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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.

Funded Research Grants as PI or CO-I (Since 2008)

  • 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, Total $2.96M, Hanson, L. (PI), Role: Co-Investigator.
  • 2009-20014, 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.


Book chapters

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.

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 (*data-based; +corresponding or senior author)

*+Song, M.K., & Ward, S.E. Extent of informed decision-making about starting dialysis: Does patients’ age matter? (in press) Journal of Nephrology.

*+Song, M.K., Hanson, L.C., Jo, M., Gilet, C.A., Reed, T., & Hladik, G.A. (in press). Management of ethical issues related to care of seriously ill dialysis patients in free-standing facilities. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

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. PMID: 2381334

*+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

*+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), 789-792. PMID: 233376786; PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process

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. PMID: 23867222; PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process

+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

*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

*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

*+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.

*+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

*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

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

*+Song, M.K., Gillet, C., Lin, F., MacHardy, N., 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

*+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

*+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

*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

*+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

*+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

*+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

*+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

*+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

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

*+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

Donovan, H.S., Ward, S.E., Song, M.K., Heidrich, S.M., Gunnarsdottir, S., & Phillips, C.M. (2007). The representational approach to patient education: An update and review of the empirical research. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 39, 259-265. PMID: 17760800

*+Song, M.K., & DeVito Dabbs, A.J. (2006). Advance care planning after lung transplantation: A case of missed opportunities. Progress in Transplantation, 16, 222-225. PMID: 17007156

*+Song, M.K., & Sereika, S.M. (2006). An evaluation of the decisional conflict scale for measuring the quality of end-of-life decision making. Patient Education & Counseling, 61, 397-404.  PMID: 15970420

*+Song, M.K., Kirchfoff, K.T., Douglas, J., Ward, S.E., & Hammes, B.J. (2005). A randomized, controlled trial to improve advance care planning among patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Medical Care, 43, 1049-1053. PMID: 16166875