Lois J Loescher, PhD, RN, FAAN

Associate Professor, College of Nursing
Associate Professor, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
Co-Director, UACC Behavioral Measurement and Intervention Shared Resource
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-6169
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Loescher is a behavioral scientist and Associate Professor of Nursing in the College of Nursing with a joint appointment in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. She has been a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) for over 25 years, and a founding member of the UACC Skin Cancer Institute and serves on the executive board. She has a broad background in cancer prevention and control research and has focused her research on skin cancer prevention, risk perception and communication, technology, and behavioral factors influencing risk-reducing behaviors.

Dr. Loescher was both a pre- and post-doctoral fellow on the NCI R25 Cancer Prevention and Control training grant at the UACC, and received further post-doctoral training in cancer prevention and control through a K07 grant from the NCI, completed in 2010. She is currently a co-investigator (R. Harris, PI) on an NLM contract to investigate the impact of a texting intervention on sun-safety behaviors in adolescents. She was principal investigator (PI) on a R03 ending in 2013 to evaluate the impact of an evidence-based skin cancer prevention video for adults who recently underwent solid organ transplantation. These investigations and others have involved development or modification of items, messages, scales, and psychometric testing of theory-based instruments to test behavioral interventions. Through online and in-person academic courses she has taught hundreds of graduate students research methods, theories of health promotion and risk reduction, and implementation and dissemination science methods.

Several of Dr. Loescher's students have developed instruments using mixed methods, elicitation methods, and classical measurement theory. These instruments have been subjected to item response, reliability and validity analyses. Her  mentorship of students has resulted in 12 student first-authored publications.

Dr. Loescher has had leadership roles, not only in the capacity of research team building, but in the College of Nursing (Chair of Faculty), UACC Skin Cancer Institute (Executive Board), UA (Graduate Council) and in professional organizations such as the Oncology Nursing Society. In summary, she has the capability to lead and mentor UACC and other researchers who desire to use the UACC Behavioral Measurements and Interventions Shared Resource (BMISR) services. Additionally, her networking skills, expertise in instrument development and testing and skin cancer prevention, and a strong theory background will enable her to be an effective co-leader of BMISR.

After receiving her Bachelor's degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dr. Loescher moved to Tucson and worked at the Arizona Health Sciences Center while receiving her Master's degree in nursing at the University of Arizona. She worked and conducted her research at the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) for many years, during which time she completed her PhD degree at the University of Arizona.

She is co-Director of the Behavioral Measurement and Intervention Shared Resource at the UACC. She has been an oncology nurse for 40 years and is a long-standing member of the Oncology Nursing Society and the American Society of Preventive Oncology. Currently, Dr. Loescher conducts behavioral science research at the University of Arizona , primarily in the area of skin cancer prevention and early detection. She also conducts international skin cancer research as part of a team based in Queensland, Australia. Her current research focuses on use of mobile health (mHealth) technology as an intervention to improve skin cancer primary prevention in youth (texting) and for consumers and practitioners to detect skin cancer early (mobile phone apps and devices). In this context, Dr. Loescher studies behavioral risk factors for cancer, factors that improve chances of risk-reducing behaviors, and technology acceptance. 

Research Focus: 

My research focuses on two broad areas. The first is risk factors, risk communication and risk communication as they pertain to persons at high risk of cancer and other diseases. For example, I study cognitive and emotional factors, such as risk perception, cancer worry, self-efficacy, and beliefs as they relate to risk reducing behaviors in persons at high risk of skin cancer, such as melanoma survivors and solid organ transplant recipients. The second broad area is using and evaluating technology to improve skin cancer early detection by healthcare providers, particularly primary care providers, and consumers. Currently I am a co-investigator in two studies using a smartphone-dermoscopy device to improve skin cancer detection and self-efficacy. The third broad area is skin cancer primary prevention interventions that use mobile health (mHealth) technology. I am co-investigator on a study of the effect of sun-safety text messaging on skin cancer knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of adolescents. My research is theory-based and mixed-methods research.

Selected Publications: