Professor Degner is part-time Professor of Cancer Nursing at the University of Manchester School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work.
She is also Senior Scholar at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Nursing in Winnipeg, Canada, and in 2013 was appointed Distinguished Professor Emerita of that university.
Lesley Degner is an internationally recognized scholar and researcher in patient involvement in medical decision making.
Professor Degner's research
into informational needs, decision making preferences and the meaning of illness in women with breast cancer also included comparative studies in England and Sweden during the early 1990s, marking the beginning of a long term collaboration with investigators in Stockholm and Manchester.
In a paper published in Cancer Nursing in 2003, she
described a new way of measuring how women with breast cancer derive meaning from their experiences.
This paper won the Research Article of the Year Award, and the model it describes is an important new tool for clinicians communicating with breast cancer patients.
Papers published by British and Swedish collaborators using the same method showed the profound impact of country and culture on how women with breast cancer view their illness.
Professor Degner has also pursued a long term program of research with a focus on symptom distress in patients with lung cancer, in collaboration with colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
From 2000, Professor Degner held a 10 year National Research Chair from the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, to support her program entitled, "Development of Evidence-Based Nursing Practice in Cancer Care, Palliative Care and Cancer Prevention" at the University of Manitoba in Canada.
appointment at the University of Manchester
facilitates interaction between members of the Psychosocial Oncology and Cancer Nursing Research Group
at the University of Manitoba
(www.sbrc.ca) and their graduate students, with researchers in cancer nursing and palliative care at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Manchester
has taught a variety of courses in research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Most recently she
has taught a doctoral level course on Cancer Nursing Research; her
particular contribution to that course was in the area of the history of cancer research.
has directly supervised more than 60 graduate students, and many of these have gone on to become leading researchers in the field of cancer nursing.
Professor Degner has also lectured in Europe, having served as a visiting professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm where she taught a course in Clinical Decision Making to doctoral students from throughout Sweden, and giving lectures on the strategic development of nursing research in both the United States and Europe (Smith & Nephew Lecture, London, England, 2003).
Most recently she
has been invited to lecture about the evolution of her
own career as a scientist to a variety of professional and lay audiences.
Professor Degner received her undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Manitoba, and subsequently went on to graduate work in the United States, completing her master's degree at the University of Washington and her doctoral degree at the University of Michigan.
subsequently completed a year of postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
and Cancer Center.
Professor Degner is known for her work in the field of patient participation in clinical decision making, having published the book Life-Death Decisions in Health Care in 1987, a multi-year qualitative study of how treatment decisions are actually made for patients with life-threatening illnesses.
The writing of this book was supported by a Scholar-in-Residence Award from the Rockefeller Foundation
in New York and held at the Villa Serbelloni
in Bellagio, Italy.
subsequently developed and validated three measures that are being used internationally in studies of cancer patients and other groups: the Control Preferences Scale, the Information Needs Scale, and the Meaning of Illness Scale.
also participated with Swedish colleagues in the development and testing of a measure to elicit the most distressing (as opposed to the most intense) symptoms in people with lung cancer.
Most recently her
focus has turned to studying organizational interventions that could improve the quality of work life for nurses as well as patient outcomes by involving front-line nurses in knowledge translation activities.
Professor Degner has published the results of her research in many high impact medical ( Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer, Journal of the American Medical Association), multi-disciplinary (Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Psycho-Oncology), and nursing journals (Journal of Advanced Nursing, Cancer Nursing).
has two highly cited first authored articles based on her
development and testing of the Control Preferences Scale.
Most recently she
has participated in conducting syntheses of research in the field of patient-health professional communication in oncology in a special issue of Psycho-Oncology and in a chapter published by Oxford University Press
In 2010 she was identified as the most frequently cited nurse scientist in Canada.
is the recipient of many prestigious awards, icluding the Diamond Jubilee Award of the National Cancer Institute of Canada
, given in 2007 to only six individual researchers or research groups judged to have made a substantial contribution to cancer research in the previous sixty years.
was judged to be one of the individuals to have made a significant contribution in the field of behavioural research.
Other awards include: a Life Time Achievement Award from the University of Texas/M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
(2007), the Award of Excellence of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology
(2007), the Distinguished Researcher Award of the Oncology Nursing Society
in the United States (the first non-American to win this award) (2006), and the Distinguished Merit Award of the International Society of Nurses
in Cancer Care, England (2006).
was the first and remains the only woman to have received the John M. Bowman Rh Foundation Medal for Excellence in Research,
the University of Manitoba's
top research prize for senior faculty (2005).
In 2013 she
was inducted into the St. Boniface Hospital Research Hall of Fame
, with a bronze bust and pillar in the Research Centre Atrium marking this honour.
Hack, T.F., Ruether, J.D., Pickles, T., Bultz, B.D., Chateau, D., & Degner, L.F. (2012).
Behind closed doors II: Systematic analysis of prostate cancer patients' primary treatment consultations with radiation oncologists and predictors of satisfaction with communication.
Psycho-Oncology, 21, 809-817.
eScholarID:192221 | DOI
Hack, T.F., Pickles, T., Ruether, J.D., Weir, L., Bultz, B.D. & Degner, L.F. (2010).
Behind closed doors: Systematic analysis of breast cancer consultation communication and predictors of satisfaction with communication.
Psycho-Oncology, 19, 626-636.
eScholarID:192220 | DOI
Hack, T.F., Pickles, T., Ruether, J.D., Weir, L., Bultz, B.D., Mackey,J & Degner, L.F. (2010).
Predictors of distress and quality of life in patients undergoing cancer therapy: Impact of treatment type and decisional role.
Psycho-Oncology, 19, 606-616.
eScholarID:192226 | DOI
IHack, T.F., & Degner, L.F. In Kissane, D., Bultz, B.D., Butow, P., and Finlay, I. (eds.). (2010).
Audio-recording important consultations for patients and their families.
Oxford University Press
eScholarID:192244 | DOI
Singh, J.A., Sloan
, J., Huschka, M., Atherton, P., Degner
, L., Hack, T.F., Smith, T., Rummans, T., Clark, M., & Diekmann, B. (2010).
What role do cancer patients want to play in treatment decision making?: A pooled-analysis.
American Journal of Managed Care
, 16, 688-696.
Estabrooks, C.A., Hutchinson, A.M., Squires, J.E., Birdsell, J., Cummings, G.G., Degner
, L., Morgan, D. & Norton, P.G. (2009).
Translating research in elder care: an introduction to a study protocol series.
Implementation Science, 4(51), eScholarID:192241 | DOI
Rycroft-Malone, J., Dopson, S., Degner
, L., Hutchinson, A.M., Morgan, D., Stewart, N. & Estabrooks, C.A. (2009).
Study protocol for the translating research in elder care (TREC): building context through case studies in long-term care project (project two).
Implementation Science, 4(53), eScholarID:192249 | DOI