Karen Fergus

Associate Professor

Clinical Psychologist

Locations / Contact Info:

243 Behavioural Science - BSB
Keele Campus
Phone: 416 736 2100 Ext. 22986

Email address(es):


Faculty & School/Dept.

Faculty of Health - Department of Psychology


PhD - 2003


My research focuses on the coping and adaptation processes of individuals affected by life threatening illness in general, and cancer specifically.  I have a strong interest in intimate relationships and how couples adjust to illness, adversity, and loss.  I employ qualitative methods in order to derive in depth understanding of these experiences.  These findings in turn inform the development of psychotherapeutic and psychoeducational interventions (individual, couple, group, and online) intended to reduce distress and suffering associated with illness.

Selected Publications

Other Research Outputs




Odette Cancer Centre - Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Cancer Care Ontario - Ontario Health
Psychosocial Oncology Lead - Toronto Central North

Service/Community Activities

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region
Member, Research and Health Care Advisory Committee (2007-2011)

Interprofessional Psychosocial Oncology Distance Education Course
Founding Faculty Member

National Alliance for Psychosocial Oncology and Supportive Care Online (NAPSCO)
Founding Member, Steering Committee (2006-present)


Anselm Strauss Award for Qualitative Family Research - 2003

Cause Leadership Award - Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - - 2013

Faculty of Health Teaching Award, Early Career - York University - 2015


Currently available to supervise graduate students: Yes

Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers: No

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: Yes

Current Research

Research Projects

A narrative care intervention to support the post cancer treatment transition from primary to follow-up care
Role: Principal Investigator
Year Funded: 2017
Duration: 2
Funded by: Other...
Other funding: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Cenre, Practice Based Research and Innovation Seed Grant

Preparing to survive: Improving outcomes for young women with breast cancer
Role: CoInvestigator
Year Funded: 2020
Duration: 5
Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research