Chen Xiao Chen, PhD, RN

Chen Xiao Chen, PhD, RN

Community & Health Systems
Assistant Professor

Contact Information

Phone: 317-274-7441
Nursing E415, Indianapolis


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Indiana University
PhD, University of Wisconsin–Madison
MS, University of Wisconsin–Madison
MBBS, Tongji Medical College


Dr. Chen’s program of research focuses on management of dysmenorrhea. Characterized by menstrual pain, dysmenorrhea is a prevalent pain condition among women of reproductive age that puts women at higher risk for developing other chronic pain conditions later in life. Dr. Chen's goals for this program of research are to support dysmenorrhea management, improve women's quality of life, and to some extent, reduce the risk for developing future pain conditions among affected women. Dr. Chen uses biobehavioral approaches and integrates quantitative, qualitative, and big data. Specifically her team's work on dysmenorrhea entail (1) developing and evaluating symptom measurement tools, (2) identifying and characterizing dysmenorrhea phenotypes, (3) describing health behaviors (including health service uses, information seeking, and use of self-management strategies), and (4) exploring potential complementary alternative treatment for dysmenorrhea. These studies build toward the development of precision-based, personalized interventions to support dysmenorrhea management.

Beyond her research on dysmenorrhea, Dr. Chen has been engaged in interdisciplinary collaboration and mentoring in the areas of pain management, symptom science, and women’s health. Her areas of methodological expertise include advanced psychometrics, survey research, latent class analysis, and meta-analysis.

External Funding

Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute KL2 Young Investigator Award in Clinical -Translational Research Program (KL2 TR002530 and UL1 TR002529, PI: Shekhar) (2018-2020)

T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship (T32 5T32NR007066-24, PI: Rawl), National Institute of Nursing Research (2016-2017).

Selected Publications

Chen, C. X., Carpenter, J. S., Gao, X., Toh, E., Dong, Q., Nelson, D. E., Mitchell, C., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2021). Associations between dysmenorrhea symptom-based phenotypes and vaginal microbiome: A pilot study. Nursing Research, Advance online publication.

Chen, C. X., Carpenter, J. S., Murphy, T., Brooks, P., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2021). Engaging adolescent and young Adults in microbiome sample self-collection: Strategies for success. Biological Research for Nursing, 23(3), 402–407.

 Chen, C. X., Murphy, T., Ofner, S., Yahng, L., Krombach, P., LaPradd, M., Bakoyannis, G., & Carpenter, J. S. (2021). Development and Testing of the Dysmenorrhea Symptom Interference (DSI) Scale. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 43(4), 364–373.

 Chen, C. X., Kroenke, K., Stump, T., Kean, J., Krebs, E. E., Bair, M. J., Damush, T., & Monahan, P. O. (2019). Comparative Responsiveness of the PROMIS Pain Interference Short Forms with Legacy Pain Measures: Results from three randomized clinical trials. The Journal of Pain20(6), 664–675.

 Lovett, J., Gordon, C., Patton, S., & Chen, C. X. (2019). Online information on dysmenorrhea: An evaluation of readability, credibility, quality and usability. Journal of Clinical Nursing28(19-20), 3590–3598.

 Lor, M., Oyesanya, T., Chen, C.X., Cherwin, C., & Moon, C. (2019). Postdoctoral opportunities for nursing PhD graduates: A resources guide. Western Journal of Nursing Research.41 (3): 459-476.

 Chen, C. X., Groves, D., Miller, W. R., & Carpenter, J. S. (2018). Big Data and Dysmenorrhea: What Questions Do Women and Men Ask About Menstrual Pain? Journal of Women's Health (2002)27(10), 1233–1241.

 Chen, C.X., Kroenke, K., Stump, T., Kean, J., Carpenter, J.S., Krebs, E., Bair, M., Damush, T., & Monahan, P. (2018). Estimating minimally important differences for the PROMIS pain interferences scales: results from three randomized clinical trials. PAIN: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain. 159(4):775-782.

 Chen, C.X., Draucker, C.B., & Carpenter, J.S. (2018). What women say about their dysmenorrhea: a qualitative thematic analysis. BMC Women’s Health 18 (1): 47.

 Chen, C.X., Ofner, S., Bakoyannis G., Kwekkeboom, K.L.,& Carpenter, J.S. (2018).  Symptoms-based phenotypes among women with dysmenorrhea: a latent class analysis. Western Journal of Nursing Research 40 (10):1452-1468.

 Chen, C.X., Shieh, C., Draucker, C.B., & Carpenter, J.S. (2018). Reasons women do not seek care for dysmenorrhea. Journal of Clinical Nursing.27 (1-2): e301-e308.

 Chen, C.X., Kwekkeboom, K.L., & Ward, S.E. (2016). Beliefs about dysmenorrhea and their relationship to self-management. Research in Nursing & Health. 39(4):263-76.

 Chen, C.X., Barrett, B., & Kwekkeboom K.L. (2016). Efficacy of oral ginger for dysmenorrhea: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016, 1-10.

 Chen, C.X., Kwekkeboom, K.L., & Ward, S.E. (2015). Self‐report pain and symptom measures for primary dysmenorrhoea: A critical review. European Journal of Pain, 19(3), 377-391.

For a full list of publications, please visit


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