Dr. Doris Howell was trained as a health services researcher and is now also focused on clinical intervention research. The goal of Dr. Howell's research program is to improve the patient's experience of cancer care, through health intervention research focused on better care delivery systems and clinical interventions for complex symptoms (fatigue, breathlessness, pain). Her main focus of intervention research is on understanding how psychological factors such as beliefs influence symptom response and adaptation to illness and how these might be modified through behavioral self-management interventions. Additionally, the efficacy and effectiveness of nurse-led behavioral self-management interventions in reducing symptom distress is a clinical research focus.
Dr. Howell also has an active health service research program focused on knowledge translation of best practices in care delivery, specifically the application of chronic disease self-management for survivorship. The testing of routine collection of Patient-Reported Outcomes (PRO) and their use in clinical practice to improve care quality and patient experience of cancer will enable this research.
Her research expertise includes qualitative and quantitative methods, with specific expertise in qualitative methods (hermeneutic phenomenology) and mixed-method study designs.
Dr. Howell leads standards and guideline development and is a member of the national distress management implementation team under the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Dr. Howell is the Co-Director of the Ontario Patient Reported Outcomes Symptom and Toxicities (On-PROST) and is cross-appointed as Professor (status) at the University of Toronto's Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing.