Psychosocial Research

Our Psychosocial Program is dedicated to improving emotional, behavioral, and education outcomes for children with oncological and hematological conditions. Under the leadership of Dara Steinberg, PhD, we collaborate within our institution and nationally to improve the treatment, care, and overall quality of life of our patients. This includes active engagement in protocols through the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute (DFCI), as well as industry-sponsored protocols.

Steinberg recently received a St. Baldrick’s Supportive Care grant to examine treatment-related decisions for pediatric brain tumor care.

Active Studies

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Decision-Making in Pediatric Brain Tumors, St.

Baldrick’s Supportive Care Grant
PI: Dara Steinberg, Ph.D., Co-I: Susan Rosenthal, Ph.D., ABPP, Co-I: Stergios Zacharoulis, MD

Brain tumors are one of the most common and deadliest forms of pediatric cancers. Those who do survive may experience late effects including cognitive, emotional, and social difficulties. Additionally, early on in the COVID-19 pandemic Columbia University Medical Center in New York, New York was experiencing some of the highest rates of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Thus, the children and their families facing diagnoses of pediatric brain tumors, and the health care providers treating them, were faced with incredibly difficult decisions, at a time when the entire medical system was in a state of upheaval. In medicine shared decision making involving parents, children (when possible) and health care providers is recommended in situations where there is not a clear superior treatment, which may be the case for many pediatric brain tumors. This study aims to understand the factors parents, healthcare providers, and the children themselves considered when making health care decisions.

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Pediatric Consultation Liaison Psychology Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

PI: Dara Steinberg, Ph.D., Co-I: Nicole Schneider, Psy.D., Co-I: Laura Judd-Glossy, Ph.D.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led pediatric psychology providers to assess how they deliver care to both meet the needs of patients, and help reduce risk of virus spread. This study aims to understand how pediatric psychology providers are provider services during this time through mixed method data collection of providers across the country.

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Tristate Hematology, Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation COVID-19 Study – Emotional Health & COVID-19 Arm

Main Study: PI: Prakash Satwani, MD, Co-I: Bradley, Gampel, MD; Emotional Health Arm: PI: Dara Steinberg, Ph.D., Co-I: Katie Devine, Ph.D.

The aim of the Emotional Health arm of this study is to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced parents’ and children’s emotional health, as well as their choices and interactions with the health care system, in a sample of children with hematological and oncological conditions throughout the New York tristate area.

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