Karla Washington, PhD


Karla Washington, PhD, is passionate about the physical and psychosocial needs of patients who are chronically ill. In her research, she is identifying strategies that are most effective in helping individuals and their families cope with serious and chronic illness and live life on their own terms.

Academic Information

Associate Professor


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

P. 573-884-2119

Research Interests

  • Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Family Caregiving
  • Psychosocial Health
  • Interdisciplinary Teamwork

Areas of Expertise

  • Behavioral Intervention Research in Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Family Caregiving
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Determinants of Health

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

PhD: Social Work, University of Missouri
MSW: University of Missouri

Awards & Honors


Dorsett L. Spurgeon MD Distinguished Medical Research Award, University of Missouri School of Medicine

Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network Award for Excellence in Psychosocial Research


David B. Oliver Department of Family and Community Medicine Faculty Award


John A. Hartford Foundation Faculty Scholar in Gerontological Social Work



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


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.

A systematic review of interventions for older adults living in jails and prisons.
Aging & Mental Health. 2019; DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2019.1584879.1-9.
Canada KE, Barrenger SL, Robinson EL, Washington KT, Mills T.

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.

Digital storytelling as an intervention for bereaved family members.
OMEGA: Journal of Death and Dying. 2019; DOI: 10.1177/0030222819825513.
Rolbiecki AJ, Washington KT, Bitsicas K.

Health-care providers’ perspectives on decision-making among seriously ill patients of South Asian origin in the United States.
Journal of Palliative Care. 2019; DOI: 10.1177/0825859719829480.
Khosla N, Washington KT, Mukherjea A, Aslakson R.

Stakeholder perspectives on the biopsychosocial and spiritual realities of living with ALS: implications for palliative care teams.
American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 2019; DOI: 10.1177/1049909119834493.1-7.
Kukulka K, Washington KT, Govindarajan R, Mehr DR.


Ways of grieving among Ojibwe Elders: "They're All Around Us. They're Always.".
Omega - Journal of Death & Dying. 2018;78(2):107-119.
Dennis MK, Washington KT.

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.

Just let me go: end-of-life planning among Ojibwe elders.
Gerontologist. 2018;58(2):300-307.
Dennis MK, Washington KT.

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.

Communication challenges and strategies of U.S. health professionals caring for seriously ill South Asian patients and their families.
Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2017;20(6):611-617.
Khosla N, Washington KT, Shaunfield S, Aslakson R.

Digital storytelling: families’ search for meaning after child death.
Journal Of Social Work In End-Of-Life & Palliative Care. 2017;13(4):239-250.
Rolbiecki AJ, Washington K, Bitsicas K.

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.