C. Fiona Macpherson, RN, PhD, CPON

C. Fiona Macpherson, RN, PhD, CPON
Clinical Assistant Professor
Clinical Assistant Professor
Family and Child Nursing
Box 357262
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195


My program of research focuses on symptom assessment and management in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer. AYAs with cancer experience multiple co-occurring interrelated symptoms due to disease and treatment that may have a greater synergistic negative impact on their quality of life than any single symptom. My research group has developed an innovative iPad application which combines graphical images and free text responses in a heuristics approach to explore symptoms and symptom clusters. This represents a paradigm shift from a deductive to an inductive approach that considers how individuals interpret and give meaning to their symptom experience. Beyond this, my interests extend broadly across psychooncology in the care of children adolescents and young adults with cancer. I have particular interest in palliative and end of life care - encompassing both physiologic issues, such as symptom management, and psycho-socio-emotional issues, such as patient, family, and professional loss and grief.


I am not currently teaching; however I taught undergraduate pediatric clinical on the hematology/oncology/stem cell transplant unit at Seattle Children's Hospital for 9 years. I enjoyed sharing my clinical world with my students. Many students fell in love with oncology nursing during that clinical rotation with me and went on to focus their careers on pediatric or adult oncology.

Practice, Service, Community Involvement

I have practiced continuously as a staff nurse in pediatric oncology since completing my undergrad program. I am currently a staff nurse at Seattle Children's Hospital. We have the first dedicated inpatient AYA oncology unit in the country serving the unique needs of 13-29 year olds with cancer. I value the opportunity to not only make a difference to patients' cancer experience at a population level by conducting research to generate knowledge to inform practice, but also the opportunity to make a difference to patients' cancer experience at an individual level by walking beside them throughout their cancer journey.

Current Publications

  • Erickson, J.M., Macpherson, C.F., Ameringer, S., Baggott, C., Linder, L., & Stegenga, K. (2013). Symptoms and symptom clusters in adolescents receiving cancer treatment: A review of the literature. Int J Nurs Stud. 50, 847-869. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2012.10.011.
  • Linder, L., Ameringer, S., Erickson, J., Macpherson, C.F., Stegenga, K., & Linder, W. (2013). Using an iPad in research with children and adolescents. J Spec Pediatr Nurs. 18, 158-164, doi: 10.1111/jspn.12023

Current Research Projects

  • 2011-2014 A Computer-Based Tool to Explore Symptom Clusters in Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer
  • 2013-2014 Symptom Clusters During the Menopausal Transition and Early Postmenopause: Feasibility of Studying Women’s Heuristics Using an iPad App
  • 2010-2013 Voices of Children and Adolescents with Incurable Cancer on Phase I or Phase II Trials
  • 2010-2012 Fatigue and Physical Activity Reported by Adolescents and Young Adults Treated for Hodgkin Disease on AHOD0031
  • 2008-2010 Self-Management of Cancer-Related Fatigue by Adolescents: Pilot Study of an Evidence Based Educational Resource
Research Interests: 
Symptom management for adolescents with cancer, end of life care
Student Mentor: 
UW Graduate Faculty: