Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences: Cancer Prevention & Health Promotion

Jamie S. Ostroff, PhD, Director

Health beliefs and behaviors are critically important to virtually all cancer prevention and control efforts, including reduction in cancer risk behaviors, adherence to cancer screening guidelines, treatment decision-making, and cancer risk assessment and communication. Current research activities focus on several behavioral and psychosocial aspects of cancer prevention and control, particularly the prevention and control of tobacco-related cancers through early detection and smoking cessation.

Drs. Ostroff, Hay, and Burkhalter have been examining the feasibility and utility of identifying “teachable moments” for targeting the delivery of evidence-based smoking cessation interventions in health care, including the diagnosis of a tobacco-related malignancy, cancer screening, and routine primary dental care. Two clinical trials are underway. Dr. Hay’s current focus on perceived cancer risk has broad applicability to smoking cessation as well as other cancer risk behavior change and adherence to cancer screening guidelines. Drs. Rapkin and Ostroff are examining adherence to long-term follow-up, health behavior change recommendations, and cancer screening recommendations among low-income cancer survivors. Dr. Rapkin is conducting community-based research examining readiness of settings to promote cancer prevention and education. Drs. Ostroff and Hay are working to promote adherence to multiple cancer risk reduction and cancer screening recommendations.

Faculty Members