Adele Crouch, PhD, RNPostdoctoral Fellow Indiana UniversitySchool of Nursing
I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Indiana University School of Nursing on the Precision Health Initiative (PHI) Grant. I completed my Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Nursing Science in September 2020. My dissertation research focused on the complex symptom of cognitive dysfunction in older breast cancer survivors.
My research interests began to develop during my undergraduate program, in which I had the opportunity as an honors student to work with a team of oncology researchers. Specifically, I assisted on a project titled, A Brief Family Intervention to Promote Adaptive Coping with the Stress of Adult Marrow Transplantation (Fife: PI, 1 R21 NR12260-0121). With this project, I was able to see first-hand the research process. As part of my honors project, I assisted in the development and conduct of a qualitative descriptive study regarding the caregiver role. Results of this study highlighted the stressful role of the caregiver across the BMT trajectory and was published in Cancer Nursing. After completing my undergraduate program, I became a project manager on an externally funded grant titled, Cancer and Cancer Treatment-Related Cognitive Impairment: Mechanisms and Management (PI: Von Ah). In this role, I had the opportunity to manage and oversee the implementation of a study designed to better understand the impact of cognitive impairment for cancer survivors. In addition to my research experiences, my graduate coursework has provided excellent opportunities to enhance my clinical oncology nursing experience through clinical nurse specialist clinical hours spent working directly with cancer survivors in an outpatient setting. Overall, my experiences have inspired my interest in studying cancer symptom management strategies to promote quality of life.
Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Scholar – Chronic Health
Dissertation Title:Cognitive Dysfunction in Long-term, Older Breast Cancer Survivors
Description/Abstract: Up to 75%, of the more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (BCS) living in the US, report cognitive dysfunction after cancer treatment. Of those BCS, approximately 60% are 60 years of age and older and that number is expected to grow. However, there is a paucity of research related to cognitive dysfunction in older BCS. My dissertation study will examine cognitive dysfunction in older, long-term BCS. Specific aims are to: (1) Synthesize the literature regarding cognitive dysfunction in older BCS. (2) Examine demographic factors, medical factors, treatment factors, and cancer-related symptoms (depressive symptoms, anxiety, fatigue, and sleep disturbance) and their relationship with objective cognitive function (verbal memory-immediate and delayed, speed of processing, executive function, and overall composite score) and subjective cognitive function in older, long-term BCS. (3) Examine the relationship between objective cognitive function and subjective cognitive function in older, long-term BCS. (4) Examine objective cognitive function and subjective cognitive function and their relationship with functional ability (physical functioning) and QoL (overall well-being) in older, long-term BCS. Data will be leveraged from a large, nationwide, American Cancer Society funded-study (PI: Champion). We will include 335 older (≥60 years of age), long-term (3-8 years post-diagnosis), BCS, who received chemotherapy. Findings from this study will elucidate the prevalence and impact of cognitive dysfunction in older, long-term BCS.