Fiona Conway, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Ph.D. in social work from Rutgers School of Social Work and completed her postdoctoral training at the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies at Rutgers University. Her research program focuses on intervention and implementation science in the fields of addiction and mental health. She is currently involved in research that investigates health behaviors across the lifespan with a focus on substance use and trauma. Her research seeks to facilitate the transfer of new and innovative scientific strategies to prevention specialists and treatment providers.
Dr. Conway’s area of research focuses on how stress acts as a trigger for post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorder symptoms. This focus is a critical component to maintaining health and wellness among veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder is commonly co-morbid with substance use disorder. Individuals who have both conditions have more physical health problems, greater social and functional impairment, higher risk for suicide, and poorer treatment outcomes than those who have either condition alone. Stress can exacerbate symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and substance use disorder. Although there are numerous interventions for each disorder, few employ a transdiagnostic approach that provides treatment for both conditions at the same time. Dr. Conway’s studies investigate the potential of novel interventions to reduce the effect of stress on substance use disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Her current projects include, investigating the use of virtual reality equipment and cell phone technology to deliver interventions for substance use and behavioral health disorders.