Symptom Science


The focus of the Symptom Science RIIG 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 Science RIIG is comprised of nurse researchers from around the Midwest. The RIIG 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 RIIG 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.

RIIG Communication

Groupsite Community Networking Platform:


Meet the RIIG Leadership


Windy Alonso, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center


Hongjin Li, PhD, MS, BSN
Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Past Chair

Kristin Dickinson, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Grants Representative

Christine Horvat Davey, PhD, RN
VAQS Post-doctoral Fellow, Case Western Reserve University


2021-2022 RIIG Award Winners

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

Nominations are now closed and award recipients will be announced at the 2022 Annual Research Conference outside the Chicago area in Schaumburg, IL. If you have questions regarding the RIIG Awards, please be sure to email the RIIG Chair or contact the Executive Office at 615-432-0098 or


Annual Goals

  • Continue networking efforts 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 through email, twitter and the establishment of a quarterly e-symposium to discuss a relevant paper or the research of a RIIG member.
  • Contribute to the scientific community through a competitive symposium at the 2021 annual conference
  • Recognize the accomplishments of our members through five annual awards: Dissertation Award, New Investigator Award, Research Publication Award, Mid-Career Award, and Distinguished Researcher Award
  • Utilize the 3-tier leadership structure to maintain consistency and encourage growth of the RIIG through improved outreach and engagement of membership.

Overall/Long Term Goals

  • Support the Grants Committee for grants pertaining to Symptom Science
  • Communicate with members multiple times throughout the year regarding RIIG business
  • Offer a guaranteed or competitive symposium at each annual conference
  • Promote and disseminate new nursing research in the field of symptom science through annual RIIG meeting research presentations, email announcements, guaranteed and competitive symposiums, and RIIG-sponsored virtual learning events.
  • Increase member enrollment and engagement through networking, enhanced social media presence, and communication with members.
  • Support the MNRS Foundation

RIIG Minutes/Meeting Summary

If you are interested in learning more about the Symptom Science RIIG, please explore the minutes from the past meetings:
Symptom Science RIIG Annual Report from the 2021 Annual Research Conference
Symptom Science RIIG Annual Report from the 2020 Annual Research Conference
Symptom Science RIIG Annual Report from the 2019 Annual Research Conference
Symptom Science RIIG minutes from the 2018 Annual Research Conference
Symptom Science RIIG minutes from the 2017 Annual Research Conference
Symptom Science RIIG minutes from the 2016 Annual Research Conference


RIIG 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