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Mi-Kyung Song, PhD, RN, FAAN

Associate Professor and Beerstecher-Blackwell Term Distinguished Scholar

Phone: (919) 843-9496
Specialty Area: Adult Health

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
4012 Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460

Office: 4108

Mi-Kyung Song received her PhD in Nursing (focused area in end-of-life and palliative care) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with minor in Biostatistics. Her research is focused on improving end-of-life and palliative care for patients with serious chronic illness (e.g., patients with end-stage kidney disease and post-lung transplant recipients with chronic rejection) and their family members. Her research areas of interest are end-of-life communication, treatment decision making, surrogate decision making, integration of palliative care, and bioethics. Her methodological areas of interest include intervention development and testing, treatment fidelity, and mixed methods in intervention program of research. Her clinical background includes critical care and cardiovascular nursing. She is a faculty fellow at the Parr Center for Ethics and a faculty associate at the UNC Bioethics Center. Her primary teaching includes N953 Ethics and Law in Health Care and Research, a doctoral seminar.  
  • 2014                Distinguished Alumna Award, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 2013                Helen Denne Schulte Visiting Professorship, School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
  • 2012                Induction to Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing
  • 2012-               Beerstecher-Blackwell Term Distinguished Scholar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2003                Eckburg Dissertation Trust, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing
  • 2000                Induction to Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Eta chapter
  • Content: Palliative and end-of-life care (End-of-life communication, treatment decision making, surrogate decision making) and bioethics
  • Methodology: Intervention development and testing, RCTs, treatment fidelity, and mixed methods in intervention program of research
  • Populations: Advanced CKD, ESRD, post-lung transplantation, and critical care
  • Selected (since 2008)
  • Book Chapters
  1. DeVito Dabbs, A., Song, M.K., & Switzer, S.D. (2011). Integrative therapies for lung transplantation Recipients. In L. Chlan & M.I. Hertz (Eds), Integrative therapies in lung health and sleep (pp. 145-154). New York, NY: Springer.
  2. Song, M.K., Sandelowski, M., & Happ, M.B. (2010). Current practices and emerging trends in conducting mixed methods intervention studies. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds), Handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research (2nd ed., pp. 725-747). Thousand Oak, CA: Sage.
  Articles in Refereed Journals    published or in press (*data-based; +corresponding or senior author; authors underlined are students or mentees)
  1. *Parvez, S., Abdel-Kader, K., Pankratz, S., Song, M.K., & Unruh, M. A survey of providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices surrounding conservative management for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology.
  1. *+Hamilton, J.B., Worthy, V.C., Moore, A.D., Nakia, C.B., Steward, J., & Song, M.K. (in press). Messages of hope: Helping family members to overcome fears and fatalistic attitudes toward cancer. Journal of Cancer Education.
  1. *+Song, M.K., Ward, S.E., Lin, F-C, Hamilton, J.B., Hanson, L.C., Hladik, G.A., & Fine, J.P. (in press). Racial differences in outcomes of an advance care planning intervention for dialysis patients and their surrogates. Journal of Palliative Medicine.
  1. *+Song, M.K., Ward, S.E., Fine, J.P., Hanson, L.C., Lin, F-C., Hladik, G.A., Hamilton, J.B., & Bridgman, J.C. (2015). Advance care planning and end-of-life decision making in dialysis: A randomized controlled trial targeting patients and their surrogates. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. PMID: 26141307; PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process
  1. *Park, E.M., Deal, A.M., Check, D.K., Hanson, L.C., Deal, A.M., Reeder-Hayes, K.E., Mayer, D.K., Yopp, J.M., Song, M.K., Muriel, A.C., & Rosenstein, D.L. (in press). Parenting concerns, quality of life, and psychological distress in parents with advanced cancer. Psycho-Oncology.
