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Karen G. Schepp PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

Professor, Emerita
Member, American Nurses Association, American Academy for Nursing, International Society for Psychiatric Nursing, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, and the Western Institute for Nursing

My research involves families as the context for the individual, as well as families as the unit of analysis. I developed and tested a symptom management community-based intervention for adolescents with schizophrenia and their family members. The symptom management program has been adapted in select mental health settings nationally as well as internationally. An NIH/NIMH funded randomized clinical trial with multifamily groups provided the basis for the evidence based practice for interventions with families of youth with schizophrenia. In addition to the symptom management intervention, a component of the research has been generating family history genograms through interviews with family members as part of the family demographic information.

I have expertise in family research methods and intervention studies and in monitoring the integrity and fidelity of interventions with families. In addition to the theory development and testing underlying intervention studies, I have developed and tested instruments to measure psychosocial concepts.

In April 2016, I delivered the keynote address to the International Society for Psychiatric Nursing (ISPN) entitled “Family Interpretation and Management of Child/Adolescent Mental Illness from Diverse Perspectives: A Program of Research”, and was honored to receive the Melva Jo Hendrix Lectureship Award for a lifetime of contributions to the field. I have served as a manuscript reviewer for several professional nursing journals as well as serving on advisory boards and volunteering for fund drives for organizations in the community.



1985, PhD, University of Arizona; Tucson, Arizona

Awards and accolades

  • Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN)

What classes do you teach?

The course content I have taught include undergraduate content such as basic psychiatric nursing and therapeutic communication. The graduate courses I have taught include family nursing, family research methods, basic research methods, and advanced research methods such as instrument development and causal modeling. I mentor students in their research.

What do you love about the UW School of Nursing?

The faculty, students, and staff are all highly committed to excellence in teaching, practice and research.



Psychosocial and Community Health

Research Areas

  • Symptom Science
  • Lifespan Health