Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Dr. Gerry is a Postdoctoral Fellow collaborating with Dr. Spiegel on his Sleep, Circadian Hormonal Dysregulation, and Breast Cancer Survival study, and on a study involving self-hypnosis training for children undergoing an invasive medical procedure.
Dr Gerrys current research interests are concerned with the role of sleep, stress, coping, and health in chronic illness. She is particularly interested in examining how sleep disturbance, psychosocial stress, diurnal stress hormone functioning, and coping are related to mental health, immune function, and survival in women with breast cancer. Dr. Gerry is also interested in the role of physical activity and sleep disturbance in stress hormone and immune functioning. In addition, she is interested in the role of mindfulness, hypnosis, and relaxation as interventions to reduce pain and anxiety associated with invasive medical procedures. She is ultimately interested in exploring interventions for fatigue, pain, and sleep disorders in oncology, specifically related to breast cancer.
Other areas of interest include reducing disparities in cancer screening behavior among women, dissemination of interventions for adults with chronic illness in urban and rural communities, and validation of psychosocial measures among ethnic minority populations. Dr. Gerry's dissertation Breast cancer screening disparities among ethnically diverse women in California: A latent profile analysis explored health, stress, and demographic factors to identify screening profiles that distinctly influence mammogram screening.