Investigator Profile
Skip to main content
Susan Mazanec

I am a Nurse Scientist.

Susan Mazanec, Ph.D., R.N., A.O.C.N.

Case Western Reserve University

Family caregivers, who have shared their needs, concerns, and experiences with me, have inspired my program of research. My "ah-ha" moment for my current research came during a brief, open house tour of the simulation center at our school of nursing. It was amazing to watch the technical demonstrations using high-fidelity simulators and to learn about the methodology used in nursing education. As I left the center, I asked myself, "Could simulation help our family caregivers?"

Dr. Mazanec is an Assistant Professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University and a Nurse Scientist at the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center. She has focused her research on patients undergoing cancer treatment and their family caregivers as well as the concept of transitions throughout the trajectory of the cancer experience. She has specifically focused on the transition to post-cancer treatment survivorship, a critical point along the cancer continuum when self-management tasks shift for both patients and caregivers. Dr. Mazanec is passionate about designing and testing interventions to improve care and advance the science of oncology nursing.

Dr. Mazanec's current research will test a theoretically derived, psychoeducational intervention that incorporates structured simulation, or experiential learning, for both technical and communication skills training for family caregivers. Simulation is effective in training health care professionals, but little is known about its effectiveness in training family caregivers. The goals are to improve caregiver physical and emotional well-being, increase confidence for caregiving, and improve patient outcomes related to health-related quality of life and care events during treatment. This research seeks to change the current clinical practice paradigm by integrating point-of-care caregiver assessment, support, and training into the clinical setting. Dr. Mazanec became interested in this field of research during her postdoctoral training when she noted that, despite feeling distressed at the completion of treatment, family members had strong intentions for behavior change and were receptive to wellness strategies for their own emotional and physical health. There is a critical need to train and support family caregivers, as they are pivotal extensions of the oncology health care team.

Grant Listing
Project Title Grant Number Program Director Publication(s)
Building Family Caregiver Skills Using a Simulation-Based Intervention for Care of Patients with Cancer
Michelle Mollica

To request edits to this profile, please contact Mark Alexander at

Last Updated: 08/06/2019 09:08:19

Back to Top