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Heather Becker, PhD | Research Scientist

Heather Becker

Email Heather Becker

Phone: 512 471-9097

Office: NUR 3.102N
The University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing
1710 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78712

Dr. Becker holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. She has been the principal investigator and co-investigator on numerous externally funded grants, including studies related to disability and cancer survivorship. She also has conducted program evaluation for a variety of health programs.

Ongoing Research

  • Trial of a Cognitive Rehabilitation Intervention for Persons with MS, National Institutes of Health, Alexa Stuifbergen, Co-Principal Investigator
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • An Evaluation of the Seton Registered Nurse Residency Program, Seton Family of Hospitals.
    Role: Principal Investigator

Completed Research

  • Principal Investigator, A Test of a Program to Build Cognitive Abilities among Cancer Survivors, Shivers Foundation.
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • 1R21CA133381 | Becker (PI) | 01/22/09 – 12/31/12

    National Cancer Institute, NIH
 Promoting the Health of Cancer Survivors with Pre-Existing Functional Limitations

    The aims are to investigate correlates of health promoting behaviors and quality of life among cancer survivors with pre-existing functional limitations and to refine a health intervention.
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • 1R21NR011076 | Stuifbergen (PI) | 12/01/08 – 11/30/12

    National Institute of Nursing Research, NIH
 Computer-Assisted Cognitive Rehabilitation Intervention for Persons with MS

    The study will refine and test a novel computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation intervention, MAPSS-MS (Memory, Attention, & Problem Solving Skills for Persons with MS). The goal is to help persons with MS maximize their cognitive functioning.
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • 5R01NR003195 | Stuifbergen (PI) | 08/01/93 – 05/31/12

    National Institute of Nursing Research, NIH 
Health Promotion and Quality of Life in Chronic Illness
    The purpose is to add depth to knowledge about health promotion in chronic disabling conditions by incorporating a longitudinal follow-up of an existing sample (N=600) of rural and urban persons with multiple sclerosis, integrating additional outcome measures. It will also expand knowledge of health promotion and quality of life among persons with chronic neurodegenerative conditions through validation of the explanatory model refined in the earlier study in a population of persons with a different chronic condition, post-polio syndrome.
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • UTA01-271 | Becker (PI) | 07/01/01 – 06/29/11

    Texas Department of Health

    Evaluation of Texas Comprehensive Cancer Control Project
    The purpose is to evaluate the Comprehensive Cancer Control award granted to the Texas Department of Health by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program by providing a report on the model being used to conduct the evaluation and the summary of data collected.

    Role: Principal Investigator
  • 5R01HD035047 | Stuifbergen (PI) | 07/01/03 – 05/31/09
    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH
    Health Promotion for Women with Fibromyalgia
    The purpose was to test a theoretically and empirically based intervention to promote the health and well being of women with the chronic disabling condition of fibromyalgia. The specific aim was to examine the effects of the adapted wellness intervention on self-efficacy, resources, barriers, health behaviors and health outcomes developed in the Promoting Wellness for Women with MS project for women with fibromyalgia.
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • 5R01AG015384 | McDougall (PI) | 03/01/01 – 02/28/09
    National Institute on Aging, NIH
    Improving Everyday Memory in At Risk Elderly
    The purpose was to determine the effects of a memory training intervention on memory self- efficacy, metamemory, memory performance and instrumental activities of daily living.
    Role: Co-Investigator

Publications and other Professional Activity

Papers published, invited papers and lectures presented, awards received, other professional accomplishments, etc.

