Joanne S Buzaglo

Cancer Support Community, Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

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Publications (27)59.88 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Low-income, inner-city women bear a disproportionate burden of cervical cancer in both incidence and mortality rates in the United States, largely because of low adherence to follow-up recommendations after an abnormal cervical cytology result in the primary care setting. The goals of the present study were to delineate the theory-based psychosocial barriers underlying these persistent low follow-up rates and their sociodemographic correlates. Guided by a well-validated psychosocial theory of health behaviors, this cross-sectional, correlational study assessed the barriers to follow-up adherence among underserved women (N = 210) who received an abnormal cervical cytology result. Participants were recruited through an inner-city hospital colposcopy clinic, and were assessed by telephone prior to the colposcopy appointment. Participants were largely of African American race (82.2%), lower than high school completion education (58.7%), single, never married (67.3%), and without full-time employment (64.1%). Knowledge barriers were most often endorsed (68%, M = 3.22), followed by distress barriers (64%, M = 3.09), and coping barriers (36%, M = 2.36). Forty-six percent reported more than one barrier category. Less education and being unemployed were correlated with higher knowledge barriers (P < .0001 and P < .01, respectively) and more coping barriers (P < .05 and P < .05, respectively). Women who were younger than 30 years displayed greater distress barriers (P < .05). In the primary care setting, assessing and addressing knowledge and distress barriers after feedback of an abnormal cervical cytology result may improve adherence to follow-up recommendations. The use of structured counseling protocols and referral to navigational and other resources may facilitate this process and thereby reduce disparities in cervical cancer.
    Journal of primary care & community health. 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Patient participation in cancer clinical trials is low. Little is known about attitudinal barriers to participation, particularly among patients who may be offered a trial during an imminent initial oncology consult. The aims of the present study were to confirm the presence of proposed subscales of a recently developed cancer clinical trial attitudinal barriers measure, describe the most common cancer clinical trials attitudinal barriers, and evaluate socio-demographic, medical and financial factors associated with attitudinal barriers. A total of 1256 patients completed a survey assessing demographic factors, perceived financial burden, prior trial participation and attitudinal barriers to clinical trials participation. Results of a factor analysis did not confirm the presence of the proposed four attitudinal barriers subscale/factors. Rather, a single factor represented the best fit to the data. The most highly-rated barriers were fear of side-effects, worry about health insurance and efficacy concerns. Results suggested that less educated patients, patients with non-metastatic disease, patients with no previous oncology clinical trial participation, and patients reporting greater perceived financial burden from cancer care were associated with higher barriers. These patients may need extra attention in terms of decisional support. Overall, patients with fewer personal resources (education, financial issues) report more attitudinal barriers and should be targeted for additional decisional support.
    European Journal of Cancer Care 01/2014; · 1.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study used the Ottawa Decision Support Framework to evaluate a model examining associations between clinical trial knowledge, attitudinal barriers to participating in clinical trials, clinical trial self-efficacy, and clinical trial preparedness among 1256 cancer patients seen for their first outpatient consultation at a cancer center. As an exploratory aim, moderator effects for gender, race/ethnicity, education, and metastatic status on associations in the model were evaluated. . Patients completed measures of cancer clinical trial knowledge, attitudinal barriers, self-efficacy, and preparedness. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to evaluate whether self-efficacy mediated the association between knowledge and barriers with preparedness. . The SEM explained 26% of the variance in cancer clinical trial preparedness. Self-efficacy mediated the associations between attitudinal barriers and preparedness, but self-efficacy did not mediate the knowledge-preparedness relationship. . Findings partially support the Ottawa Decision Support Framework and suggest that assessing patients' level of self-efficacy may be just as important as evaluating their knowledge and attitudes about cancer clinical trials.
    Medical Decision Making 11/2013; · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study explored the impact of a tailored telephone counseling intervention on increasing follow-up adherence after an abnormal Pap smear result among low-income, minority women, which may reduce cervical cancer disparity. Participants (N=211) were randomly assigned to receive: (1) a telephone reminder that included an assessment of barriers to adherence, as well as counseling tailored to the barriers elicited; (2) telephone reminder and barriers assessment, followed by a mailed home tailored barriers print brochure; or (3) enhanced standard care comprising telephone reminder and barriers assessment. Assessments were obtained at initial contact and 1-week later, as well as at 6- and 12-months after the initial colposcopy. The telephone counseling group showed greater adherence to follow-up recommendations than did the combined other two groups (p<0.05). For the initial colposcopy, tailored telephone barriers counseling was more effective among women with a high school education or less. Tailored telephone barriers counseling improves adherence to initial colposcopy, as well as to longer-term medical follow-up, among low-income, inner-city women. Dissemination of barriers counseling into ongoing telephone reminder calls and contacts may decrease disparities in cancer outcomes, especially among women with less than post-secondary education.
    Patient Education and Counseling 08/2013; · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Cancer Support Community (CSC) provides psychosocial support to people facing cancer in community settings. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the compatibility, effectiveness, and fidelity of the Situation-Choices-Objectives-People-Evaluation-Decisions (SCOPED) question-listing intervention at three CSC sites. Between August 2008 and August 2011, the Program Director at each CSC site implemented question-listing, while measuring patient distress, anxiety, and self-efficacy before and after each intervention. We analyzed the quantitative results using unadjusted statistical tests and reviewed qualitative comments by patients and the case notes of Program Directors to assess compatibility and fidelity. Program Directors implemented question-listing with 77 blood cancer patients. Patients reported decreased distress (p = 0.009) and anxiety (p = 0.005) and increased self-efficacy (p < 0.001). Patients and Program Directors endorsed the intervention as compatible with CSC's mission and approach and feasible to implement with high fidelity. CSC effectively translated SCOPED question-listing into practice in the context of its community-based psychosocial support services at three sites.
    Translational behavioral medicine. 06/2013; 3(2):162-71.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cancer patients and their oncologists often report differing perceptions of consultation discussions and discordant expectations regarding treatment outcomes. CONNECT, a computer-based communication aid, was developed to improve communication between patients and oncologists. METHODS: CONNECT includes assessment of patient values, goals, and communication preferences; patient communication skills training; and a preconsultation physician summary report. CONNECT was tested in a 3-arm, prospective, randomized clinical trial. Prior to the initial medical oncology consultation, adult patients with advanced cancer were randomized to the following arms: 1) control; 2) CONNECT with physician summary; or 3) CONNECT without physician summary. Outcomes were assessed with postconsultation surveys. RESULTS: Of 743 patients randomized, 629 completed postconsultation surveys. Patients in the intervention arms (versus control) felt that the CONNECT program made treatment decisions easier to reach (P = .003) and helped them to be more satisfied with these decisions (P < .001). In addition, patients in the intervention arms reported higher levels of satisfaction with physician communication format (P = .026) and discussion regarding support services (P = .029) and quality of life concerns (P = .042). The physician summary did not impact outcomes. Patients with higher levels of education and poorer physical functioning experienced greater benefit from CONNECT. CONCLUSIONS: This prospective randomized clinical trial demonstrates that computer-based communication skills training can positively affect patient satisfaction with communication and decision-making. Measurable patient characteristics may be used to identify subgroups most likely to benefit from an intervention such as CONNECT. Cancer 2013. © 2013 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 01/2013; · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The NCI developed the print-based educational brochure, Facing Forward, to fill a gap in helping cancer patients meet the challenges of transitioning from active treatment to survivorship; however, little research has been conducted on its efficacy. PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of Facing Forward in promoting the uptake of recommended behaviors (e.g., ways to manage physical changes) and to explore its usability. METHODS: At the last treatment appointment, early-stage breast, prostate, colorectal, and thoracic cancer patients (N = 340) recruited from community clinical oncology practices and an academic medical center completed a baseline assessment and were randomized to receive either Facing Forward (n = 175) or an attention control booklet about the NCI's Cancer Information Service (n = 165). Patients completed follow-up assessments at 8 weeks and 6 months post-baseline. RESULTS: The reported uptake of recommended stress management behaviors was greater among intervention than control participants at both 8 weeks post-baseline (p = 0.016) and 6 months post-baseline (p = 0.017). At 8 weeks post-baseline, the intervention control group difference was greater among African-American than Caucasian participants (p < 0.03) and significant only among the former (p < 0.003); attendance at a cancer support group was also greater among the intervention than control group participants (p < 0.02). There were no significant intervention control group differences in the reported uptake of recommended behaviors in three other categories (p > 0.025). Intervention participants rated Facing Forward as understandable and helpful and indicated a high level of intention to try the behaviors recommended. CONCLUSIONS: Facing Forward can enhance early-stage survivors' reported ability to manage stress and increase support group use during the reentry period. IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Facing Forward can help survivors meet the challenges of the reentry period.
    Journal of Cancer Survivorship 12/2012; · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Psychological distress has been recognized as having a significant effect upon cognitive and emotional functioning, quality of life, and in some populations increased costs of care. Screening for distress and provision of psychosocial care in oncology treatment settings has been identified as a future accreditation standard by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). Because there are few available models of programs of distress screening and referral to inform oncology social workers and other members of the psychosocial support team with planning their own programs, this article seeks to provide exemplars of best practices that are currently in place in four different settings where psychosocial support is provided to people living with cancer and their families. Each program will provide an overview of how it was successfully established and its contribution toward evolving evidence-informed best practices.
    Journal of Psychosocial Oncology 11/2012; 30(6):694-714. · 1.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The purpose was to test the psychometric properties of a 36-item community-based problem-related distress screening tool, among 319 cancer survivors recruited across 14 affiliates of the Cancer Support Community. METHODS: Internal reliability was estimated using Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Test-retest reliability was assessed using the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). Concurrent validity was determined by correlations with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General Well-Being Scale (FACT-G), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the Distress Thermometer (DT) and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis using the CES-D (≥16) and DT (≥4) as the criterion. Non-parametric analysis of variance was used to establish discriminant validity. RESULTS: The distress screener demonstrated high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.91) and strong test-retest reliability (ICC ≥ 0.75). Summary scores of the distress screener correlated substantially with the FACT-G (R(2)  = 0.58, p < 0.001), CES-D (R(2)  = 0.48, p < 0.001), and DT (R(2)  = 0.35, p < 0.001) indicating strong concurrent validity and were able to discriminate groups of clinical relevance. ROC analyses showed a cutoff score of 8 for problem items rated ≥3 had optimal sensitivity and specificity relative to the CES-D and DT. CONCLUSIONS: The distress screener shows strong psychometric properties and can be considered a valuable community-based instrument to screen for psychological distress related to social, emotional, physical, and other patient-related symptoms and problems. This study is the first to address the chasm between hospital and community-based screening by validating a community-based instrument and has begun to demonstrate the feasibility of screening in the community. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Psycho-Oncology 06/2012; · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cancer clinical trials (CCTs) are important tools in the development of improved cancer therapies; yet, participation is low. Key psychosocial barriers exist that appear to impact a patient's decision to participate. Little is known about the relationship among knowledge, self-efficacy, preparation, decisional conflict, and patient decisions to take part in CCTs. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine if preparation for consideration of a CCT as a treatment option mediates the relationship between knowledge, self-efficacy, and decisional conflict. We also explored whether lower levels of decisional conflict are associated with greater likelihood of CCT enrollment. METHOD: In a pre-post test intervention study, cancer patients (N = 105) were recruited before their initial consultation with a medical oncologist. A brief educational intervention was provided for all patients. Patient self-report survey responses assessed knowledge, self-efficacy, preparation for clinical trial participation, decisional conflict, and clinical trial participation. RESULTS: Preparation was found to mediate the relationship between self-efficacy and decisional conflict (p = 0.003 for a test of the indirect mediational pathway for the decisional conflict total score). Preparation had a more limited role in mediating the effect of knowledge on decisional conflict. Further, preliminary evidence indicated that reduced decisional conflict was associated with increased clinical trial enrollment (p = 0.049). CONCLUSIONS: When patients feel greater CCT self-efficacy and have more knowledge, they feel more prepared to make a CCT decision. Reduced decisional conflict, in turn, is associated with the decision to enroll in a clinical trial. Our results suggest that preparation for decision-making should be a target of future interventions to improve participation in CCTs. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Psycho-Oncology 02/2012; · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Internet can increase access to psychosocial care for breast cancer survivors through online support groups. This study will test a novel prosocial online group that emphasizes both opportunities for getting and giving help. Based on the helper therapy principle, it is hypothesized that the addition of structured helping opportunities and coaching on how to help others online will increase the psychological benefits of a standard online group. A two-armed randomized controlled trial with pretest and posttest. Non-metastatic breast cancer survivors with elevated psychological distress will be randomized to either a standard facilitated online group or to a prosocial facilitated online group, which combines online exchanges of support with structured helping opportunities (blogging, breast cancer outreach) and coaching on how best to give support to others. Validated and reliable measures will be administered to women approximately one month before and after the interventions. Self-esteem, positive affect, and sense of belonging will be tested as potential mediators of the primary outcomes of depressive/anxious symptoms and sense of purpose in life. This study will test an innovative approach to maximizing the psychological benefits of cancer online support groups. The theory-based prosocial online support group intervention model is sustainable, because it can be implemented by private non-profit or other organizations, such as cancer centers, which mostly offer face-to-face support groups with limited patient reach. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01396174.
    BMC Cancer 08/2011; 11:379. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Based on the cognitive-social health information processing model, we identified cognitive profiles of women at risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Prior to genetic counselling, participants (N = 171) completed a study questionnaire concerning their cognitive and affective responses to being at genetic risk. Using cluster analysis, four cognitive profiles were generated: (a) high perceived risk/low coping; (b) low value of screening/high expectancy of cancer; (c) moderate perceived risk/moderate efficacy of prevention/low informativeness of test result; and (d) high efficacy of prevention/high coping. The majority of women in Clusters One, Two and Three had no personal history of cancer, whereas Cluster Four consisted almost entirely of women affected with cancer. Women in Cluster One had the highest number of affected relatives and experienced higher levels of distress than women in the other three clusters. These results highlight the need to consider the psychological profile of women undergoing genetic testing when designing counselling interventions and messages.
    Psychology & Health 07/2011; 26(10):1327-43. · 1.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer prevention clinical trials seek to enroll individuals at increased risk for cancer. Little is known about attitudes among physicians and at-risk individuals towards cancer prevention clinical trials. We sought to characterize barriers to prevention trial participation among medical oncologists and first-degree relatives of their patients. Physician participants were practicing oncologists in Pennsylvania. Eligible first-degree participants were adult relatives of a cancer patient being treated by one of the study physicians. The influence of perceived psychosocial and practical barriers on level of willingness to participate in cancer prevention clinical trials was investigated. Response rate was low among physicians, 137/478 (29%), and modest among eligible first-degree relatives, 82/129 (64%). Lack of access to an eligible population for prevention clinical trials was the most commonly cited barrier to prevention clinical trials among oncologists. Nearly half (45%) of first-degree relatives had not heard of cancer prevention clinical trials, but 68% expressed interest in learning more, and 55% expressed willingness to participate. In the proportional odds model, greater information source seeking/responsiveness (i.e., interest in learning more about clinical prevention trials from more information sources) (p = 0.04), and having fewer psychosocial barriers (p = 0.02) were associated with a greater willingness to participate. Many individuals who may be at greater risk for developing cancer because of having a first-degree relative with cancer are unaware of the availability of clinical cancer prevention trials. Nonetheless, many perceive low personal risk associated with these studies, and are interested in learning more.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 08/2010; 49(6):757-66. · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is a public health goal. We hypothesized that non-compliant, average risk women would demonstrate low levels of CRC knowledge and underestimate their CRC risk. Participants identified prior to routine gynecological visits completed a survey assessing demographics, CRC knowledge, risk perception, and screening intention. The 318 participants demonstrated high levels of CRC knowledge. The majority estimated their risk incorrectly and had no intention of screening participation in the future. There were no consistent relationships between knowledge, risk perception, and screening intent. Knowledge alone is an inadequate stimulus of screening adherence.
    Journal of Cancer Education 02/2009; 24(3):225-32. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This randomised controlled trial evaluated the impact of an enhanced counselling (EC) intervention on knowledge about the heritability of breast and ovarian cancer and distress, as a function of BRCA test result, among high-risk women. Before deciding about whether or not to undergo genetic testing, participants were randomly assigned to the EC intervention (N = 69), designed to promote cognitive and affective processing of cancer risk information (following the standard individualised counselling session), or to the control condition (N = 65), which involved standard individualised counselling followed by a general health information session to control for time and attention. Women in the EC group exhibited greater knowledge than women in the control group, 1 week after the intervention. Further, at the affective level, the intervention was found to be the most beneficial for women testing positive: specifically 1 week after test result disclosure, women in the intervention group who tested positive experienced lower levels of distress than women in the control group who tested positive. The findings suggest that the design of counselling aids should include a component that explicitly activates the individual's cognitive-affective processing system.