  1. *+Song, M.K., Ward, S.E., Hladik, G. A., Bridgman, J.C., & Gilet, C.A. (2015). Depressive symptom severity, contributing factors, and self- management among patients receiving chronic dialysis. Hemodialysis International. PMID: 25998623; PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process
  1. +Song, M.K., & Ward, S.E. (2015). Making visible a theory-guided advance care planning intervention, SPIRIT, and its implementation in a multicenter randomized trial. Journal of Nursing Scholarship. PMID: 26219616; PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process
  1. *DeVito Dabbs, A., Song, M.K., Mayers, B., Li, R., & Dew, M.A. (in press). Pocket PATH®, a mobile health intervention, to promote self-management: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. PMID: __________; PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process
  1. +Song, M.K., & Ward, S.E. Assessment effects in educational and psychosocial intervention trials: An important but often-overlooked problem. (2015). Research in Nursing & Health. 38(3), 241-7. PMID: 25728502; PMCID: PMC4439294
  1. Parvez, S, Abdel-Kader, K., Song, M.K., & Unruh, M. (2015). Conveying uncertainty in prognosis to patients with ESRD. Blood Purification. 39(1-3), 58-64. PMID: 25661575
  1. *+Song, M.K., Ward, S.E., Bair, E., Weiner, L.J., Bridgman, J.C., Hladik, G.A., & Gilet, C.A. (2015). Patient-reported cognitive functioning and daily functioning in chronic dialysis patients. Hemodialysis International, 19(1), 90-9. PMID: 25110172; PMCID: PMC4294946
  1. +Song, M.K., & Ward, S.E. (2014). Decisions about dialysis and other life-sustaining treatments should not be made separately. American Journal of Kidney Disease, 64(5), 817-820. PMID: 25343998; PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process
  1. *+Lutz, E.R., Costello, K.L., Jo, M., Gilet, C.A., Hawley, J.M., Bridgman, J.C., & Song, M.K. (2014). A systematic evaluation of websites offering information on chronic kidney disease. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 41(4), 355-363. PMID:25244890; PMCID: PMC4176705
  1. *+Song, M.K., & Ward, S.E. Extent of informed decision-making about starting dialysis: Does patients’ age matter? (2014) Journal of Nephrology. 27(5), 571-576. PMID: 24519843; PMCID: PMC4130809
  1. *+Song, M.K., Hanson, L.C., Jo, M., Gilet, C.A., Reed, T., & Hladik, G.A. (2014). Management of ethical issues related to care of seriously ill dialysis patients in free-standing facilities. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 48(3), 343-352. PMID: 24411183
  1. DeVito Dabbs, A., Song, M.K., DeGeest, S., & Davidson, P.M. (2013). Promoting patient and caregiver engagement in self-management of chronic illness. Nursing Practice and Research. 180757. PMID: 2381334; PMCID:PMC3679773
  1. *+Song, M.K., Lin, F-C., Gilet, C.A., Arnold, R.M., Bridgman, J.C., & Ward, S.E. (2013). Patients’ perspectives on informed decision-making surrounding dialysis initiation. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 28(11), 2815-23. PMID: 23901048; PMCID: PMC3811056
  1. *+Song, M.K., & Ward, S.E. (2013). Disconnect between emergency contacts and surrogate decision-makers in the absence of advance directives. Palliative Medicine, 27(8), 789-92. PMID: 233376786; PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process
  1. DeVito Dabbs, A., Song, M.K., Myers, B., Hawkins, R.P., Aubrecht, J., Begey, A., Connolly, M., Li, R., Pilewski, J.M., Bermudez, C.A., & Dew, M.A. (2013). Clinical trials of health information technology interventions intended for patient use: Unique issues and considerations. Clinical Trials: Journal of the Society for Clinical Trials. 10(6), 896-906. PMID: 23867222; PMCID: PMC3808467
  1. +Song, M.K., Lin, F-C., Ward, S.E., & Fine, J.P. (2013). Composite variables: When and how. Nursing Research, 62(1), 45-9. PMID: 23114795; PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process
