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The Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Program (PediBMED) at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) includes clinical, research and training activities that focus on improving pediatric health, resilience, and coping with chronic illness in children, adolescents and their families.

About the Program and Our Mission

The Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Program (PediBMED) at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) provides specialized care for pediatric patients and families facing acute and chronic illness and injury. The goal of our clinical, research and training programs is to maximize health outcomes while improving coping and quality of life for children, adolescents and their families facing medical challenges.

We aim to support the health and psychological well-being of all children, youth and families with a particular focus on patients’ and families’ needs and priorities and with awareness of the unique needs of the diverse communities we serve.

The PediBMED program was formally established in 2013 with the mission of developing clinical care, research and training in pediatric psychology. The program has grown since then to include nine psychologists in eight program plus four affiliated programs and two postdoctoral fellowship positions.

The PediBMED program specializes in providing empirically supported interventions that are developmentally appropriate and informed by a biopsychosocial perspective, recognizing the impact and importance of all aspects of a child’s life to improve physical and emotional health and well-being. Pediatric psychologists have specialized training in child clinical psychology and in the specific illnesses and conditions they support.

We are focused on:

  • Using and researching evidence-based methods to support pediatric patients and families, often based on cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Collaborating with multidisciplinary teams to provide integrated care
  • Understanding that a child’s physical and mental health is influenced by biological, psychological and social-cultural factors

Who We Serve, Concerns and Conditions We Treat

Patients are usually referred to our team of psychologists by their medical specialists. We work with patients, providers, and families to address common concerns in pediatric illness including:

  • Improving adherence to medical care and treatment
  • Addressing anxiety related to medical conditions and procedures
  • Adjustment to medical conditions
  • Coping with headache and chronic pain
  • Working with schools to support medically complicated students
  • Encopresis and enuresis
  • Feeding difficulties including food refusal and over-selectivity
  • Medically related post-traumatic stress (PTSD)
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression related to medical illness and conditions
  • Transitioning to Adolescence and Young Adulthood with medical illness

Our Team

Archana Basu, PhD

Katia Canenguez, PhD

Deborah Friendman, PhD

Maysa Kaskas, PhD

Cindy Moore, PhD

Ellen O’Donnell, PhD

Nancy Rotter, PhD

Sarah Shea, PhD

Maria Theodorakakis, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellows

Allesandra Caruso, PhD

Tamaki Hosoda, PhD

Collaborations and Embedded Care

Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Center

Food Allergy Center

Pediatric Endocrine Program and Diabetes Center

Pediatric Cardiology (John Hancock Raising Healthy Hearts)

Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center

Gastroenterology (Toilet Training Clinic Pediatric Nutrition Center/ Feeding Team

Affiliated Programs

Shriners Children’s Boston (Burn and Orthopedic Care)

Cleft and Craniofacial Center

Marjorie E. Korff PACT Program – Parenting at a Challenging Time

Pediatric Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Psychology

The Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston announces the availability of a one year post-doctoral fellowship in clinical child psychology with a focus on pediatric psychology/behavioral medicine. Our nationally recognized department provides care and consultation for both in- and outpatients with co-morbid medical and psychiatric conditions.

The fellowship is a one year, full-time clinically-focused training experience. Supervised clinical activities will include behavioral medicine services in the outpatient child and adolescent psychiatry clinic, providing psychotherapy/evidenced based treatment for medically-ill youth typically referred by general pediatric, endocrine and gastroenterology programs for issues related to adherence, procedural anxiety and adjustment to diagnosis; behavioral evaluation and intervention within a multi-disciplinary pediatric diabetes clinic; inpatient consultation-liaison services through Shriner’s Hospital for Children with focus on burn injury; and parent guidance consultation for adult patients of the MGH Cancer Center (PACT Program). The potential to learn biofeedback-assisted therapy for chronic pain conditions, and/or participate as an embedded provider in several additional medical clinics (e.g. pediatric food allergy; feeding team; cleft and craniofacial center; liver and biliary disease clinic) may also be options depending upon interest and availability. The fellowship also includes a half-day of protected research time. A rich array of didactic training opportunities is available through the Department.

