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UR Research Associate Receives Grant to Clear Uncertainties from Cancer Diagnoses

  By Ivy Burruto
  Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Yingzi Zhang, PhD, RN, a postdoctoral research associate at the School of Nursing, was approved for a $25,000 Oncology Nursing Foundation Research Grant from the Oncology Nursing Foundation. The grant will support her proposal, “Refinement and Pilot Testing of a Couple-Based Uncertainty Management Intervention for Patients with Gynecological Cancer and Their Partners.” 


Conducted at the University of Rochester’s Wilmot Cancer Institute, Zhang’s study will examine the uncertainties surrounding how patients and their partners feel after a gynecological cancer diagnosis. As a caregiver to several family members with cancer, Zhang is a first-hand witness to the distress a diagnosis causes. She’s experienced how unanswered questions surrounding a diagnosis, surgery, and post-surgery plans impact the entire family dynamic. 

School of Nursing’s Associate Dean of Research Sally Norton, PhD, RN, FNAP, FPCN, FAAN, and Assistant Professor Marie Flannery, PhD, RN, AOCN, will serve as co-investigators in the study. They will support Zhang's creation of individualized training programs that measure uncertainty-related distress, individual coping, and overall quality of patient and family life. Outcomes of this research will encourage oncology professionals to understand uncertainty management needs and develop patient-centered interventions. 

Zhang hopes her work will help patients and families adjust to the cancer experience.

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