Research

My main research program focuses hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Specifically, I am interested in understanding the health experiences of individuals (and their families) who have a harmful BRCA genetic mutation that significantly increases their risk for cancer but do not have a cancer diagnosis. Such individuals are commonly referred to as previvors. Additionally, I explore how patient-centered communication between and among healthcare providers and such patients and their family members can improve health, well-being, and quality of life.

My second research area investigates effective communication and design in ambulatory healthcare settings. Informed by a problem-centered approach, I seek to identify communicating challenges in such settings and understand healthcare providers and patients’ communication in order to improve health outcomes. Specifically, I am interested in emergency departments and the ways in which their fast-paced, time-sensitive, high stakes settings impact diagnosis and treatment, patient-provider communication, and overall care.