Marlaine Figueroa Gray, PhD, is a medical anthropologist with a passion for eliciting illness narratives and health care experiences from patients, family members, and medical professionals. She has researched how the intersection of creative practices and medical care provide insight into understanding the logic of biomedical care, what counts as evidence that a creative activity "works," and how arts activities can serve as a model of how to provide better, more patient- and family-centered care. She is particularly interested in how we attend to patient suffering, and in what types of care are possible when no medical treatments are available.
Her previous work includes examining education policy in sub-Saharan Africa and developing curricula for health education, specifically HIV/AIDS education in Kenya and Mozambique.
Dr. Figueroa Gray has extensive experience designing qualitative studies and analyzing qualitative data. At Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI), she uses this expertise to examine how patients, family members, and physicians make medical decisions when outcomes are uncertain and stakes are high, such as deciding whether or not to participate in an immunotherapy trial, or choosing which treatments to pursue as an adolescent or young adult with advanced cancer. She founded the KPWHRI Qualitative Research Interest Group, which supports outstanding qualitative research at the institute.
Shared decision making; care logics
Figueroa Gray M, Hsu C, Kiel L, Dublin S. Getting through the day: a pilot qualitative study of U.S. women's experiences making decisions about anti-nausea medication during pregnancy. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2018;18(1):475. doi: 10.1186/s12884-018-2093-6. PubMed
Hsu C, Hertel E, Johnson E, Cahill C, Lozano P, Ross TR, Ehrlich K, Coleman K, BlueSpruce J, Cheadle A, Matthys J, Chapdelaine M, Gray M, Tufte J, Robbins M. Evaluation of the Learning to Integrate Neighborhoods and Clinical Care project: findings from implementing a new lay role into primary care teams to address social determinants of health. Perm J. 2018; 22:18-101.Published online 2018 Oct 22.doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-101.
Figueroa Gray M, Ludman EJ, Beatty T, Rosenberg AR, Wernli KJ. Balancing hope and risk among adolescent and young adult cancer patients with late-stage cancer: a qualitative interview study. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2018 Dec;7(6):673-680. doi: 10.1089/jayao.2018.0048. Epub 2018 Aug 10. PubMed
Figueroa Gray M, Hsu C, Kiel L, Dublin S. "It's a very big burden on me": women's experiences using insulin for gestational diabetes. Matern Child Health J. 2017 Jan 13. doi: 10.1007/s10995-017-2261-8. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Sawyer T, Fu B, Gray M, Umoren R. Medical improvisation training to enhance the antenatal counseling skills of neonatologists and neonatal fellows: a pilot study. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2017;30(15):1865-1869. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2016.1228059. Epub 2016 Sep 5. PubMed
Studies offer insights into the lives of older adults with dementia who lack family.
Research by Marlaine Figueroa Gray, PhD, includes exploring the intersection of medicine and creativity.
The VOICE study aims to improve the health and health care of people who had cancer as adolescents and young adults.