Elizabeth Bilsborough is a 2nd year PhD student at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University. Elizabeth earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wellesley College in May 2016 prior to attending the ABSN program at Emory. Clinical rotations at the Emory Rehabilitation Hospital; the Long Term Acute Care Unit at WellStar Windy Hill Hospital; and the Coronary Care Unit at Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital grew Elizabeth’s passion for facilitating communication around end-of-life decision making and improving psychosocial outcomes for bereaved family members. In fall of 2016, Elizabeth began working as a research assistant with Dr. Mi-Kyung Song to develop an advance care planning outcome measure for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease, heart failure, and lung cancer as well as their surrogate decision-makers. Elizabeth is currently working as a graduate research assistant under the mentorship of Dr. Kenneth Hepburn, principal investigator of an NIA/NIH funded randomized control trial of Tele-Savvy, an online psychoeducation program for informal caregivers of persons living with dementia. Elizabeth’s current plan of research focuses on the decision making processes of persons living with dementia and their family caregivers. Elizabeth will be testing prospect theory, a behavioral economic theory that describes how individuals make decisions under risk. Understanding how persons with dementia make decisions across the disease trajectory, Elizabeth hopes to enable more productive conversations around advance care planning. In addition, she will be obtaining her nurse practitioner’s license in Adult/Gerontology Primary Care to help bridge the research-practice gap in palliative care.
Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Scholar – Chronic Health
Dissertation: Anticipated dissertation title: “Only Time Will Tell: Using Prospect Theory to Understand Decision Making in Persons Living with Dementia and their Family Caregivers”