Explore This Research Lab

Overview

Our research program focuses on the connections between mental health, behavior, and medical health in patients with heart disease and other chronic conditions.

We are interested in the impact of mood and anxiety disorders on cardiac health, and how different treatments for these disorders may impact quality of life and function. Depression and anxiety have been identified as risk factors for poor cardiac outcomes and death, independent of traditional cardiac risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking or diabetes.

Unfortunately, depression and anxiety go unrecognized and untreated in the vast majority of patients with heart disease, despite the existence of safe and effective treatment. We have performed two randomized trials of care management for cardiac patients who have depression or anxiety disorders to determine whether having a care manager helps these patients to have better outcomes and better quality of life, and have examined the impact of psychiatric medications on cardiac health.

Also, we are increasingly interested in the role of positive thoughts and emotions in health. There is some suggestion that positive psychological states, like optimism, positive affect and self-efficacy in persons may independently predict superior health, yet these connections have not been closely studied in patients who have chronic or acute illnesses, like an acute coronary syndrome or type 2 diabetes.

We have adapted positive psychological exercises to this population to determine if such exercises can boost optimism, positive affect, and self-efficacy in persons with heart disease or type 2 diabetes. We are performing ongoing studies to better develop these exercises and to determine whether they may affect biology, health behaviors, and key cardiac outcomes. We are also working to adapt these positive psychological interventions to patients with other medical populations, such as those with metabolic syndrome or in post-bariatric surgery patients.

Finally, we are exploring the use of text-messaging intervention (TMI) in patients with medical illnesses (e.g. cardiac condition, type-2-diabetes). We have developed a TMI that utilizes an adaptive algorithm to deliver messages related to positive psychology (PP) activities (e.g. recalling positive events) that promote psychological well-being and health behavior text messages (e.g. having a heart-healthy diet). We are continuously refining the algorithm and performing ongoing studies to examine the impact of text-message intervention on health behavior adherence and psychological and medical outcomes.

Our Research

Ongoing Projects

Total Health
Pragmatic collaborative care for cardiac inpatients with depression or anxiety
National Institutes of Health: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (1R01HL133149-03)

This is a randomized controlled trial aiming to determine whether a blended, collaborative care intervention for heart disease and mood or anxiety disorders (the Total Health program) leads to improvements in quality of life and other patient outcomes during and after treatment.

Principal Investigator (PI): Jeff Huffman


Midlife Activity, Stress reduction, Time Efficiency, Resilience, and Youthfulness (MASTERY)

A tailored program to promote well-being and physical activity in mid-life adults with low physical activity

Donor funding

This is a project to pilot test a phone-based positive psychology-motivational interviewing intervention designed to increase physical activity and improve mental health in midlife adults with low levels of physical activity.

Principal Investigator (PI): Jeff Huffman


Positive Affect in the Transplantation of Hematopoietic Stem Cells (PATH)

Development of a positive psychology intervention to improve mood and health related quality of life in patients post hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Harvard Medical School, Dupont-Warren Fellowship

The goal of this study is to determine the feasibility of a phone-based positive psychology intervention for cancer patients who have recently undergone a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. The intervention aims to improve positive affect, psychological well-being, quality of life, and overall function and outcomes for these patients.

Principal Investigator (PI): Hermioni Lokko Amonoo


Testing the Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of a Multilevel Intervention to Promote Physical Activity Among Patients with Metabolic Syndrome (MAPP)
Development of a motivational interviewing-positive psychology intervention to improve mood and health related quality of life in patients with metabolic syndrome

National Institutes of Health (5K23HL135277-03)

The goal of this randomized controlled trial project is to identify insufficiently active primary care patients with metabolic syndrome and help them increase their physical activity through a group multilevel behavioral intervention. This project aims to test a combined positive psychology and motivational interviewing intervention in a group-setting at various community clinics and examine the intervention’s impact on psychological, behavioral, and health outcomes in patients with metabolic syndrome. 

Principal Investigator (PI): Rachel Millstein


A Text Message Intervention to Promote Health Behaviors in Cardiac Risk Conditions

An adaptive text message intervention program to promote well-being and physical activity in adults with cardiac risk conditions

This is a pilot two-arm project delivering text messages related to positive psychology (PP) activities and health behavior text messages (e.g. having a heart-healthy diet, becoming more physically active) in patients with cardiac risk conditions (i.e. hyperlipidemia, hypertension, type-2-diabetes). The project aims to use an adaptive algorithm that selects messages based on individual participant ratings, delivering an increasingly tailored set of text messages over time. We hope to test its feasibility and acceptability, and explore between-group differences on psychological, behavioral, and health-related outcomes in our participants.

Principal Investigator (PI): Jeff Huffman


Developing an Adaptive Text Message Intervention to Promote Health Behavior Adherence in Type 2 Diabetes

An adaptive text message intervention program to promote well-being and physical activity in adults with type-2-diabetes

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness

This is a pilot one-arm project that aims to deliver adaptive text messages related to positive psychology (PP) activities, healthy diet, physical activity, and diabetes self-care for 8 weeks among patients with type-2 diabetes. The project aims to test the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention and examine its short-term impact in various self-reported outcomes, such as physical activity, dietary adherence, and positive affect.

Principal Investigator (PI): Christopher Celano


Optimism After Weight-Loss Surgery

Development of a motivational interviewing-positive psychology intervention to improve mood and health related quality of life in post-WLS patients

Harvard Medical School, Kaplen Fellowship on Depression and the Livingston Fellowship

This project aims to adapt a positive psychology-motivational interviewing intervention in post-bariatric surgery patients at risk for weight regain. The goal of the intervention is to promote improved psychological well-being and increased physical activity in post-WLS (Weight Loss Surgery) patients.

Principal Investigator (PI): Emily Feig


Real-time Assessment of Suicide Risk Among Psychiatric Inpatients
Donor funding

This project utilizes a combination of wrist-worn physiological monitors (assessing physical activity, heart rate, and electrodermal activity), frequently given brief questionnaires concerning mood and thoughts of self-injury administered on a smart phone, and software to track cellphone usage, in order to evaluate the factors which might predict thoughts of suicide during inpatient psychiatric treatment.

Principal Investigator (PI): Matthew Nock


Recently Completed Projects

Gratitude Research in Acute Coronary Events (GRACE)
The impact of gratitude on biology and behavior in persons with heart disease
Greater Good Science Center/Templeton Foundation

This project prospectively studied the connections between positive psychological states (e.g., gratitude, optimism), measured two weeks after an acute coronary syndrome, and improvements in biomarkers and health behaviors at 6 months.

Principal Investigator (PI): Jeff Huffman


Positive Emotions after Acute Coronary Events (PEACE IV)
Developing a positive psychology intervention to improve cardiac health behaviors
National Institutes of Health: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (1R01HL113272)

This project aimed to systematically develop a positive psychological intervention for patients with a recent acute coronary syndrome to determine if such an intervention leads to greater participation in health behaviors (e.g., better diet, more physical activity) in the weeks and months following the acute cardiac event.

Principal Investigator (PI): Jeff Huffman


A Positive Psychology-Motivational Interviewing Intervention for Type II Diabetes (BEHOLD-8)
A psychological-behavioral intervention for physical activity in type 2 diabetes
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R21DK109313)

This randomized pilot trial of an intervention (planned N=60) combed positive psychological and goal-setting programs to improve physical activity in people with type 2 diabetes. Outcome measures included assessments of feasibility, acceptability and physical activity.

Principal Investigator (PI): Jeff Huffman


A Novel Psychological-Behavioral Intervention to Increase Activity in Type 2 Diabetes (BEHOLD-16)
A psychological-behavioral intervention for physical activity in type 2 diabetes

American Diabetes Association (1-17-ICTS-099)

This is a 16-week study of a phone-based combined Positive Psychology-Motivational Interviewing intervention aimed to improve physical activity in patients who have type 2 diabetes and are suboptimally physically active. It will involve two parts: 1) a single-arm trial to assess feasibility and 2) a larger 16-week randomized trial in which the PP-MI program is tested against an attentional control condition.

Principal Investigator (PI): Jeff Huffman


Researching Emotions and Cardiac Health (REACH)
A positive psychology intervention to promote health behaviors in patients with heart failure: A randomized, controlled pilot trial
National Institutes of Health (K232017P001584)

This project evaluated an optimized positive psychological intervention for patients with heart failure to explore potential benefits of the intervention on outcomes of interest (e.g., psychological health, functioning, and health behavior adherence) compared to a motivational interviewing- (MI) based education condition and treatment as usual (TAU).

Principal Investigator (PI): Christopher Celano


Piloting Text Messages to Promote Positive Affect and Physical Activity (PERSONAL)

Donor funding

This is a pilot one-arm project delivering text messages related to positive psychology (PP) activities and health behavior text messages (e.g. having a heart-healthy diet, becoming more physically active) in patients with post-acute coronary syndrome. The project aims to use an adaptive algorithm that selects messages based on individual participant ratings, delivering an increasingly tailored set of text messages over time.

Principal Investigator (PI): Jeff Huffman 

Selected Publications

Huffman JC, Millstein RA, Celano CM, Healy BC, Park ER, Collins LM. Developing a Psychological-Behavioral Intervention in Cardiac Patients Using the Multiphase Optimization Strategy: Lessons Learned From the Field. Ann Behav Med. 2019 Oct 5 [Epub ahead of print].


