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Cynthia Dougherty ARNP, PhD, FAHA, FAAN

Vice Chair Research
Adjunct Professor, UW School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
Nurse Practitioner, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Department of Cardiology

Dr. Dougherty’s sustained program of research has focused on the development of knowledge related to human responses to sudden cardiac arrest and cardiac arrhythmias, both for survivors and their family members. This research led to the development and testing of nursing interventions to improve health outcomes after sudden cardiac arrest and advanced heart disease. The results of this research are to enhance physical and psychosocial health and to reduce health care costs in patients and patients’ families. Within the program of research are four foci: intervention models to enhance adjustment, exercise interventions to improve function, cardiovascular disease management interventions, and interventions in end stage or advanced heart disease.


Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Informatics


  • BSN, University of Nebraska
  • MS, University of Iowa
  • Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Post-Doc, University of Washington
  • ARNP, University of Washington

What do you love about the UW School of Nursing?


  • cardiovascular nursing
  • sudden cardiac arrest
  • exercise
  • self-management interventions
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • heart failure
  • palliative care
  • biomarkers
  • quality of life
  • psychological response to illness

Research Areas

  • Innovative Interventions
  • Symptom Science

Research Centers


  • Dougherty CM, Glenny RL, Burr RL, Flo GL, Kudenchuk PJ. A Prospective Randomized Trial of Moderately Strenuous Aerobic Exercise After an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD). Circulation, 2015;131:1835-1842.
  • Doorenbos AZ, Curtis JR, Levy WC, Dougherty CM. An Intervention to Enhance Goals-of-Care Communication between Heart Failure Patients and Heart Failure Providers. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 2016 Jul 9. pii: S0885-3924(16)30177-4. doi: 10.1016/.2016.03.018. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Dougherty CM, Fairbanks AM, Eaton LH, Morrison MK, Kim MS, Thompson EA. Comparison of patient and partner quality of life and health outcomes in the first year after an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). J of Behavioral Medicine, 2016, 39(1):94-106.
Picture of  Cynthia Dougherty
Main: 206-221-7927

University of Washington School of Nursing
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Seattle, WA 98195

Office: HSB T615A