyad. Her 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.

Selected Publications

"Incongruence between stroke survivor and spouse perceptions of survivor functioning and effects on spouse mental health: a mixed-methods pilot study," Aging and Mental Health - 2014

"Patterns and predictors of symptom incongruence in older couples coping with prostate cancer," Supportive Care in Cancer (Vol: 22, Issue: 5, Page 1341-1348) - 2014

"Symptom Incongruence Trajectories in Lung Cancer Dyads," Journal of Pain and Symptom Management - 2014

"Couple perceptions of fibromyalgia symptoms: The role of communication," Pain (Vol: 154, Issue: 11, Page 2417-2426) - 2013

"Gender, health ambiguity, and depression among survivors of first stroke: A pilot study," Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Vol: 94, Issue: 1, Page 193-195) - 2013



  Email Karen Lyons

503 494-3975

Memberships & Associations

American Psychological Association
Gerontological Society of America