  1. *DeVito Dabbs, A., Terhorst, L. Song, M.K., Shellmer, D.A., Aubrecht, J., Connolly, M., & Dew, M.A. (2013). Quality of recipient-caregiver relationship and psychological distress are correlates of self-care agency after lung transplantation. Clinical Transplantation, 27(1), 113-20. PMID: 23004565; PMCID: PMC3530624
  1. *Lindley, L.C., Mark, B., Lee, S-Y., Domino, M., Song, M.K., & Vann J.J. (2013). Institutional and resource factors associated with the provision of hospice care for children. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 45, 701-11. PMID: 22921174; PMCID: PMC3467095
  1. *+Song, M.K., Ward, S.E., Lin, F-C., Hanson, L.C., Hladik, G.A., Hamilton, J., Bridgeman, J.C., & Miles, M.S. (2012). Psychological symptoms and end-of-life decision-making confidence of surrogates of dialysis patients. Journal of Nephrology Social Work, 37, 24-30. PMID: 25242897; PMCID: PMC4169048
  1. *Cox, C.E., Lewis, C.L., Hanson, L.C., Hough, C.L., Kahn, J.M., White, D.B., Song, M.K., Tulsky, J., & Carson, S.S. (2012). Development and pilot testing of a decision aid for surrogates of patients with prolonged mechanical ventilation. Critical Care Medicine, 40(8), 2327-2334. PMID:22635048
  1. *+Song, M.K., Ward, S.E., & Lin, F-C. (2012). End-of-life decision-making confidence in surrogates of African-American dialysis patients is overly optimistic. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 15(4), 412-17. PMID: 22468770; PMCID: PMC3322516
  1. *Xu, J., Adeboyejo, O., Aubrecht, J., Song, M.K., Thiry, L., & DeVito Dabbs, A. (2012). Daily burdens of recipients and family caregivers after lung transplantation. Progress in Transplantation, 22(1), 41-47. PMID: 22489442; PMCID: PMC3331720
  1. *Cipkala-Gaffin, J., Talbott, E., Song, M.K., Bromberger, J., & Wilson, J. (2012). Associations among depressive symptoms, anxiety, anger, hostility, and satisfaction with life in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Journal of Women’s Health, 21(2), 179-87. PMID: 22004245
  1. DeVito Dabbs, A., Song, M.K., Hawkins, R., Aubrecht, J., Kovach, K., Terhorse, L., & Callen, J. (2011). An intervention fidelity framework for technology-based behavioral interventions. Nursing Research, 60(5), 340-347. PMID 21879786; PMC3164967
  1. *+Song, M.K., Gillet, C., Lin, F., MacHardy, N., Stalberg, K., DeVito Dabbs, A.J., Fine, J.P., & Fuller, E. (2011). Characterizing daily life experience of maintenance dialysis patients. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 26, 3671-3677. PMID: 21382996; PMCID: PMC3247795
  1. *+Shields, A.M., Park, M., Ward, S.E., & Song, M.K. (2010). Recruitment and retention against quadruple challenges in a clinical trial of end-of-life communication intervention. Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, 12(5), 312-318. PMID: 20936087; PMCID: PMC2950605
  1. *+Song, M.K., DeVito Dabbs, A., Studer, S.M., Arnold, R.M., & Pilewski, J. (2010). Exploring the meaning of chronic rejection after lung transplantation and its impact on clinical management and caregiving. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 40(2), 246-255. PMID: 20541897
  1. *Lindell, K.O., Olshansky, E., Song, M.K., Zullo, T.G., Gibson, K.F., Kaminski, N., & Hoffman, L.A. (2010). Impact of a disease management program on symptom burden and health-related quality of life in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and their care partners. Heart & Lung, 39(4), 304-313. PMID20561836
  1. *+Song, M.K., Donovan, H.S., Piraino, B., Choi, J., Bernardini, J., Verosky, D., & Ward, S.E. (2010). Effects of an intervention to improve communication about end-of-life among African Americans with chronic kidney disease: A pilot study. Applied Nursing Research, 23, 65-72. PMID: 20420992
  1. *+Song, M.K., Happ, M.B., & Sandelowski, M. (2010). Development of a tool to assess fidelity to a psycho-educational intervention. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66, 673-682. PMID: 20423402; PMCID: PMC2861796
