New Hire: Anne Reb, Ph.D.
March 25, 2017 | by Samantha Bonar
“Many gynecological cancer survivors experience psychosocial, physical and other unmet needs during the transition from active treatment to survivorship,” Reb said. “Communication gaps can occur during this period, which may result in uncertainty about the plan of care going forward and distress if psychosocial needs are not met.”
To that end, Reb is conducting research to explore the feasibility of a survivorship program that promotes self-management skills and empowers women to partner with their health care team to manage their symptoms, optimize communication and promote well-being.
“My hope is to learn more about what models of care and strategies work best in the survivorship setting to promote care coordination and better meet the needs of women during this vulnerable period,” she said.
Reb said that her experience as a researcher and nurse practitioner working with breast and gynecological cancer survivors — she previously was a research nurse at the John P. Murtha Cancer Center and the U.S. Military Cancer Institute at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as well as a nurse practitioner at the National Cancer Institute and the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital — taught her a great deal about the challenges they face and the strengths that help them cope with their illnesses and the aftermath.
“It inspires me to be able to help women as they move through this journey and to research approaches that health care teams and systems can implement to facilitate improved care and enable women to tap into the resources and support they need based on their values and preferences,” she said.
Reb is also interested in research on the effects of mind-body interventions on symptoms, stress response pathways and immune markers. “My research on qigong in injured military service members adds to the body of research supporting integrative approaches to symptom and stress management in the rehabilitation setting,” said Reb, who received her doctorate in nursing science at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. “I hope to continue this research with cancer survivors.” At the Murtha Cancer Center, she studied the benefits of mantra repetition in women with advanced ovarian cancer, and she has written on spirituality’s impact on cancer survivorship.
Reb landed at City of Hope after Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., R.N., director of the Division of Nursing and Education here, worked as a consultant on a survivorship grant Reb was pursuing at Walter Reed, where she conducted a similar feasibility study on a nurse-led gynecology oncology survivorship program. Reb subsequently learned more about the work being done at City of Hope by attending its Cancer Survivorship and Communication Training courses.
“My research interests are very closely aligned with those of the Division of Nursing Research here, so it is really a great fit,” she said.