Southworth Planetarium Science Lecture Series 2014

Next science lecture:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

7:00 p.m.

at the Southworth Planetarium

Integrative therapies, pain and stress: Reflections at the intersection of practice and science

Presenter: Rev. Judy Spross, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, College of Science, Technology and Health

Admission by donation

September is Pain Awareness Month (American Chronic Pain Association) and the diagnosis and treatment of pain is a major reason patients seek care from providers. Studies and clinical experience suggest that stress aggravates experiences of pain and unrelieved pain contributes to stress. Professor Spross will discuss the use of integrative (also called complementary and alternative) therapies in pain and symptom management, focusing on relaxation, imagery and Reiki. Informed by research findings and her clinical experience, Professor Spross will discuss why people use integrative therapies, the evidence (or lack thereof) for use of these therapies, and hypotheses about why such  therapies do or may work.


Professor Spross is a Registered Nurse and spent most of her career as a leader and specialist in cancer nursing. In her positions at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health, and Massachusetts General Hospital and the MGH Institute of Health Professions, she provided direct care to patients and families, helped nurses learn what they needed to know to provide the best cancer care possible, and participated in/and or conducted research. Prior to joining USM, Prof. Spross was a senior scientist at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, MA, where she was co-investigator and project director on several funded projects aimed at improving the quality of care in cancer pain management, organ donation, and palliative care.

She has authored numerous publications in the cancer nursing, pain management, and advanced practice nursing. She has also been co-editor of the acclaimed graduate textbook, Advanced practice nursing: An integrative approach, from which she retired after the publication of the 4th edition. She is a Professor of Nursing in USM's School of Nursing in the College of Science, Technology and Health where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, including a 3 credit course in Reiki. She is also a Reiki Master and an interfaith minister.

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