Photo of Karen S. Lyons, Ph.D.

Karen S. Lyons Ph.D.

My program of research focuses on family and dyadic experiences of chronic illness with particular emphasis on how and why members of the care dyad are similar and different in their appraisals of the illness context (including patient symptoms). I am very interested in the impact this similarity/difference has on management of the illness by the couple or family dyad and ultimately how it impacts the health and well-being of both members. I have taken a unique dyadic perspective throughout my career to view the patient and their family member providing care as a team. I strongly believe this perspective sheds important light on the illness experience and will lead to more ecologically-sound and effective interventions. I have published over 40 publications across the disciplines of nursing, psychology, and gerontology. In addition I have served as PI on an NIA R03 study of changing health in family care dyads;a NIAMS R21 to examine couples coping with Fibromyalgia, a 5-year American Cancer Society study of family dyads living with lung cancer and PI or Co-PI on several small grants related to family care including three current studies focused on couples with chronic illness (in heart failure, cancer and Parkinson's disease). All of my research has involved interdisciplinary teams.


  • Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, State College Pennsylvania 1999

Memberships and associations

  • American Psychological Association

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