Carol Estwing Ferrans, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Associate Dean for Research
Department of Biobehavioral Health Science
Co-Director, UIC Center of Excellence in Eliminating Health Disparities
UIC College of Nursing
845 South Damen Avenue (MC 802)
Chicago, IL 60612-7350
Research / Discovery
Carol Estwing Ferrans, PhD, RN, FAAN,
is Professor and Associate Dean for Research of the UIC College of Nursing. She also is the Co-Director of the UIC Center of Excellence in Eliminating Health Disparities, as well as Co-Director of Community Engagement and Research for the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Ferrans has been conducting studies focusing on quality of life and disparities in health care for more than 20 years, funded by NIH. This has included the development of culturally specific measures for African Americans, Hispanic Americans and other ethnic groups. She is well-known for developing the Ferrans and Powers Quality of Life Index, which has been translated into 21 languages and has been used throughout the world in more than 200 published studies. Most recently, she developed an instrument to measure cultural beliefs contributing to late-stage diagnosis of breast cancer in African Americans and Hispanic women. Dr. Ferrans conducted her first study of QOL in cancer survivors in 1987, which provided the springboard for her work aimed at understanding and reducing disparities in cancer. Her recent work has examined cancer survivorship issues for African Americans, focusing on the impact on quality of life and barriers to cancer screening, as well as the reasons for delay in seeking diagnosis for suspicious breast symptoms in African American, Hispanic and white women. Additional funded studies have focused on barriers to prostate cancer screening, the effect of mistrust of health care providers on screening for breast and cervical cancer, and factors influencing end-of-life decision making by African American caregivers.
Teaching / Learning
Dr. Ferrans teaches primarily in the doctoral program at UIC. She guides students and faculty members in research and the development of their research careers, which has included five Research Career Development grants from NIH. Dr. Ferrans has received a number of awards for this work.
Service / Practice
As a recognized leader in cancer control in Illinois, Dr. Ferrans served on the Steering Committee developing the Illinois Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan for the Illinois Department of Public Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The steering committee developed framework for action to reduce the burden of cancer in Illinois, in order to provide an organized approach to cancer prevention and control efforts throughout the state, which is currently in implementation. She also has been a leader in community participatory efforts to identify and remedy barriers to service access contributing to late-stage diagnosis of breast cancer in African Americans and Hispanic women. Dr. Ferrans currently is working to address the barriers to early cancer detection for minority women as one of the leaders of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, which is a city-wide effort that has produced policy change for women throughout Illinois.
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Quality of Life Index
Current Research Projects: