Balancing life as a researcher, Buddhist nun

October 25, 2022

As a clinical associate professor at the School of Nursing, Huong Nguyen’s research focuses on reducing family caregiver stress and understanding the root cause of mental health disorders in order to develop an innovative therapy to treat them.

As a practicing Buddhist nun, Nguyen, PhD, MSW, MA, is also devoting her life to seeing her mind and body clearly.

“When you see yourself clearly, then you can see other people as well. You see the root cause of the suffering and then you see the way out as well,” says Nguyen. “So I stay in the temple for personal reasons and for research at the same time.”

She has conducted ethnographic research at Buddhist temples in Vietnam and Thailand, and is currently working with caregivers of individuals with dementia in Vietnam. 

Nguyen is serving as co-PI for a project testing the efficacy of Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health in Vietnam (REACH VN), a culturally adapted family caregiver intervention shown in a pilot study to be feasible and promising in terms of preliminary efficacy. It is the first large-scale study to test the efficacy of a community-based family dementia caregiver intervention in Vietnam. Results from this study will inform efforts to widely deliver the REACH VN intervention or similar community-based family dementia caregiver support programs in Vietnam and other low- and middle-income countries.

Read more about Nguyen's work

Huong Nguyen