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Katherine Rafferty, Ph.D., M.A.

Associate Scholar

Dr. Rafferty is a lecturer at Iowa State University and previously worked as a Health Communication Specialist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. She conducts research that lies at the intersection of interpersonal and health communication, with a focus on how patients and families manage and cope with chronic illness and end-of-life care. She is primarily a qualitative scholar, but has also used quantitative methods to examine research questions about family health communication. Dr. Rafferty earned her Ph.D. in Communication at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. More information about her current research can be found at www.fhcresearchlab.com.

Latest Research & News

  • Charlie Gard’s Case and Parental Advocacy for Chronically Ill Children | July 6, 2017

    “My biggest issue is this: a parent is a caregiver and then of course the health professionals are the caregivers, but you know, who gets the final say?”

    -Mother whose daughter has osteosarcoma

    This essential question was posed by the mother of one of 33 children living with chronic conditions whose parents I interviewed for my recently published study in the current issue of Health Communication. The study is titled, “You know the medicine, I know my kid”: How parents advocate for their children living with complex chronic conditions.

  • Q&A with the Scholars: Discussing Chronic Illness and End-of-Life Care | January 9, 2017

    Katherine Rafferty, Ph.D., M.A., is a lecturer at Iowa State University and previously worked as a Health Communication Specialist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. In this interview, she discusses some of her research and findings on chronic illnesses and end-of-life care.