  • Stuifbergen, A., Becker, H., Perez, F., Morrison, J., Brown, A., Kullberg, V. and Zhang, W. (2018). Computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation in persons with multiple sclerosis: results of a multi-site randomized controlled trial with six month follow-up, Disability and Health Journal, 11, 427-434. 
  • Becker, H., Meraviglia, M., Seo, E.J., Ndlovu, C., Kimmel, L., and Rowin, T. (2018). The Appraisal of Nursing Practice Instrument Development and Initial Testing, Journal of Nursing Administration, 48, 44-49.   
  • Morrison, J.D., Becker, H., Stuifbergen, A.K. (2017). Evaluation of intervention fidelity in a multisite clinical trial in persons with multiple sclerosis, Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 49, 344-348.
  • Becker, H., Stuifbergen, A.K., Henneghan, A., Morrison, J., Seo, E.J., and Zhang, W. An initial investigation of the reliability and validity of the Compensatory Cognitive Strategies Scale, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, published on-line May 2017.
  • Becker, H., Timmerman, G., Delville, C., and Seo, E. (2017). A multifaceted model to evaluate interprofessional education in clinical nurse specialist programs, Clinical Nurse Specialist, 31(5), 243-251.
  • Zhang W, Becker H, Stuifbergen AK, Brown A. (2017). Predicting Health Promotion and Quality of Life With Symptom Clusters and Social Supports Among Older Adults With Multiple Sclerosis . Journal of Gerontological Nursing. Apr 11:1-10. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20170406-04. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28399316.
  • Becker, H., Henneghan, S., Volker, D.L., & Mikan, S.  (2017). A preliminary test of a cognitive behavioral intervention for breast cancer survivors, Oncology Nursing Forum, 44, 255-263.
  • Becker, H., Stuifbergen, A., Schnyer, R., Morrison, J., & Henneghan, A. (2016). Integrating Acupuncture within a Wellness Intervention for Women with Multiple Sclerosis: A Feasibility Study, Journal of Holistic Nursing, 35, 86-96.
  • Rew, L., Powell, T., Brown, A., Becker, H., & Slesnick, N. (2016). An intervention to enhance psychological capital and health outcomes in homeless female youths, Western Journal of Nursing Research, 1-18 doi: 10.1177/0193945916658861.
  • Stuifbergen, A.K., Blozis, S., Becker, H., Harrison, T., & Kullberg, V. (2016). Selected health behaviors moderate the progression of functional limitations in persons with multiple sclerosis: Eleven years of annual follow-up, Disability and Health Journal, 9, 472-478.
  • Becker, H., Henneghan, A., & Mikan, S. (2015). “When do I get my brain back?”: Breast cancer survivors’ experiences of cognitive problems, Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 19(2), 180-184.
  • Becker, H.,  Braudway, W., Maughan, J., Warfield, A., & Wood, M. (2015). Development of a cancer resource center in a rural Texas border community. Journal of Oncology Navigation and Survivorship, 6(1), 14-19.
  • Becker, H., Stuifbergen, A., Lee, H., & Kullberg, V. (2014). The reliability and validity of PROMIS cognitive abilities and cognitive concerns scales among people with multiple sclerosis, International Journal of MS Care.
  • Volker, D., Becker, H., & Kang, S.J. (2013) A Double Whammy: Health Promotion Among Cancer Survivors with Pre-Existing Functional Limitation, Oncology Nursing Forum, 40, 64-71.
  • Becker, H., Mackert, M., & Kang, S.J. (2013). Using an e-health intervention to promote the health of cancer survivors with pre-existing disabling condition, Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 31(3), 107-114.
  • Becker, H., and Kang, S.J. (2012). Health promotion among older cancer survivors with prior disabling conditions, Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 38(7), 38-43.
  • Becker, H, Stuifbergen, A., & Morrison, J. (2012) Promising new approaches to assess cognitive function in people with multiple sclerosis, International Journal of MS Care, 14, 71-76.
  • Stuifbergen, A., Becker, H., Perez, F., Morrison, J., Kullberg, V. and Todd, A. (2012) A Randomized   Controlled Trial of a Cognitive Rehabilitation Intervention for Persons with Multiple Sclerosis. Clinical Rehabilitatio, 26, 882-893.
