My research to date has focused on psychological adaptation to medical illness by older patients with a specific focus on the medical decision making process in patients with neurocognitive or neuropsychiatric illnesses. As a VA researcher, I have also been particularly interested in the role of trauma (i.e., combat trauma in military veterans) in psychological adaptation.
I am now extending this research to focus on cancer survivors in several areas:
1) To what extent to cancer patients report post traumatic stress symptomatology, and/or stress-related growth in response to cancer diagnosis and treatment;
2) How does earlier trauma experience relate to the onset and development of stress symptoms or stress related growth/ meaning making in cancer survivors (e.g., is earlier combat experience a protective or vulnerability factor);
3) How does cancer impact access and use of the healthcare system;
4) How do stress symptoms impact approach/avoidance to advance care planning.