Marlaine Figueroa Gray, PhD, is a medical anthropologist with a passion for eliciting illness narratives and health care experiences from patients, family members, and medical professionals. She has researched how the intersection of creative practices and medical care provide insight into understanding the logic of biomedical care, what counts as evidence that a creative activity "works," and how arts activities can serve as a model of how to provide better, more patient- and family-centered care. She is particularly interested in how we attend to patient suffering, and in what types of care are possible when no medical treatments are available.
Her previous work includes examining education policy in sub-Saharan Africa and developing curricula for health education, specifically HIV/AIDS education in Kenya and Mozambique.
Dr. Figueroa Gray has extensive experience designing qualitative studies and analyzing qualitative data. At Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI), she uses this expertise to examine how patients, family members, and physicians make medical decisions when outcomes are uncertain and stakes are high, such as deciding whether or not to participate in an immunotherapy trial, or choosing which treatments to pursue as an adolescent or young adult with advanced cancer. She founded the KPWHRI Qualitative Research Interest Group, which supports outstanding qualitative research at the institute.
Shared decision making; care logics
Shapiro LN, Gray MF, Freitag C, Taneja P, Kariya H, Crane PK, O'Hare AM, Vig EK, Taylor JS. Expanding the ethnographic toolkit: Using medical documents to include kinless older adults living with dementia in qualitative research. J Aging Stud. 2023 Jun;65:101140. doi: 10.1016/j.jaging.2023.101140. Epub 2023 May 10. PubMed
Nichols H, Wernli KJ, Chawla N, O’Meara ES, Figueroa Gray M, Green LE, Baggett CD, Casperson M, Chao C, Jones SM, Kirchhoff AC, Kuo T, Lee C , Malogolowkin M, Quesenberry CP, Ruddy KJ, Wun T, Zebrack B, Chubak J, Hahn EE, Keegan TH, Kushi LH. Challenges and opportunities of epidemiological studies to reduce the burden of cancers in young adults. Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2023 Sep;10(3):115-124. doi: 10.1007/s40471-022-00286-9. Epub 2022 Mar 29. PubMed
Taylor JS, Figueroa Gray MS, Mar CM, Crane PK, Kariya H, Freitag C, Taneja P, Ramaprasan A, Shell Duncan B, O'Hare AM, Berridge C, Vig EK, Wheeler SGB, Thakral M, Hawkes RJ, Larson EB. Kinless older adults with dementia: Qualitative analysis of data from the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2023 Feb 21:gbad030. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbad030. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Figueroa Gray M, Banegas MP, Henrikson NB. Conceptions of legacy among people making treatment choices for serious illness: Protocol for a scoping review. JMIR Res Protoc. 2022 Dec 9;11(12):e40791. doi: 10.2196/40791. PubMed
Blasi PR, Scrol A, Anderson ML, Gray MF, Tiffany B, Fullerton SM, Ralston JD, Leppig KA, Henrikson NB. Feasibility, acceptability, and limited efficacy of health system-led familial risk notification: protocol for a mixed-methods evaluation. Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2022 Aug 9;8(1):174. doi: 10.1186/s40814-022-01142-9. PubMed
Studies offer insights into the lives of older adults with dementia who lack family.
Research by Marlaine Figueroa Gray, PhD, includes exploring the intersection of medicine and creativity.
The VOICE study aims to improve the health and health care of people who had cancer as adolescents and young adults.