William H Redd, PhD
- PROFESSOR | Oncological Sciences
My research investigates the role of bio-behavioral factors in cancer prevention and control (CPC). Seminal in my overall program of research was a series of relatively straightforward studies I conducted to investigate behavioral side effects of invasive cancer treatment, including: 1) conditioned anticipatory nausea, vomiting and immune suppression in chemotherapy patients; 2) adjustment disorders in patients in protective insulation; 3) conditioned eating disorders in patients following cancer surgery; and 4) cognitive distraction to control procedural distress in children. Essentially, I found that cancer patients become aversively conditioned to aspects of their treatment and that relatively simple procedures incorporating distraction and relaxation training effectively control such behavioral aversions. The findings were clinically important, conceptually intriguing, and seen as opening the way for behavioral intervention in CPC. Over the last 20 years my scholarly focus has broadened from small-N clinical studies of behavioral symptoms to include: 1) prospective investigations of adjustment disorders among mothers of pediatric patients; 2) longitudinal analyses of psychosocial adjustment among survivors of bone marrow/stem cell transplantation (HSCT); 3) controlled trials of Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) to reduce anxiety-related disorders in cancer survivors; and 4) studies of interventions to increase participation in cancer prevention among medically underserved minorities. I am currently involved in two new areas of research. The first is an investigation of the effects of systematic light exposure (SLE) on alleviating cancer-related fatigue (CRF). CRF is a persistent sense of exhaustion related to cancer or its treatment which can severely interfere with activities of daily living. It affects over 40% of survivors of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). To date, CRF treatments have produced only moderate results. I am about to begin an initial clinical trial to assess the effect of SLE with long-term HSCT survivors, and to determine the feasibility and acceptability of SLE as an intervention for CRF. We will compare two different light conditions to: determine the impact of SLE on fatigue, sleep quality, and quality of life, using objective and subjective measures; investigate the possible mediating effects of depression on fatigue; and assess feasibility and acceptability of SLE as an intervention for CRF in cancer survivors. The second area of my current research is the investigation of the dissemination of evidence-based interventions to cancer supportive care professionals. I am involved in five active dissemination studies which investigate training in the implementation of: cancer clinician-implemented CBT with survivors (PI); patient navigation to increase minority participation in cancer screening (Co-PI); cancer clinical trials by community cancer nurses and administrators (Co-PI); building cancer supportive care programs (Co-I); and psychosocial screening programs (Co-I). All of the studies are the products of collaborative relationships I have established with my post-doctoral trainees, fellow faculty members and colleagues from other medical centers and universities.