Nikrahan GR, Eshaghi L, Massey CN, Hemmat A, Amonoo HL, Healy BC, Huffman JC. Randomized controlled trial of a well-being intervention in cardiac patients. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2019 Jun 14 [Epub ahead of print].


Duque L, Brown L, Celano CM, Healy B, Huffman JC. Is it better to cultivate positive affect or optimism? Predicting improvements in medical adherence following a positive psychology intervention in patients with acute coronary syndrome. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2019.


Brown L, Karmakar C, Flynn M, Motin MA, Palaniswami M, Celano CM, Huffman JC. A Self-Compassion Group Intervention for Patients Living With Chronic Medical Illness: Treatment Development and Feasibility Study. Prim Care Companion CNS Disorders 2019; 21(5).


Bentley KH, Kleiman EM, Elliott G, Huffman JC, Nock MK. Real-time monitoring technology in single-case experimental design research: Opportunities and challenges. Behav Res Ther 2019; 117:87-96.


Feig EH, Healy BC, Celano CM, Nikrahan GR, Moskowitz JT, Huffman JC. Positive psychology interventions in patients with medical illness: What predicts improvement in psychological state? Int J Wellbeing 2019; 9(2).


Huffman JC, Feig EH, Millstein RA, Freedman M, Healy BC, Chung QJ, Amonoo HL, Malloy L, Slawsby E, Januzzi JL, Celano CM. Usefulness of a positive psychology-motivational interviewing intervention to promote positive affect and physical activity after an acute coronary syndrome. Am J Cardiol 2019; 123(12); 1906-1914.


Hernandez R, Daviglus ML, Martinez L, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Huffman JC, Ramirez F, Tito L, Moskowitz JT. "iAlegrate!"-A culturally adapted positive psychological intervention for Hispanics/Latinos with hypertension: Rationale, design, and methods. Contemp Clin Trials Commun 2019; 14:100348.


Feig EH, Golden J, Huffman JC. Emotional Impact on Health Behavior Adherence  After Bariatric Surgery: What About Positive Psychological Constructs? Obes Surg 2019; 29(7):2238-2246.


Millstein RA, Chung WJ, Hoeppner BB, Boehm JK, Legler SR, Mastromauro CA, Huffman JC. Development of the State Optimism Measure. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2019; 58:83-93.


Amonoo HL, Brown LA, Scheu CF, Millstein RA, Pirl WF, Vitagliano HL, Antin JH, Huffman JC. Positive psychological experiences in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Psychooncology 2019; 28(8):1633-1639.


Huffman JC, Legler S, Millstein RA, Gomez-Bernal F, Celano CM, Chung WJ, Healy BC. Does timeframe adjustment of the Life Orientation Test-Revised assess optimism as a state? J Pos Psychol 2019; 14:6,799-806.


Bentley KH, Kleiman EM, Elliott G, Huffman JC, Nock MK. Real-time monitoring technology in single-case experimental design research: Opportunities and challenges. Behav Res Ther 2019; 117:87-96.


Celano CM, Gianangelo T, Millstein RA, Huffman JC. A positive psychology-motivational interviewing intervention for patients with type 2 diabetes: proof-of-concept trial. Int J Psychiatry Med 2019; 54(2):97-114. 


Legler S, Beale EE, Celano CM, Beach SR, Healy BC, Huffman JC. State gratitude for one’s life and health after an acute coronary syndrome: prospective associations with physical activity, medical adherence and re-hospitalizations. J Posit Psychol 2019; 14(3):283-291.


Celano CM, Freedman ME, Beale EE, Gomez-Bernal F, Huffman JC.  A positive psychology intervention to promote health behaviors in heart failure: a proof-of-concept trial: The REACH for Health Study.  J Nerv Ment Dis 2018; 206(10):800-808.


Legler S, Celano CM, Amador A, Novis A, Ebrahim S, Huffman JC.  Development and theoretical approach to an adaptive text message program to promote well-being and health behaviors in primary care patients. Primary Care Companion CNS Disord 2018; 20(5): pii: 18br02353.


Mou D, Beck S, Fedor S, Kleiman E, Huffman JC, Nock MK. Negative affect is more strongly associated with suicidal thinking among suicidal patients with borderline personality disorder than those without. J Psychiatr Res 2018; 104:198-201 


Campbell KA, Healy BC, Celano CM, Albanese AA, Millstein RA, Huffman JC. Predictors of completion of a psychological-behavioral intervention in acute coronary syndrome patients.  J Psychosom Res 2018; 112:9-12.


Bhasin MK, Denninger JW, Huffman JC, Joseph MG, Niles H, Chad-Friedman E, Goldman R, Buczynski-Kelley B, Mahoney BA, Fricchione GL, Dusek JA, Benson H, Zusman RM, Libermann TA. Specific transcriptome changes associated with blood pressure reduction in hypertensive patients after relaxation response training. J Altern Complement Med 2018; 24:486-504.


