Jessica Roydhouse, PhD candidate in Health Services Research (HSR), successfully defended her dissertation, titled "Improving patient-reported outcomes in cancer care: non-response and the role of proxies."
Tell us about your time at Brown. What did you enjoy most about being a doctoral student here?
I loved my time at Brown. The department and school are a very supportive community. I had great support and encouragement from the faculty. People were very generous with their time and feedback, and this made me a better researcher. I had great learning experiences and at the end, I am a confident, independent researcher. My fellow students were also wonderful and I had a great time learning and working alongside them.
What public health issues do you hope to address through your dissertation?
In cancer care, there is a great and valuable emphasis on getting the patient's views of care and also understanding the patient's quality of life, as this is an important treatment goal. One challenge is that many patients are often unable to respond due to their illness, and a common approach is to have the patient's spouse/partner or child act as a proxy and report on the patient's behalf. However, the implications of this are not clear, since obviously, the patient is the best person to report on their care and quality of life. My goal with the dissertation was to provide evidence on what kind of data we should be collecting in these situations, and how we should methodologically account for this practice.
What are your future plans now that you have finished your PhD?
I will be working as an adjunct assistant professor in the School’s Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice.