Fay Wright


Prof. Wright headshot

Fay Wright


Assistant Professor
Director, Meyers Biological Laboratory

1 212 998 5394

433 First Avenue
Room 508
New York, NY 10010
United States

Accepting PhD students

Fay Wright's additional information

Fay Wright, RN, APRN-BC, PhD, is an assistant professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Her research focuses on improving symptom self-management in adults with chronic comorbid conditions, including cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes. She was the first to identify, demographic, clinical, and genotypic differences in morning and evening fatigue severity among oncology patients undergoing chemotherapy. Fatigue is a debilitating symptom that decreases an individual’s functional performance and quality of life. By identifying phenotypic and genomic risk factors for more severe fatigue, precision health symptom management interventions can be developed and tested.  

Wright has experience conducting clinical research within large urban and community hospital settings using quantitative and biobehavioral methodology. She provides consultation for clinical nursing research and evidence-based practice projects as a nurse scientist at the Magnet ® recognized Northern Westchester Hospital, in Mt Kisco, NY.

Wright received her PhD from NYU College of Nursing and BSN and MS from the University of Michigan School of Nursing. She completed a T-32 post-doctoral fellowship in self and symptom management at Yale University School of Nursing.

PhD - New York University
Post-Master's Certificate - New York University
MS - University of Michigan School of Nursing
BSN - University of Michigan School of Nursing

Acute care
Chronic disease

American Nurses Association
Association of New York State Nurses
Eastern Nursing Research Society (Chronic Comorbid Conditions Research Interest Group Co-Chair)
Oncology Nursing Society
Sigma Theta Tau

Faculty Honors Awards

T32 Post-doctoral fellowship, National Institute of Nursing Research (2017)
Intramural Research Training Award, Precision Health Boot Camp, National Institute of Nursing (2016)
Valedictorian, PhD Program, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing (2015)
Intramural Research Training Award, Summer Genetics Institute, National Institute of Nursing Research (2015)
Best Dissertation Award, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing (2015)
Intramural Research Training Award, Summer Genetics Institute, National Institute of Nursing (2015)
Distinguished PhD Student, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing (2015)
Evidence-Based Practice Excellence Award, Maintaining Normothermia in Perioperative Patients, Foundation of New York State Nurses Association (2012)
Evidence-Based Practice Excellence Award, Developing an Evidence-based Protocol for Sedation in Mechanically Ventilated Critical Care Patients, Foundation of New York State Nurses Association (2011)


Addressing Challenges in Recruiting Diverse Populations for Research: Practical Experience from a P20 Center

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Associations Between DNA Methylation Age Acceleration, Depressive Symptoms, and Cardiometabolic Traits in African American Mothers From the InterGEN Study

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Exploration of Relationships Between Symptoms, Work Characteristics, and Quality of Life in Young Adult Hematologic Cancer Survivors

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A high stress profile is associated with severe pain in oncology patients receiving chemotherapy

Langford, D. J., Eaton, L., Kober, K. M., Paul, S. M., Cooper, B. A., Hammer, M. J., Conley, Y. P., Wright, F., Dunn, L. B., Levine, J. D., & Miaskowski, C. (2022). European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 58. 10.1016/j.ejon.2022.102135
Purpose: Oncology patients receiving chemotherapy can experience both cancer and non-cancer pain. In addition, oncology patients face numerous stressors and their responses are highly variable. Stress and pain are intricately linked. The purpose of this study was to evaluate for differences in pain characteristics and mood disturbance among oncology patients with distinct stress profiles. Methods: From a sample of 957 patients with and without pain, latent profile analysis identified three groups of patients with distinct stress profiles (i.e., Stressed, Normative, Resilient). In the subset of 671 patients with pain, receiving chemotherapy for breast, lung, gastrointestinal, or gynecologic cancer, we evaluated for differences among the stress profiles in terms of pain characteristics (e.g., intensity, qualities, interference) and mood disturbance (anxiety, depressive symptoms). Results: Compared to Normative patients (n = 333; 49.6%), Stressed patients (n = 305; 45.5%) reported higher levels of pain intensity, pain interference, anxiety, and depressive symptoms and more commonly described pain as throbbing, shooting, burning, exhausting, tiring, penetrating, nagging, miserable, and unbearable. Compared to Resilient patients (n = 33; 4.9%), Stressed patients reported significantly higher mood-related pain interference scores and more severe anxiety and depressive symptoms. Conclusions: A high stress profile is common (45.5%) and is associated with more severe pain and associated symptoms. Efforts to identify and target this group for interventions may improve patient outcomes.

Identification of Distinct Symptom Profiles in Cancer Patients Using a Pre-Specified Symptom Cluster

Hammer, M. J., Cooper, B., Paul, S. M., Kober, K. M., Cartwright, F., Conley, Y. P., Wright, F., Levine, J. D., & Miaskowski, C. (2022). Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 64(1), 17-27. 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2022.03.007
Context: Pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and depression often co-occur in oncology patients and negatively impact quality of life (QOL). Objectives: Study purposes were to identify subgroups of patients with distinct symptom profiles based on their experiences with a pre-specified symptom cluster (i.e., pain, fatigue, depression, sleep disturbance) and to identify demographic, clinical, and symptom characteristics and QOL outcomes associated with each distinct profile. Methods: Patients with breast, lung, gastrointestinal, and gynecologic cancers (n = 1340) were recruited from outpatient clinics during their first or second cycle of chemotherapy. They completed valid and reliable measures of pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance. depression, and QOL prior to their next dose of chemotherapy. Latent class profile analysis was used to identify the patient subgroups. Differences among the profiles were evaluated using parametric and non-parametric tests. Results: Three distinct profiles were identified (i.e., Low (44.0%), Moderate (45.1%), High (10.8%). Compared to Low class, Moderate and High classes were younger and more likely to be female. Compared to the other two classes, High class was less likely to be married/partnered and employed, more likely to have a lower income and childcare responsibilities, had lower functional status, a higher body mass index, and exercised less. For both QOL scales, differences in subscale and total scores followed the same pattern (Low>Moderate>High). Conclusions: Over 55% of patients undergoing chemotherapy had a moderate to high symptom burden associated with these four common co-occurring symptoms. Multimodal interventions are needed to decrease symptom burden and improve QOL outcomes in these patients.

Integrating Climate Change in the Curriculum: Using Instructional Design Methods to Create an Educational Innovation for Nurse Practitioners in a Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Keating, S. A., Vetter, M. J., Klar, R. T., & Wright, F. (2022). Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 18(4), 424-428. 10.1016/j.nurpra.2021.11.009
An applied epidemiology course for doctor of nursing practice students was revised to include a module on the impact of climate change on population health. The Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate (ADDIE) model of instructional design is a gold standard framework for creating course content and guided the module development. A nurse content expert discussed the environmental impacts of climate change on health using literature, actual clinical scenarios, and the application of epidemiologic data. Topics included safeguarding workers and vulnerable populations within the context of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Students posted reflections on their understanding of module content in response to structured prompts electronically in the learning management system for review by the faculty. Faculty evaluation of responses identified the need to further develop and integrate environmental epidemiology and climate change content more fully within the doctor of nursing practice curriculum.

Stability of Symptom Clusters in Patients With Gynecologic Cancer Receiving Chemotherapy

Pozzar, R. A., Hammer, M. J., Cooper, B. A., Kober, K. M., Chen, L. M., Paul, S. M., Conley, Y. P., Cartwright, F., Wright, F., Levine, J. D., & Miaskowski, C. (2022). Cancer Nursing, 45(4), E706-E718. 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000988
Background Patients with gynecologic cancer undergoing chemotherapy experience multiple co-occurring symptoms. Understanding how symptom clusters change over time is essential to the development of interventions that target multiple co-occurring symptoms. Objective The aim of this study was to assess the relative stability of symptom clusters across a chemotherapy cycle in patients with gynecologic cancer. Methods This is a longitudinal, descriptive study. Eligible patients (n = 232) were English-speaking adults (≥18 years old) with gynecologic cancer. Data were collected in the week before patients' second or third cycle of chemotherapy (T1) and at 1 (T2) and 2 (T3) weeks after chemotherapy. Three dimensions of the symptom experience (occurrence, severity, and distress) were assessed using a modified version of the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale. Symptom clusters for each dimension and time point were identified through exploratory factor analysis. Results A 5-factor solution was selected for each exploratory factor analysis. Hormonal, respiratory, and weight change clusters were identified across all dimensions and time points. A psychological symptom cluster was identified at T1 for occurrence and severity and at T2 and T3 for all 3 dimensions. A gastrointestinal symptom cluster was identified at T1 for occurrence and at T2 and T3 for all 3 dimensions. The hormonal, respiratory, psychological, and weight change symptom clusters exhibited common symptoms across dimensions and time points. Conclusions Hormonal, respiratory, weight change, and psychological symptom clusters are relatively stable across a cycle of chemotherapy in patients with gynecologic cancer. Implications for Practice Clinicians need to assess patients for multiple co-occurring symptoms and initiate multimodal interventions.

Anxiety profiles are associated with stress, resilience and symptom severity in outpatients receiving chemotherapy

Oppegaard, K., Harris, C. S., Shin, J., Paul, S. M., Cooper, B. A., Levine, J. D., Conley, Y. P., Hammer, M., Cartwright, F., Wright, F., Dunn, L., Kober, K. M., & Miaskowski, C. (2021). Supportive Care in Cancer, 29(12), 7825-7836. 10.1007/s00520-021-06372-w
Purpose: The purposes of this study, in a sample of oncology patients (n = 1326) receiving chemotherapy, were to identify subgroups of patients with distinct anxiety profiles and evaluate for differences in demographic and clinical characteristics, stress and resilience measures, and severity of co-occurring symptoms (i.e., depression, sleep disturbance, attentional function, fatigue, pain). Methods: Patients completed self-report questionnaires a total of six times over two cycles of chemotherapy. Severity of state anxiety was evaluated using the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory and resilience was assessed using the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale. Symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, General Sleep Disturbance Scale, Lee Fatigue Scale, Attentional Function Index and Brief Pain Inventory. Results: Based on the findings from the latent profile analysis that utilized the six assessments of state anxiety, 47.7% of the patients were classified as “Low,” 28.3% as “Moderate,” 19.5% as “High,” and 4.5.% as “Very High.” Anxiety levels remained relatively stable across the six timepoints. Compared to the Low class, membership in the Moderate, High, and Very High classes was associated with a number of characteristics (e.g., younger age, female gender, lower functional status, more comorbidities). Those patients with higher levels of anxiety reported higher levels of stress, lower levels of resilience, and increased severity of co-occurring symptoms. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that a substantial number of oncology patients may warrant referral to psychological services. Clinicians need to perform systematic assessments of anxiety, stress, and common symptoms and initiate appropriate interventions to enhance resilience and coping.

Assessment of post-operative opioid prescribing practices in a community hospital ambulatory surgical center

Bromberg, W. D., Emanuel, T., Zeller, V., Galloway, E., Mogan, S., Diamond, J., Statler, D., & Wright, F. (2021). Journal of Opioid Management, 17(3), 241-249. 10.5055/JOM.2021.0634
Objective: To evaluate the prescribing practices and opioid consumption in an ambulatory setting to inform the development of evidence-based guidelines. Design: A prospective study of adults undergoing outpatient open and laparoscopic surgeries over 3 months. One week after discharge, a telephonic interview quantified the number of opioids prescribed and consumed, degree of pain control and satisfaction, and whether additional pain medication was requested. Setting: Community hospital ambulatory surgery center in Westchester County, New York. Participants: This study included 304 adults undergoing a variety of procedures by surgeons from multiple specialties. Main outcome measures: Quantify surgeons’ postoperative opioid prescribing compared with patient opioid consumption. Results: Eighty-one percent (N = 245) responded to the survey, of which 64 percent were prescribed opioids. Males and females were equally represented with the mean age of 59.4 years. Of those prescribed opioids, 92 percent filled the prescription. The most commonly prescribed opioids reported by the patients that filled their prescription (N = 145) were oxycodone (36.5 percent), oxycodone/acetaminophen (28.9 percent), and tramadol (22.7 percent). The mean number of opioid pills prescribed was 20 and the mean consumption was 6.7 pills, resulting in an average of 13 retained pills. Only 3.8 percent of the patients prescribed opioids at discharge called their provider for additional analgesia. Despite the low opioid consumption patients reported high satisfaction (4.5 on scale of 0-5) with pain control. Only 10.4 percent reported that the surgeon recommended an over the counter (OTC) analgesic option. There was variability in the amount of opioids prescribed within each surgical category. Conclusions: One week after outpatient surgery, patients consumed one-third of physician-prescribed opioids, yet they reported high pain management satisfaction. Our study will inform the development of a patient-centered interdisciplinary perioperative education program to more effectively tailor multimodal pain management in ambulatory surgical patients and collaterally reduce the number of retained opioids.

Distinct diarrhea profiles during outpatient chemotherapy

Diaz, R., Kober, K. M., Viele, C., Cooper, B. A., Paul, S. M., Hammer, M., Wright, F., Conley, Y. P., Levine, J. D., & Miaskowski, C. (2021). Supportive Care in Cancer, 29(5), 2363-2373. 10.1007/s00520-020-05753-x
Purpose: Chemotherapy-induced diarrhea (CID) is a common symptom that occurs in 50 to 80% of patients. Given that the majority of the data on the occurrence and severity of CID is based on physician-rated toxicity criteria, this study’s purposes were to identify subgroups of patients with distinct CID profiles and determine how these subgroups differ in terms of demographic and clinical characteristics; severity, frequency, and distress of CID; the co-occurrence of common GI symptoms; and QOL. Methods: Patients (n = 1133) completed the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale six times over two cycles of chemotherapy. Latent profile analysis was used to identify subgroups of patients with distinct diarrhea profiles. Differences among these subgroups were evaluated using parametric and nonparametric statistics. Results: Four distinct diarrhea profiles were identified: none (58.3%), decreasing (22.0%), increasing (5.2%), and high (14.5%). Compared with the none class, patients in the high class had a lower functional status, a worse comorbidity profile, were more likely to have gastrointestinal cancer, and were more likely to receive chemotherapy on a 14-day cycle. No differences were found among the classes in the percentages of patients who received chemotherapy with a targeted therapy. Conclusion: Given that CID occurred in over 40% of the patients, clinicians should assess for this symptom and other common GI symptoms and initiate appropriate pharmacologic and dietary interventions.