Maureen Metzger, an assistant professor in Acute and Specialty Care Department, studies patient and family member experiences with life-limiting illnesses, especially communication and decision-making in the context of life-limiting illness.

After more than 20 years in direct patient care and 30 years as an oncology nurse, Dr. Metzger returned to school to pursue a doctorate in health practice research. She is currently researching the feasibility and acceptability of a communication intervention designed to enhance preparedness for end-of-life decision-making in patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) and their surrogate decision-makers, and to describe the caregiving experience of a subset of LVAD caregivers.

She is interested in increasing the understanding of patients’ and families’ experiences with and perspectives on palliative care, and how patients and families make sense of life-limiting illness, communicate with each other and with their clinicians, and make treatment-related decisions. Her long-term research goals include developing and implementing interventions designed to improve the experience of patients and families confronting life-limiting illnesses and ultimately expanding the evidence base upon which integrative, patient and family-centered models of care are built.

Education & Research

  • T32 Postdoctoral fellowship, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, 2015
  • PhD in Health Practice Research, University of Rochester, 2012
  • F31 Pre-doctoral fellowship (Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award)
  • MSN, University of Rochester, 2007
  • BSN, Simmons College, 1984

Research Focus

Palliative care in life-limiting illness; communication and decision-making in the context of life-limiting illness; patient and caregiver experiences with, and perspectives on, end-of-life care; integrative, patient- and family-centered care; ethnography, qualitative description, dimensional analysis, cross-sectional and longitudinal descriptive work, secondary data analysis, and mixed methods

Clinical Focus

Palliative care; end-of-life care; oncology


Journal Articles

Metzger, M., Taggart, J., & Aviles, E. (2020). Fourth-year baccalaureate nursing students’ perceptions of inclusive learning environments. Journal of Nursing Education, 59(2), 256-262. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20200422-04.

Metzger, M., & Taggart, J. (2020). A longitudinal mixed methods study describing 4th yearbaccalaureate nursing students’ perceptions of inclusive pedagogical strategies. Journal of Professional Nursing, 36(4), 229-235. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2019.12.006

Metzger, M., Dowling, T., Guinn, J., & Wilson, D. T. (2020). Inclusivity in baccalaureate nursing education: A scoping study. Journal of Professional Nursing, 36(1), 5-14. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2019.06.002

Song, M. K., Metzger, M., & Ward, S. E. (2016). Process and impact of an advance care planning intervention evaluated by bereaved surrogate decision-makers of dialysis patients. Palliative Medicine, 0(0), 1-8. doi:10.1177/0269216316652012

Song, M. K., Ward, S. E., Hanson, L. C., Metzger, M., & Sun, S. H. (2016). Determining consistency of surrogate decisions and end-of-life care received with patient goals of care preferences. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 19(6), 610-616. doi:10.1089/jpm.2015.0349

Metzger, M., Song, M. K., Ward, S., Chang, P., Hanson, L. C., & Lin, F. C. (2016). A randomized controlled pilot trial to improve advance care planning for LVAD patients and their surrogates. Heart & Lung, 45(3), 186-192. doi:10.1016/j.hrtlng.2016.01.005

Metzger, M., Song, M. K., & Devane-Johnson, S. (2016). LVAD patients’ and surrogates’ perspectives on SPIRIT-HF: An advance care planning discussion. Heart & Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care, 45(4), 305-310. doi:10.1016/j.hrtlng.2016.05.033

Alexander, S.C., Ladwig, S., Norton, S.A., Gramling, D., Davis, J.K., Metzger, M., DeLuca, J., & Gramling, R. (2014). Emotional distress and compassionate responses in palliative care decision-making consultations: A direct observational study. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 17(20), 1-6. doi:10.1089/jpm.2013.0551

Metzger, M., Norton, S.A., Quinn, J., & Gramling, R. (2013). Patient and familymembers’ perceptions of palliative care in heart failure. Heart and Lung, 42, 112-119. doi:10.1016/j.hrtlng.2012.11.002

Metzger, M., Norton, S.A., Quinn, J., & Gramling, R. (2013). "That don't work for me": Patients' and family members' perspectives on palliative care and hospice in late stage heart failure. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 15(3), 177-182. doi:10.1097/njh.0b013e3182798390

Gramling, R., Norton, S., Ladwig, S., Winters, P., Metzger, M., Quill, T., & Alexander, S. (2013). Latent classes of prognosis conversations in palliative care: A mixed methods study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 16(6), 653-660. doi:10.1089/jpm.2012.0381

Gramling, R., Norton, S.A., Ladwig, S., Metzger, M., DeLuca, J., Gramling, D., Schatz, D., & Alexander, S. (2013). Direct observation of prognosis communication in palliative care: A descriptive study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 45(2), 202-212.

Norton, S.A., Metzger, M., DeLuca, J., Alexander, S., Quill, T.E., & Gramling, R. (2013). Palliative care communication: Linking patient prognoses, values, and goals of care. Research in Nursing and Health, 36(6), 582-590.

Advance Online Publications

Metzger, M., Yoder, J., Fitzgibbon, K. Blackhall, L., & Abdel-Rahman, E. (2021). Nephrology and palliative care collaboration in the care of patients with advanced kidney disease: Results of a clinician survey. Kidney Medicine. Advance online publication.

Abdel-Rahman, E. M., Metzger, M., Blackhall, L., Asif, M., Mamdouhi, P., MacIntyre, K.,Casimir, E., … Balogun, R. A. (2021). Association between palliative care consultation and advance palliative care rates: A descriptive cohort study in patients at various stages in the continuum of chronic kidney disease. Journal of Palliative Medicine. Advance online publication.

Metzger, M., Abdel-Rahman, E., Boykin, H., & Song, MK. (2021). Management strategies for common symptoms in advanced kidney disease. Kidney International Reports. Advance online publication.