Psycho-Oncology Research

Join Our Lab

Our lab conducts research aimed at improving quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and alleviating the physical and emotional burden of cancer. For more detail, please review recent publications. We are rapidly expanding, so if you are interested in conducting psycho-oncology research, please apply to join our lab.
  • Applicants to the PhD Program: Dr. Hoerger is accepting Psychology PhD students for the 2018 incoming class who are committed to Health Psychology research careers in psycho-oncology. Apply by 12/1/17.
  • Current Tulane Students: Undergraduate research assistants interested in joining the lab starting in the fall should apply by 8/27/17. Students are expected to devote 10-15 hours/week for course credit. Paid opportunities become available with experience. Our research assistants gain mentorship and skills that enable them to present at research conferences, publish, earn competitive research funding, and advance to PhD, Masters, and MD programs. Selection is competitive.



Recent Research Funding

We thank our sponsors for providing over $400,000 in psycho-oncology research support at Tulane since 2013:
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-sponsored Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI): ReachNet Pilot Award
  • National Institutes of Health-sponsored Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center: ReachNet Pilot Award, Visiting Scholar Award, and Roadmap Scholar Award
  • Louisiana Board of Regents: Research Competitiveness Subprogram, and Supervised Undergraduate Research Experience program
  • Intramural funding from the Newcomb College Institute, the Center for Public Service, the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching, and the Carol Lavin Bernick Faculty Grants program



Recent Student Authored/Co-Authored Publications

  • Hoerger, M., Perry, L. M., Gramling, R., Epstein, R. M., & Duberstein, P. R. (in press). Does educating patients about the Early Palliative Care Study increase preferences for outpatient palliative cancer care? Findings from Project EMPOWER. Health Psychology.
  • Martin, S. M., Gerhart, J. I., Rochefort, C., Perry, L., & Hoerger, M. (in press). Affective forecasting in health psychology. In S. Richards & L. Cohen (Eds.), The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology, Volume III: Clinical Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine (pp. xx-xx). Oxford, UK: Wiley.
  • Barkan, T., Hoerger, M., Gallegos, A. M., Turiano, N. A., Duberstein, P. R., & Moynihan, J. A. (2016). Personality predicts utilization of mindfulness-based stress reduction during and post-intervention in a community sample of older adults. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 22, 390-395.
  • Gerhart, J. I., Allen, C. O., & Hoerger, M. (2014). Cultural aspects of smoking and smoking cessation. In L. H. Cousins (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Services and Diversity. (Vol. 12, pp. 1200-1202). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Recent Student Conference Posters and Presentations

  • Beggin, A., Perry, L. M., & Hoerger, M. (2017, March). Fear of palliative care in younger adults with cancer: An indirect effect of depression symptom severity. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, San Diego, CA.
  • Perry, L. M., Beggin, A., & Hoerger, M. (2017, March). Frequency and predictors of distress in a diverse cancer sample. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, San Diego, CA.
  • Perry, L., Hoerger, M., & Duberstein, P. R. (2016, April). Identifying common indicators of aggressive end-of-life care: A scoping review. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, Washington, DC.
  • Duarte, B., Perry, L., & Hoerger, M. (2016, April). Delay of gratification and patient-reported quality of life in cancer. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, Washington, DC.
  • Hoerger, M., Barkan, T., Perry, L., Voorhees, S., Rochefort, C., & Seibert, K. (2015, October). Increasing patients' preferences for palliative care through the dissemination of palliative care research: Impact of socioeconomic status, geography, and depression severity. Paper to be presented at the meeting of the Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium, Boston, MA.
  • Hoerger, M., Golden, E., Rochefort, C., Seibert, K., Voorhees, S., Perry, L., & Barkan, T. (2015, April). Palliative care psychoeducational intervention for patients with metastatic cancer. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, Washington, DC.
  • Golden, E., Voorhees, S., Isley, E., & Hoerger, M. (2015, April). Finding meaning after a cancer diagnosis: What is the impact of financial strain? Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, Washington, DC.
  • Voorhees, S., Allen, C. O., Rochefort, C., & Hoerger, M. (2015, April). Personalized social support for patients with cancer. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, Washington, DC.
  • Rochefort, C., & Hoerger, M. (2015, April). Personality, health behaviors, and physical health in patients with prostate cancer. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, Washington, DC.
  • Perry, L., & Hoerger, M. (2015, April). Personality and mental health in prostate cancer. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, Washington, DC.
  • Barkan, T., Hoerger, M., Gallegos, A. M., Turiano, N. A., Duberstein, P. R., & Moynihan, J. A. (2015, April). Agreeableness and openness to experience predict utilization of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) techniques during and post-intervention. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, Washington, DC.
  • Hoerger, M., Seibert, K., Voorhees, S., Rochefort, C., Barkan, T., & Perry, L. (2015, January). Exposure to recent scientific findings increases preferences for palliative care in patients with cancer. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center, New Orleans, LA.
  • Voorhees, S., Rochefort, C., Twichell, C. M., Allen, C. O., & Hoerger, M. (2014, June). Understanding the psychosocial needs of patients with cancer: Pilot research in clinical health psychology. Invited presentation to the Susan and Herman Merinoff Palliative Medicine Program, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY.
  • Golden, E., Isley, E., Voorhees, S., Rochefort, C., Twichell, C. M., & Hoerger, M. (2014, April). Finding meaning after a cancer diagnosis: Using interdisciplinary clinical psychology research to inform future palliative cancer care. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching, New Orleans, LA.
  • Rochefort, C., Twichell, C. M., Voorhees, S., Golden, E., Allen, C. O., Isley, E., & Hoerger, M. (2014, April). Coping with cancer: A mixed-methods study of coping strategies and effectiveness. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching, New Orleans, LA.
  • Allen, C. O., Voorhees, S., Ketterer, H. L., Baker, C. N., McLaughlan, J., Stone, T. L., Chapman, N. E., & Hoerger, M. (2014, April). Social support in cancer: How do patients want us to help? Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching, New Orleans, LA.
  • Gerhart, J. I., Ronan, G. F., Saks, S., Fitzgerald, C., Baker, C., & Hoerger, M. (2013, November). Moderated mediation of experiential avoidance, emotional distress, and interpersonal problems. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Nashville, TN.
  • Baker, C. N., Leff, S. S., Bevans, K., Fitzgerald, C. J., Gerhart, J. I., Saks, S. J., & Hoerger, M. (2013, May). Associations between client characteristics and perceptions of the importance of implementation quality in decisions to join and stay involved in socioemotionally-focused group therapy. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Prevention Research, San Francisco, CA.