Debra Parker Oliver, PhD

Debra Parker Oliver, PhD, MSW Professor Paul Revare, MD, Family Professor of Family Medicine Office: 573-884-5301

Family and Community Medicine

Paul Revare, MD, Family Professor of Family Medicine



More than a million people are diagnosed as terminally ill and referred to hospice each year. Dedicated family members give tirelessly of themselves to provide care for these dying individuals.

DEBRA OLIVER wants to improve the dying experience for individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness and find ways to support family members who dedicate their time and energy to assure comfort for those they love. The hospice patients and families in her research reside either at home or in a nursing home. As the principal investigator on a National Institute of Aging grant, Dr. Oliver is studying the use of web conferencing to help families of nursing home patients attend quarterly plan-of-care meetings. Also, with funding from the National Cancer Institute, she is studying the use of Facebook to provide education and support to caregivers of cancer patients.

Academic Information

Paul Revare, MD, Family Professor of Family Medicine


One Hospital Drive
MA306 Medical Sciences Building, DC032.00
Columbia, MO 65212
United States

P. 573-884-5301

Research Interests

  • Hospice
  • Caregiving
  • Cancer
  • Palliative medicine
  • Behavioral intervention research

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

PhD: Rural Sociology and Social Work, University of Missouri
MSW: University of Missouri

In the News


For a complete publication list, see: My Bibliography (NCBI Collections)

