Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Biopsychosocial Oncology Services

The services provided by BPSO are geared towards helping researchers with several aspects of psychosocial and social science research. The three primary areas of service available to all Cancer Center members include:

Research Design & Methodology Consultations

  • We provide expert advice on effective methods to screen for psychiatric or psychological difficulties.
  • BPSO maintains comprehensive library of validated methods of measuring biopyschosocial factors and can advise researchers on state-of-the-art measurement tools.
  • We offer consultations to assist researchers in designing testable behavioral and psychosocial interventions.
  • We provide consultation related to psychoneuroimmunology and stress psychology.

Behavioral, Psychological and Psychiatric Assessments for research purposes

  • Our clinically trained staff, both Masters and Ph.D. level, will provide expert assessment services to cancer research projects. Services include, but are not limited to, interviews and surveys, available in English and Spanish.

Behavioral and Psychosocial Intervention Services

  • Our staff will facilitate and execute psychosocial interventions as outlined by research protocols. This service will allow investigators to execute a complex psychological intervention without the need to hire a full time staff member when part time consultation would be more cost-effective.
  • Research interventions may include focus groups, support groups, etc.

Current Projects

Facilitating adjustment in low-income Black women with breast cancer (Project CARE)

Project CARE is the first program of its kind to adapt a successful stress management program to meet the needs of South Florida’s diverse black cancer survivor population. This study is important because it seeks to reach women through community-wide outreach and recruitment efforts and has tailored its interventions to the unique needs of black female cancer survivors. For more information: http://www.sylvester.org/project-care
  • BPSO provides a Ph.D. level psychologist who works as the facilitator/interventionist for the 10-week stress management program.

A targeted decision aid to improve minority participation in clinical trials (Cancer Research Choices)

Cancer Research Choices is working towards developing a web- based decision aid for cancer clinical trials, beginning with minorities in the South Florida area. The study seeks to help individuals make an informed decision about participating in clinical trials vs. standard treatment around the time of a cancer diagnosis.

  • BPSO provides two Masters level Research Associates that supply the following support:
    • Assessments (conduct qualitative interviews and perform cognitive interviewing)
    • Conduct a comprehensive literature review (Scientific literature search, organization and coding)
    • Qualitative coding and analysis
    • Quantitative coding and analysis
  • A Ph.D. level psychologist offers consultation regarding relevant psychosocial variables on an as needed basis.

Facilitating positive adaptation to breast cancer (Coping and Recovery)

Coping and Recovery is investigating strategies to promote optimal adjustment to breast cancer, in recently diagnosed, English-speaking women. Participants of this study learn about stress management, relaxation skills and strategies for well-being during five weekly group sessions

  • BPSO provided Ph.D. level group facilitators, fidelity monitoring of study interventions, as well as additional research consultation.

Peer-led telehealth and CER adoption for diabetes prevention and management

The objective of this study is to implement evidence-informed, innovative interventions to increase adoption of findings from comparative effectiveness research (CER) for diabetes management and prevention in South Florida older veterans. Specifically, this study is testing the hypothesis that Peer-led Care alone, or activated by technology (TechnAlert-Peer or TAP), is superior to traditional methods of information dissemination for adoption of CER in prevention and management of diabetes, leading to better self-efficacy and clinical outcomes.

  • BPSO provided focus group facilitators.

Regulation of B Lymphocyte Defects in Senescent Humans

The major goal of this project is to examine cellular and molecular deficits within the humoral immune response in aged human subjects with the goal of improving immune response and vaccine development in the elderly population.
  • BPSO assisted in the design of psychosocial assessments of stress, social processes and health.

Early Detection Markers for Smoking-Induced HNSCC

The major goal of this project is to examine levels of salivary soluble CD44 (solCD44), which is an early detection tool for HNSCC, and protein in oral rinses from subjects enrolled in a Liberty City head and neck screening clinic and examine a) how they vary with demographic and risk factors and b) how they change over time. The project is investigating how changes in oral rinse solCD44 and protein marker status changes as a result of smoking cessation. Further, the project is evaluating perceived acceptability of the test and its likelihood to influence smoking cessation in this population.

  • BPSO assisted in the design of psychosocial assessments reflecting acceptability of the rinse, the likelihood that the rinse will influence screening behaviors, and the perceived utility of the rinse screening methodology.

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