  1. *+Song, M.K., & Hanson, L.C. (2009). Relationships between psychosocial-spiritual well-being and end-of-life preferences and values in African-American dialysis patients. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 38, 372-380. PMID: 19356896; PMCID: PMC2847486
  1. *+Song, M.K., Ward, S.E., Happ, M.B., Piraino, B., Donovan, H.S. Shields, A-M., & Connolly, M.C. (2009). Randomized controlled trial of SPIRIT: An effective approach to prepare African-American dialysis patients and families for end of life. Research in Nursing & Health, 32, 260-273. PMID: 19205027; PMCID: PMC2719959
  1. *+Song, M.K., DeVito Dabbs, A.J., Studer, S.M., & Arnold, R.M. (2009). Palliative care referrals after lung transplantation in major lung transplant centers. Critical Care Medicine, 37, 1288-1292. PMID: 19242344
  1. Lingler, J.H., Sherwood, P.R., Crighton, M.C., Song, M.K., & Happ, M.B. (2008). Conceptual challenges in the study of caregiver-care recipient relationships. Nursing Research, 57, 367-372. PMID: 18794721
  1. *+Song, M.K., DeVito Dabbs, A., Studer, S.M., & Zangle, S.E. (2008). The course of illness after the onset of chronic rejection in lung transplant recipients. American Journal of Critical Care, 17, 246-253. PMID: 18450681
  1. DeVito Dabbs, A.J., & Song, M.K. (2008). Risk profile for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality after lung transplant. Nursing Clinics of North America, 43, 37-53. PMID: 18249224
Research grants since 2008 (as PI or Co-I)
  • 2015-2017, Understanding Treatment Decision-Making and Psychological Distress in Parents with Advanced Cancer. UNC CTSA KL2, Park, E. (PI), Total $153,700, Role: Co-Investigator/Primary Mentor.
  • 2014-2015,Provider Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices Surrounding Conservative Management of Chronic Kidney Disease: A National Survey, Univ. of NM, Unruh, M. (PI), Role: Co-Investigator.
  • 2014-2015, SPIRIT-HF, an Intervention to Prepare LVAD Patients and Their Surrogates for End-of-Life Decision-Making: A Pilot RCT, STTI/HPNF;NC TraCS;STTI-Alpha Alpha Chapter, Total $13,000, Role: Co-Investigator/Primary Mentor.
  • 2011-2015, Mapping Multidimensional Illness Trajectories of Patients with ESKD. NIH, R01NR013359, Total $1.7M, Role: Principal Investigator.
  • 2011-2014, Decision Making to Initiate Dialysis and Its Relationship to End-of-Life Treatment Preferences. NIH, R01NR011464-03S1, Total $145,630, Role: Principal Investigator.
  • 2011-2012, Examination of the Management of Clinical Ethical Issues in Free-Standing Dialysis Facilities. The Kornfeld Program in Bioethics and Patient Care, The Greenwall Foundation, Total $49,993, Role: Principal Investigator.
  • 2011-2016, A Nursing Home Trial of Decision Support for Advanced Dementia, NIH, R01AG037483, Hanson, L. (PI), Total $2.96M, Role: Co-Investigator.
  • 2009-2014, A Randomized Controlled Trial of SPIRIT: A Representational Intervention to Promote Preparation for End-of-Life Decision Making. NIH, 5R01NR011464, Total $3.14M, Role: Principal Investigator.
  • 2009-2011, Assessing Daily Burdens of Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease. National Center for Research Resources, TraCS, a pilot project under UL1RR025747, Total $10,000, Role: Principal Investigator.
  • 2008-2014, Randomized Controlled Trial of Pocket PATH: A Computerized Intervention to Promote Self-Care. NIH, 5R01NR010711, DeVito Dabbs (PI), Total $2.35 M, Role: Co-Investigator.
  • 2007-2009, National Survey of the Prevalence and Characteristics of Lung Recipient Referrals to the Palliative Care Program, International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation, Total $12,000, Role: Principal Investigator.
  • 2006-2009, Improving End-of-Life Communication with ESRD African American Patients. NIH, R21NR009662, Total $387,244, Role: Principal Investigator.