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College of Nursing

Research Emphasis Areas

Health Promotion and Risk Reduction

This core focuses on interventions and care strategies to promote health and reduce risk for individuals and populations across the lifespan. 

Building on a strong administrative and clinical background in cancer care, Dr. Karen Kane McDonnell acknowledges that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, with more deaths attributable to lung cancer than to colorectal, breast and prostate cancer combined. She believes it is imperative to advance the science of lung cancer screening and survivorship so that more survivors and their families live with a greater quality of life. Dr. McDonnell has focused her research program on lung cancer initiatives. The long-term goal of her research program is to improve outcomes for persons diagnosed with lung cancer and their family members. Her current study, A Dissemination Project to Advance Lung Cancer Screening in SC, was funded by the South Carolina Cancer Alliance as a collaborative effort with colleagues at USC Arnold School of Public Health, School of Medicine and the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Nursing. As a Co-PI of this grant, Dr. McDonnell designed and conducted a pilot study to test a clinically-based decision aid entitled “Is Lung Cancer Screening for You?” Working with pairs of high-risk patients and primary care physicians, the research team explored shared decision-making processes as well as tested the feasibility of a newly-developed low literacy decision aid. The research team envisions that the results of this study will be used in the future to disseminate a lung cancer screening decision aid and toolkit for health care providers throughout the state of South Carolina. 

For more on Dr. McDonnell's lung cancer research please see Glenn Hare's article here. 

Swann Adams
Jeannette Andrews
Stephanie Burgess
Tisha Felder 
Sue Heiney
Karen McDonnell 
Sheryl Mitchell
Bernardine Pinto
Susan Poslusny
Joynelle Rivers