  • Becker, H., Kang, S.J., & Stuifbergen, A. (2012). Predictors of Quality of Life for Long-Term Cancer Survivors with Pre-Existing Disabling Conditions, Oncology Nursing Forum, 39(2), 175.
  • Volker, D., Becker, H., Watson, J., Scott, T. (2011) Assessing Cancer-Related Learning Needs of Texas Nurses, Cancer Nursing, 34(5),E20.
  • McDougall, G., Becker, H. Acee T.W, Vaughan P.W, & Delville C.L. (2011). Symptom management of affective and cognitive disturbance with a group of cancer survivors. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 25(1), 24-35.
  • Becker, H., Rechis, R., Kang, S.J., & Brown, A. (2011).  The Post-Treatment Experience of Cancer Survivors with Pre-Existing Cardiopulmonary Disease. Supportive Care In Cancer, 19(9), 1351-1356.
  • McDougall, G., Becker, H. Vaughan P.W, Acee T.W, Delville C.L, (2010). The revised direct assessment of functional status for independent older adults. The Gerontologist, 50 (3), 363-70.
  • Becker, H. & Stuifbergen, A.K. (2009) Perceptions of health and relationships to disability measures among people with MS. International Journal of MS Care. 11, 57-66.
  • Becker, H., Stuifbergen, A.K.,Taxis, C., Beal, C.C., & Pierini, D.M. (2009)  The use of Goal Attainment Scaling to facilitate and assess individualized change in a wellness intervention for women with fibromyalgia syndrome. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 27, 232-240.
  • Becker, H., Stuifbergen, A.K., & Dormire, S.L. (2009). The effects of hormone therapy decision support for women with mobility impairments. Health Care for Women International, 11, 57-66.
  • Becker, H. & Brown, A. (2008). Disparities in smoking behaviors among those with and without disabilities from 2001 to 2005. Public Health Nursing, 25, 526-535.
  • Becker, H., McDougall, G.J., Douglas, N., & Arheart, K. (2008).  Comparing the efficiency of an eight-session versus four-session memory intervention for older adults.  Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 22, 87-94.
  • McDougall, G.J., Vaughan, P.W., Acee, T.W., & Becker, H. (2007). Memory performance and mild cognitive impairment in Black and White community elders, Ethnicity and Disease, 17, 381-388.
  • Becker, H. (2006) Measuring health among people with disabilities, Family and Community Health, 29(1S), 70-77.
  • Becker, H.A., & Stuifbergen, A.K. (2004). What makes it so hard? Barriers to health promotion experienced by people with multiple sclerosis and polio. Family and Community Health Nursing, 27, 75-85.
  • Becker, H.A., Roberts, G., & Voelmeck, W. (2003). Controlling threats to validity in experimental designs. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 25, 746-755.
  • Rew, L., Becker, H., Catterson, S., Cookston, J., & Martinez, S. (2003). Measuring cultural competence in nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education, 42, 249-257.
  • Brown, S.A., Becker, H.A., Garcia, A.A., Barton, S.A., & Hanis, C.L. (2002). Measuring health beliefs in Spanish-speaking Mexican Americans with Type 2 diabetes: adapting an existing instrument, Research in Nursing & Health, 25, 145-158.
  • Becker, H., Stuifbergen, A.K., & Gordon, D. (2002). The decision to take hormone replacement therapy among women with disabilities. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 24(3), 264-281.
  • Becker, H., Cookston, J., & Kullberg, V. (2000). Mailed survey follow-ups: Are post-card reminders more cost effective than second questionnaires? Western Journal of Nursing Research, 22(5), 642-647.
  • Becker, H., Stuifbergen, A.K., Rogers, S., & Timmerman, G.M. (2000). Goal attainment scaling to measure individual change in intervention studies. Nursing Research, 49(3), 176-180.
  • Becker, H.A., Chesley, D.A., & Miller, I. (1994).  Oncology education needs survey of registered nurses in Texas.  Journal of Cancer Education, 10, 41-47.
  • Becker, H.A., & Schaller, J. (1995). Perceived health and self-efficacy among adults with cerebral palsy. Journal of Rehabilitation, 33-39.
  • Becker, HA., Stuifbergen, A., Oh, H.S., & Hall, S. (1993). Self-rated abilities for health practices: A health self-efficacy measure. Health Values, 17(5), 42-50. 
  • Becker, H., Stuifbergen, A.K., & Sands, D. (1991). Development of a scale to measure barriers to health promotion activities among persons with disabilities. American Journal of Health Promotion, 5(6), 449-454.