The National Palliative Care Research Center

Curing suffering through palliative care research.


Karen Steinhauser PhD

Duke University

Karen Steinhauser, PhD, is Professor, Departments of Population Health Sciences and Medicine, Senior Fellow with the Center for Aging, Duke University and Health Scientist with the Durham ADAPT Center for Health Services Research, VA Medical Center, Durham. Her research focuses on the psychosocial and spiritual aspects of patient and family quality of life in serious illness. She has developed tools to assess patient and family quality of life as well as psychosocial interventions to improve the experience of serious illness for patients and those who care for them. Her latest work includes: exploring approaches to improving health disparities in the clinician-patient encounter, improving patient-caregiver dyadic communication,  and developing, validating, and implementing a measure to assess spiritual needs in serious illness. She serves as Director of the Duke Graduate Medical Education Professional Development Coaching program and the Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Department of Population Health Sciences.