Fellows hold clinical appointments in the MGH Department of Psychiatry and academic appointments in the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry. Salary and fringe benefits are competitive. Preferred start date July 1, 2019 (flexible up to September 1).

Qualifications for the position include a PhD in Clinical Psychology from an APA-accredited graduate program and an APA-accredited pre-doctoral clinical internship site, preferably in pediatric or clinical child psychology.

The Massachusetts General Hospital is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Minorities and women are strongly urged to apply.

For more detailed program information, please contact Deborah Friedman, PhD, co-director of the MGH Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Program(dfriedman@mgh.harvard.edu).

Our Research

CF Mental Health & Palliative Care Research Program

CF-CBT: A Cognitive Behavioral Skills Based Program to Promote Emotional Well-Being in Adults with CF (Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc., FRIEDMA17A0) Deborah Friedman & Anna Georgiopoulos

  • 8-session CF-specific intervention, developed in partnership with CF community, for prevention of depression and anxiety in adults
  • Integrated in primary CF care; delivered by trained multidisciplinary CF care team members (social work, psychology, psychiatry, nurse, pulmonology)
  • Demonstrated feasibility, acceptability, and positive preliminary outcomes in multicenter pilot study
  • Randomized waitlist-controlled trial at 4 sites is ongoing (FRIEDM18A0)
  • Officium, a CF parent organization, supported an Italian translation (PI: Graziano), and groups working in Australia, Ecquador, Israel and Iran have trained in CF-CBT

eHealth CF-CBT (Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Dutch CF Foundation)

Deborah Friedman & Anna Georgiopoulos

  • Internet-delivered therapist-guided blended care model developed in English and Dutch
  • Dutch pilot of eHealth CF-CBT is ongoing; planning for next step trials and eHealth adolescent adaptation

CF-CBT-A: A Coping Skills Program to Promote Emotional Well-Being in Teens with CF

Deborah Friedman & Anna Georgiopoulos

  • Developed adolescent adaptation with intervention manual and workbook for teens and parents
  • Multi-center pilot study is underway
  • Submitting invited application (LOI approved) to CFF for multicenter (10 sites) RCT of CF-CBT-A

Pragmatic Implementation Trial of a CF Primary Palliative Care Intervention

(Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc., co-PI’s: Georgioupoulos/Dhingra,; Site lead: Friedman)

  • Multi-site implementation trial of a CF-specific primary palliative care intervention comprising provider education; screening-and-triage workflows; best practice treatment guides for high frequency problems; and a quality improvement toolkit;

A Pilot Project of Psychological Approaches to Pain Treatment in Adolescents and Adults with CF (Pending)
(Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, co-PI’s: Friedman/Bruce; Co-I: Georgiopoulos)

Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Collaboration

Assessing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on MGH Families(AIMS) Study
Archana Basu, Deborah Friedman, Nancy Rotter, Janet Wozniak, Maysa Kaskas, Tamaki Hosoda

  • Characterize families’ experiences of the pandemic in different domains to identify QI opportunities, tailor interventions and supports at the clinic/programmatic level

Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes

Development and Evaluation of The MGHfC Diabetes Transitions Program: Participatory Action Research Design Ellen O’Donnell William F. Milton Fund of Harvard University

AIMS Study in the Pediatric Endocrine Program and Diabetes Center at MGHfC Ellen O’Donnell

Type 1 Diabetes EXercise Initiative Pediatric Study (T1DexiP): The Effect of Exercise on Glycemic Control in Youth with Type 1 Diabetes (T1DEXIP) Ellen O’Donnell

A Pilot Study of Traumatic Stress and Illness Management in Youth with Diabetes

Tamaki Hosoda, PhD, JDRF and ADA Fellow

Pediatric Food Allergy

Anxiety and Quality of Life in Children with Food Allergies Nancy Rotter, PhD
(multisite collaboration with Eastern Michigan University)

Anxiety about Food Allergies in Children Undergoing Oral Immunotherapy Nancy Rotter, PhD

PACT Research

Exploring the Patient Experiences of Early-Phase Oncology Clinical Trial Participants Cindy Moore
(Co-PI; Sponsor-Investigator Debra Lundquist NP, PhD)