Symptom Science


The focus of the Symptom Science RIG is to advance nursing knowledge related to pain and symptom management. The role of nursing science is critical to assist health care providers to better understand, prevent and manage pain and other symptoms experienced by patients. The Symptom ScienceRIG is comprised of nurse researchers from around the Midwest. The RIG is fortunate to have diversity in its membership regarding years of experience studying pain and other symptoms, effectiveness of interventions, and the physiology of these phenomena. Members range from master’s students to full professors. Many RIG members have current or prior funding including small and large grants, whereas others have never been funded, but serve as an important resource regarding pain and symptom-related issues.

Who Should Join?

  • Nurses with clinical experiences in symptom science and also have interest in research as it applies to the clinical practices.
  • Nurse Educators who teach students about pain and symptom management and who have interest in research as it applies to nursing or interprofessional undergraduate or graduate education, and who are interested in applying the interprofessional Core Competencies in Undergraduate Pain Education.
  • Nurse Research scientists who conduct pain and symptom management research through basic science, and clinical research.

RIG Communication

LinkedIn page:



Meet the RIG Leadership


Dawn Denny PhD, RN, ONC
Assistant Professor, University of North Dakota


Catherine Cherwin, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor, The University of Iowa

 Past Chair

Judith M. Schlaeger, PhD, CNM, LAC
Assistant Professor,College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Grants Representative

Cynthia Lafond, PhD, RN, CCRN-K
Director for Nursing Research, College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago

2018-2019 RIG Awards

Symptom Science is proud to announce the following award opportunities to the RIG membership:

  • Dissertation Award
  • Distinguished Researcher Award
  • New Investigator Award

Nominations are now closed.  Winner will be announced at the 43rd Annual Research Conference in Kansas City, MO.  Please plan to join us for the full conference and the Symptom Science RIG meeting.


Recent Activities/Highlights

New information coming soon!


Overall/Long Term Goals

  • Networking – to help connect members to others doing similar work and to connect junior faculty to potential mentors.
  • Continue to work on increasing communication outside of the annual meeting
  • Contribute to the scientific community annually through a competitive or guaranteed symposium.
  • Recognize the accomplishments of our members through two annual awards-this may include a senior, junior scientist, DNP, PhD and Undergrad student award which would alternate yearly.
  • Support the MNRS foundation.
  • Support the Grants Committee for grants pertaining to Symptom Science
  • Communicate multiple times in the year for nominations of RIG awards
  • Guaranteed Symposium presentations 2019
  • Continue to promote and disseminate new nursing research in the field of symptom science through annual RIG meeting research presentations, email announcements, and via guaranteed symposia

RIG Minutes/Meeting Summary

If you are interested in learning more about the Symptom Science RIG, please explore the minutes from the past meetings:
Symptom Science RIG minutes from the 2018 Annual Research Conference.
Symptom Science RIG minutes from the 2017 Annual Research Conference.
Symptom Science RIG minutes from the 2016 Annual Research Conference.

RIG Member Research Updates

Kwekkeboom, K. L., Tostrud, L., Costanzo, E., Coe, C. L., Serlin, R. C., Ward, S. E., & Zhang, Y. (2018). The role of inflammation in the pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance symptom cluster in advanced cancer. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 55(5), 1286-1295.

Kwekkeboom, K., Zhang, Y., Campbell, T., Coe, C. L., Costanzo, E., Serlin, R. C., & Ward, S. (2018). Randomized controlled trial of a brief cognitive-behavioral strategies intervention for the pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance symptom cluster in advanced cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 27(12), 2761-2769.

Chen, C.X., Kroenke, K., Stump, T.E., Kean, J., Krebs, E.E., Bair, M.J., Damush, T.M., & Monahan, P.O. (Accepted). Comparative responsiveness of the PROMIS pain interference short forms with legacy pain measures: results from three randomized clinical trials. The Journal of Pain

Chen, C.X., Ofner, S., Bakoyannis, G., Kwekkeboom, K.L., & Carpenter, J.S. (2018). Symptoms-based phenotypes among women with dysmenorrhea: a latent class analysis. Western Journal of Nursing Research. 40(10):1452-1468. doi: 10.1177/0193945917731778.

Chen, C.X, Groves, D, Miller, W. R., & Carpenter, J.S (2018). Big data and dysmenorrhea: What questions do females and males ask about menstrual pain? Journal of Women’s Health. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1089/jwh.2017.6732.

Chen, C.X., Draucker, C.B., & Carpenter, J.S. (2018). What women say about their dysmenorrhea: a qualitative thematic analysis. BMC Women’s Health 18 (1): 47. doi: 10.1186/s12905-018-0538-8 (IF: 1.79).

Chen, C.X., Kroenke, K., Stump, T.E., Kean, J., Carpenter, J.S., Krebs, E.E., Bair, M.J, Damush, T.M., & Monahan, P.O.(2018). Estimating minimally important differences for the PROMIS pain interference scales: results from 3 randomized clinical trials. PAIN: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain. 159 (4): 775-782. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001121.

Chen, C.X., Shieh, C., Draucker, C.B., & Carpenter, J.S. (2018). Reasons women do not seek care for dysmenorrhea. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 27(1-2):e301-e308. doi: 10.1111/jocn.13946.

Denny, D. L., & Such, T. (2018). Exploration of the relationships between postoperative pain and subsyndromal delirium in older adults. Nursing Research, 67(6), 421-429.  doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000305