  • Online social support groups for informal caregivers of hospice patients with cancer.
    European journal of oncology nursing: the official journal of European Oncology Nursing Society. 2019;44: 101698-101698.
    Benson JJ, Oliver DP, Washington KT, Rolbiecki AJ, Lombardo CB, Garza JE, Demiris G.
  • A comparison of rural and urban hospice family caregivers' cancer pain knowledge and experience.
    J Pain Symptom Manage. 2019;58(4):685-689.
    Washington KT, Parker Oliver D, Smith JB, Kruse RL, Meghani SH, Demiris G.
  • Factors influencing engagement in an online support group for family caregivers of individuals with advanced cancer.
    J Psychosoc Oncol. 2019; DOI: 10.1080/07347332.2019.1680592.
    Washington KT, Parker Oliver D, Benson JJ, Rolbiecki AJ, Jorgensen LA, Cruz-Oliver DM, Demiris G.
  • Challenges in Implementing Hospice Clinical Trials: Preserving Scientific Integrity While Facing Changing Environments.
    J Pain Symptom Manage. 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2019.09.028.
    Parker Oliver D, Washington K, Demiris G, White P.
  • Assessing the reliability and validity of a brief measure of Caregiver Quality of Life (CQLI-R).
    J Pain Symptom Manage. 2019;58(5):871-877.
    Parker Oliver D, Kruse R, Smith J, Washington K, Demiris G.
  • Adapting the resilience framework for family caregivers of hospice patients with dementia.
    Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2019;34(6):399-411.
    Han S, Chi NC, Han C, Parker Oliver D, Washington K, Demiris G.
  • Innovative tools to support family caregivers of persons with cancer: The role of information technology.
    Seminars in Oncology Nursing. 2019;35: 384-388.
    Demiris G, Washington K, Ulrich CM, Popescu M, Parker Oliver D.
  • Design and Preliminary Testing of the Caregiver-Centered Communication Questionnaire (CCCQ).
    J Palliat Care. 2019; DOI: 10.1177/0825859719887239.
    Demiris G, DeKeyser Ganz F, Han CJ, Pike K, Parker Oliver D, Washington K.
  • Family caregivers' perspectives on communication with cancer care providers.
    J Psychosoc Oncol. 2019;37(6):777-790.
    Washington KT, Craig KW, Parker Oliver D, Ruggeri JS, Brunk SR, Goldstein AK, Demiris G.
  • A problem-solving intervention for hospice family caregivers: a randomized clinical trial.
    Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2019; DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15894.
    Demiris G, Parker Oliver D, Washington K, Pike K.
  • Accounts of family conflict in home hospice care: the central role of autonomy for informal caregiver resilience.
    Journal of Family Nursing. 2019; DOI: 10.1177/1074840719828091.
    Benson JJ, Parker Oliver D, Demiris G, Washington K.
  • Behind the doors of home hospice patients: a secondary qualitative analysis of hospice nurse communication with patients and families.
    Palliative and Supportive Care. 2019; DOI: 10.1017/S1478951518001098.
    Parker Oliver D, Tappana J, Washington KT, Rolbiecki A, Craig K, Demiris G, Schafer C, Winjobi M, Clayton MF, Reblin M, Ellington L.
  • Development and preliminary evaluation of a pain management manual for hospice providers to support and educate family caregivers.
    American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine. 2019;36(3):207-215.
    Chi NC, Han S, Barani E, Parker Oliver D, Washington KT, Lewis FM, Walker A, Demiris G.
  • The motivations and consequences of dying at home: family caregiver perspectives.
    Journal of Housing for the Elderly. 2018;32(3-4):278-336.
    Benson JJ, Schwarz B, Tofle RB, Parker-Oliver D.
  • Defining core competencies for generalist-level palliative social work.
    Journal of Pain & Symptom Management. 2018;56(6):886-892.
    Glajchen M, Berkman C, Otis-Green S, Stein GL, Sedgwick T, Bern-Klug M, Christ G, Csikai E, Downes D, Gerbino S, Head B, Parker-Oliver D, Waldrop D, Portenoy RK.
  • Communicating caregivers' challenges with cancer pain management: an analysis of home hospice visits.
    Journal of Pain & Symptom Management. 2018;55(5):1296-1303.
    Han CJ, Chi NC, Han S, Demiris G, Parker-Oliver D, Washington K, Clayton MF, Reblin M, Ellington L.
  • Delivering problem-solving therapy to family caregivers of people with cancer: a feasibility study in outpatient palliative care.
    Psychooncology. 2018;27(10):2494-2499.
    Washington KT, Demiris G, Parker OD, Albright DL, Craig KW, Tatum P.
  • Differential effects of patient symptom subtypes on informal hospice caregiver depression.
    Palliative & Supportive Care. 2018;16(2):127-136.
    Wilkes CM, Washington KT, Palmer WM, Parker Oliver DR, Demiris G, Craig KW.
  • Pain management concerns from the hospice family caregivers’ perspective.
    American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine. 2018;35(4):601-611.
    Chi NC, Demiris G, Pike KC, Washington K, Parker Oliver DR.
  • Relationships among symptom management burden, coping responses, and caregiver psychological distress at end of life.
    Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2018;21(9):1234-1241.
    Washington KT, Wilkes CM, Rakes CR, Otten SJ, Parker OD, Demiris G.
  • Shared decision making in home hospice nursing visits: a qualitative study.
    J Pain Symptom Manage. 2018;55(3):922-929.
    Parker Oliver D, Washington K, Demiris G, Wallace A, Propst MR, Uraizee AM, Craig K, Clayton MF, Reblin M, Ellington L.
  • The paradox of hospice for caregivers of cancer patients.
    Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2018;56(3):e8-e11.
    Wallace AS, Parker Oliver D, Demiris G, Washington K, Smith J.
  • A qualitative analysis of information sharing in hospice interdisciplinary group meetings.
    American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 2017;34(10):901-906.
    Washington KT, Demiris G, Parker Oliver DR, Swarz JA, Lewis AM, Backonja U.
  • Challenges and strategies for hospice caregivers: a qualitative analysis.
    Gerontologist. 2017;57(4):648-656.
    Parker Oliver DR, Demiris G, Washington KT, Clark C, Thomas-Jones D.
  • Hospice family caregiver involvement in care plan meetings: a mixed-methods randomized controlled trial.
    American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine. 2017;34(9):849-859.
    Parker Oliver D, Demiris G, Washington K, Kruse RL, Petroski G.
  • Team functioning in hospice interprofessional meetings: an exploratory study of providers’ perspectives.
    Journal of Interprofessional Care. 2017;31(4):455-462.
    Washington KT, Guo Y, Albright DL, Lewis A, Parker Oliver D, Demiris G.
  • The effect of internet group support for caregivers on social support, self-efficacy, and caregiver burden: a meta-analysis.
    Telemedicine Journal & E-Health. 2017;23(8):621-629.
    Parker Oliver DR, Patil S, Benson JJ, Gage A, Washington K, Kruse RL, Demiris G.
  • The prevalence and risks for depression and anxiety in hospice caregivers.
    Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2017;20(4):366-371.
    Parker OD, Washington KT, Smith J, Uraizee A, Demiris G.

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