Dr. Johns conducts patient-oriented research testing behavioral interventions to: (1) reduce cancer-related fatigue and associated symptoms for post-treatment cancer survivors; and (2) improve adaptive coping and quality of life for adults with advanced-stage cancer and their family caregivers. As a clinician-scientist currently working as part of the Palliative Care Service at Eskenazi Health, Dr. Johns is deeply aware of the needs of adults with cancer and their family caregivers. Her heightened awareness of the limitations of existing evidence-based interventions in effectively addressing the needs of many patients has led to a number of research ideas for which Dr. Johns has secured funding. She has been awarded a Young Investigator Award from the Indiana Clinical Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), a Walther Research Scholar Award through the Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics, and pilot grants from the IUPUI Research in Palliative and End-of-Life Communication and Training (RESPECT) Signature Center, CTSI Behavioral Project Development Team, Walther Cancer Foundation, and Behavioral Cooperative Oncology Group Center for Symptom Management. She primarily conducts randomized mixed-methods efficacy trials testing integrative mind-body interventions. Dr. Johns and her team were the first to conduct a randomized clinical trial testing the effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for persistently fatigued cancer survivors using fatigue as a primary outcome. Her team is also the first to compare MBSR to an education/attention control (EAC) condition for persistently fatigued breast and colorectal cancer survivors to determine if training in mindfulness meditation (with its focus on present-centered awareness and non-reactive coping) would significantly reduce CRF interference over and above the effects of EAC. Blood samples were collected from participants in this trial and will be analyzed effects of each intervention on pro-inflammatory cytokines. Dr. Johns??? second line of research involves developing and testing novel interventions designed to encourage timely end-of-life discussions with greater ease for adults with advanced-stage cancer, their family caregivers, and their oncologists. Her team is the first to have tested a mindfulness-based intervention for this purpose.
Psy.D. - Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 1999
Internship - West Virginia University School of Medicine, Charleston, VA 1997-1998
M.S. - Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 1996