    Psychology & Health 02/2009; 25(4):401-15. · 1.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Optimal patient decision making requires integration of patient values, goals, and preferences with information received from the physician. In the case of a life-threatening illness such as cancer, the weights placed on quality of life (QOL) and length of life (LOL) represent critical values. The objective of the current study was to describe cancer patient values regarding QOL and LOL and explore associations with communication preferences. Patients with advanced cancer completed a computer-based survey before the initial consultation with a medical oncologist. Assessments included sociodemographics, physical and mental health state, values regarding quality and length of life, communication preferences, and cancer-related distress. Among 459 patients with advanced cancer, 55% placed equal valued on QOL and LOL, 27% preferred QOL, and 18% preferred LOL. Patients with a QOL preference had lower levels of cancer-related distress (P < .001). A QOL preference was also associated with older age (P = .001), male sex (P = .003), and higher educational level (P = .062). Patients who preferred LOL over QOL desired a more supportive and less pessimistic communication style from their oncologists. These data indicate that a values preference for LOL versus QOL may be simply measured, and is associated with wishes regarding the nature of oncologist communication. Awareness of these values during the clinical encounter could improve decision making by influencing the style and content of the communication between oncologists and their patients.
    Cancer 12/2008; 113(12):3459-66. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although there is broad consensus that careful content vetting and user testing is important in the development of technology-based educational interventions, often these steps are overlooked. This paper highlights the development of a theory-guided, web-based communication aid (CONNECT), designed to facilitate treatment decision-making among patients with advanced cancer. The communication aid included an on-line survey, patient skills training module and an automated physician report. Development steps included: (1) evidence-based content development; (2) usability testing; (3) pilot testing; and (4) patient utilization and satisfaction. Usability testing identified some confusing directions and navigation for the on-line survey and validated the relevance of the "patient testimonials" in the skills module. Preliminary satisfaction from the implementation of the communication aid showed that 66% found the survey length reasonable and 70% found it helpful in talking with the physician. Seventy percent reported the skills module helpful and about half found it affected the consultation. Designing patient education interventions for translation into practice requires the integration of health communication best practice including user feedback along the developmental process. This developmental process can be translated to a broad array of community-based patient and provider educational interventions.
    Patient Education and Counseling 07/2008; 71(3):378-87. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although clinical trial research is required for the development of improved treatment strategies, very few cancer patients participate in these studies. The purpose of this study was to describe psychosocial barriers to clinical trial participation among oncologists and their cancer patients. A survey was distributed to all medical oncologists in Pennsylvania and a subset of their patients. Relevant background information and assessment of practical and psychosocial barriers to clinical trial participation were assessed. Among 137 oncologists and 170 patients who completed the surveys, 84% of patients were aware of clinical trials, and oncologists and patients generally agreed that clinical trials are important to improving cancer treatment. However, oncologists and patients were more likely to consider clinical trials in advanced or refractory disease. When considering 7 potential barriers to clinical trials, random assignment and fear of receiving a placebo were ranked highly by both patients and oncologists. Patients identified fear of side effects as the greatest barrier to clinical trial participation, whereas oncologists ranked this psychosocial barrier as least important to their patients. Overall, the study found that although oncologists and patients are aware of clinical trials and have favorable attitudes toward them, psychosocial barriers exist for patients that may impact participation in clinical trials. Furthermore, important discrepancies exist between the perceptions of oncologists and those of patients regarding what the psychosocial barriers are. We concluded that characterizing oncologist and patient perceived barriers can help improve communication and decision making about clinical trials, such that participation may be optimized.
    Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network: JNCCN 10/2007; 5(8):655-64. · 5.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously reported that doctor-patient communication in the cancer context may be suboptimal. We therefore developed measures to assess patient communication preferences and established feasibility of an Internet-based intervention to improve communication. Cancer patients completed an Internet-based survey about communication preferences, with a summary provided to the physician before the consultation. Patients completed a follow-up survey to assess consultation content and satisfaction. Study procedures were feasible, measures exhibited strong internal consistency, and patients expressed satisfaction with the intervention. The Internet offers an opportunity to assess patient preferences and prompt physicians about individual patient informational needs prior to the clinical encounter.
    Journal of Cancer Education 02/2007; 22(4):233-40. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: (create) This chapter provides an overview of the current state of the science in breast cancer genetics and available approaches to risk assessment and management, with an emphasis on the psychosocial impact of this emerging technology on women and their families. It concludes with recommendations to improve current research and practice in this area. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
    01/2006: pages (2006). Individuals, families, and the new era of genetics: Biopsychosocial perspectives. (pp. 274-319). xxiv, 578; W W Norton & Co.

Publication Stats

141 Citations
59.88 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013–2014
    • Cancer Support Community
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2011
    • Community College of Philadelphia
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2007–2010
    • Fox Chase Cancer Center
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States