faculty profile

Terrah Foster Akard   PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN

Director, PhD in Nursing Science Program
Associate Professor

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • Psychosocial interventions to reduce suffering and improve quality of life in pediatric palliative care populations
  • Relationships among continuing bonds, grief, and coping in bereaved families who experience the death of a child
  • Web-based recruitment and intervention delivery methods that are feasible, cost-effective, and acceptable to pediatric palliative care populations.


2014-2019: Impact of a PCRC-Supported Legacy Intervention in Pediatric Palliative Care. National Institute of Nursing Research (RO1).   

2014: Web-Based Recruitment and Intervention Delivery Methods in Pediatric Oncology. American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant.

2010-2013: A Legacy-Making Intervention to Decrease Suffering of Children Living with Advanced Cancer. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars.

Representative Publications


Akard, T.F., Wray, S., & Gilmer, M.J. (In press). Facebook ads recruit parents of
children with cancer for an online survey of web-based research preferences. Cancer Nursing.

Akard, T.F., Gilmer, M.J., Miller, K., Steele, A.C., Hancock, K., Barrera, M., Compas, B., Davies, B., Dietrich, M.S., Fairclough, D.L., Hogan, N.S., Vannatta, K., & Gerhardt, C.A. (2014). Factors affecting recruitment and participation of bereaved parents and siblings in grief research. Progress in Palliative Care, 22, 75-79.

Akard, T.F., Gilmer, M.J., Friedman, D.L., Given, B., Hendricks-Ferguson, V., & Hinds, P.S. (2013). From qualitative work to intervention development in pediatric oncology palliative care research. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 30, 153-160.

Gilmer, M.J., Carter, B., Bell, C.J., Foster, T.L. (2013). Parental perceptions of care of children at end-of-life. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 30, 59-64.

Corbisiero, A., Kaal, J., Thompson, A.L., Barrera, M., Compas, B.E., Davies, B., Fairclough, D.L., Foster, T.L., Gilmer, M.J., Hogan, N., Vannatta, K., & Gerhardt, C.A. (2013). Bereaved parents and siblings offer advice to healthcare providers and researchers after a child?s death from cancer. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 35, 253-259.

Foster, T.L., & Hendricks-Ferguson, V.L. (2013). Commentary on Koffman J et al. Bereaved relatives' views about participating in cancer research. Evidence Based Nursing, 16, 64-65.

Foster, T.L., Contreras, R., Gordon, J.E., Roth, M., & Gilmer, M.J. (2012, Invited manuscript). Continuing bonds reported by bereaved individuals in Ecuador. Bereavement Care, 31, 120-128.

Gilmer, M.J., Foster, T.L., Vannatta, K., Barrera, M., Davies, B., Dietrich, M.S., Fairclough, D.L., Grollman, J., Gerhardt, C.A. (2012). Changes in Parents after the Death of a Child from Cancer. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 44, 572-582.

Foster, T.L., Bell, C., McDonald, C., Harris, J., & Gilmer, M.J. (2012, Invited manuscript). Palliative nursing care for children and adolescents with cancer. Nursing: Research and Reviews. Available online at http://www.dovepress.com/palliative-nursing-care-for-children-and-adolescents-with-cancer-peer-reviewed-article-NRR

Foster, T.L., Dietrich, M.S., Friedman, D.L., Gordon, J.E., & Gilmer, M.J. (2012). National Survey of Children?s Hospitals on Legacy-Making Activities. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 15, 573-578.

Foster, T.L., Bell, C.J., Gilmer, M.J. (2012, Invited manuscript). Symptom management of spiritual suffering in pediatric palliative care. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 14, 116-117.

Foster, T.L., Gilmer, M.J., Vannatta, K., Davies, B., Barrera, M., Fairclough, D.L., & Gerhardt, C.A. (2012). Changes in siblings after the death of a brother or sister to cancer. Cancer Nursing, 35, 347-354

Gerhardt, C.A., Fairclough, D.L., Grossenbacher, J.C., Barrera, M., Gilmer, M.J., Foster, T.L., Compas, B.E., Davies, B., Hogan, N.S., & Vannatta, K. (2011). Peer relationships of bereaved siblings and comparison classmates after a child's death from cancer. Journal of Pediatric Psychology,37, 209-219.

Thompson, A.L., Miller, K.S., Barrera, M., Compas, B., Davies, B., Fairclough, D.L., Foster, T.L., Gilmer, M.J., Hogan, N., Vannatta, K., & Gerhardt, C.A. (2011). A qualitative study of advice from bereaved parents and siblings. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, 7, 153-172.

Foster, T.L., Gilmer, M.J., Davies, B., Dietrich, M., Barrera, M., Fairclough, D.L., Vannatta, K., & Gerhardt, C.A. (2011). Comparison of continuing bonds reported by parents and siblings after a child?s death from cancer. Death Studies, 35, 420-440.

Foster, T.L., LaFond, D., Reggio, C., Hinds, P. (2010, Invited manuscript). Pediatric palliative care in childhood cancer nursing: From diagnosis to cure or end of life. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 26, 205-221.

Foster, T.L. (2010). Personal reflections on legacy-making. Journal of Palliative and Supportive Care, 8, 1-2.

Foster, T.L., Gilmer, M.J., Davies, B., Barrera, M., Fairclough, D.L., Vannatta, K., & Gerhardt, C.A. (2009). Bereaved parents' and siblings' reports of legacies created by children with cancer. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 26, 369-376.

Foster, T.L., & Gilmer, M.J. (2008). Continuing bonds: A human response within paediatric palliative care. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 14, 85-91.

Foster, T.L. (2007). Pediatric palliative care revisited: A vision to add life. Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, 9, 212-219.

Professional Organizations

  • 2014-present: American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine/Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Scientific Committee
  • 2014-present: Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science Member
  • 2013-2018: American Cancer Society Peer Review Committee on Scholarships in Cancer Nursing
  • 2010-2013: Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Research Committee
  • 2010-present: National State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research Abstract reviewer