Kleiman EM, Turner BJ, Fedor S, Beale EE, Picard RW, Huffman JC, Nock MK. Digital phenotyping of suicidal thoughts. Depress Anxiety 2018; 35:601-608.


Celano CM, Albanese AM, Millstein RA, Mastromauro CA, Chung WJ, Campbell KA, Legler SR, Park ER, Healy BC, Collins LM, Januzzi JL, Huffman JC. Optimizing a positive psychology intervention to promote health behaviors following an acute coronary syndrome: The Positive Emotions after Acute Coronary Events-III (PEACE-III) randomized factorial trial. Psychosom Med. 2018 Apr 5.


Celano CM, Gomez-Bernal F, Mastromauro CA, Beale EE, DuBois CM, Auerbach RP, Huffman JC. A positive psychological intervention in bipolar disorder. J Ment Health 2018; 1-9.


Hawkins M, Schaffer A, Sinyor M, Nishikawa Y, Herrmann N, Lanctôt KL, Styra R, Pompili M, Huffman JC. Suicide deaths by intentional self-poisoning in people with cardiovascular disease. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2018; 52:41-47.


Madva E, Gomez-Bernal F, Huffman JC. Magnitude and sources of distress in mid-life adults with chronic medical illness: an exploratory mixed-methods analysis. Psychol Health Med 2018; 23:555-566.


Millstein RA, Quintiliani LM, Sharpe AL. Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) position statement: Increasing funding for the NIH OBSSR to promote timely and effective behavioral medicine research. Transl Behav Med. 2018 Mar 1;8(2):309-312.


Mohammadi N, Aghayousefi A, Nikrahan GR, Adams CN, Alipour A, Sadeghi M, Roohafza H, Celano CM, Huffman JC. A randomized trial of an optimism training intervention in patients with heart disease. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2018 Mar - Apr;51:46-53.


Leclaire K, Cecil A, LaRussa A, Stuart F, Hemond CC, Healy BC, Chitnis T, Weiner H, Huffman JC, Glanz BI. A pilot study of a group positive psychology intervention for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Int J MS Care 2018; 20:136-141.


Massey CN, Feig EH, Duque-Serrano L, Huffman JC. Psychological Well-Being and Type 2 Diabetes. Curr Res Diabetes Obes J. 2017 Oct;4(4). pii: 555641.


Beach SR, Celano CM, Sugrue AM, Adams C, Ackerman MJ, Noseworthy PA, Huffman JC. QT Prolongation, Torsades de Pointes, and Psychotropic Medications: A 5-Year Update. Psychosomatics. 2018 Mar - Apr;59(2):105-122.


Cain KL, Gavand KA, Conway TL, Geremia CM, Millstein RA, Frank LD, Saelens BE, Adams MA, Glanz K, King AC, Sallis JF. Developing and Validating an Abbreviated Version of the Microscale Audit for Pedestrian Streetscapes (MAPS-Abbreviated). J Transp Health. 2017 Jun;5:84-96. Epub 2017 May 26.


Huffman JC, Adams CN, Celano CM. Collaborative Care and Related Interventions in Patients With Heart Disease: An Update and New Directions. Psychosomatics. 2018 Jan - Feb;59(1):1-18. Epub 2017 Sep 18.


Madva EN, Gomez-Bernal F, Millstein RA, Celano CM, Park ER, Mastromauro CA, Albanese AM, Beale EE, Huffman JC. Magnitude and sources of distress in mid-life adults with chronic medical illness: an exploratory mixed-methods analysis. Psychol Health Med. 2018 Jun;23(5):555-566.


Villegas AC, DuBois CM, Celano CM, Beale EE, Mastromauro CA, Stewart JG, Auerbach RP, Huffman JC, Hoeppner BB. A longitudinal investigation of the Concise Health Risk Tracking Self-Report (CHRT-SR) in suicidal patients during and after hospitalization. Psychiatry Res. 2017 Sep 20. pii: S0165-1781(16)31863-7.


McCoy TH, Castro VM, Snapper L, Hart K, Januzzi JL, Huffman JC, Perlis RH. Polygenic loading for major depression is associated with specific medical comorbidity. Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Sep 19;7(9):e1238.


Beach SR, Gomez-Bernal F, Huffman JC, Fricchione GL. Alternative treatment strategies for catatonia: A systematic review. Gen. Hosp. Psychiatry. 2017;48:1-19.


Huffman JC, Legler SR, Boehm JK. Positive psychological well-being and health in patients with heart disease: a brief review. Future Cardiol. 2017 Aug 22.


Kaar JL, Luberto CM, Campbell KA, Huffman JC. Sleep, health behaviors, and behavioral interventions: Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults. World J Cardiol. 2017 May 26;9(5):396-406.


Kleiman EM, Turner BJ, Fedor S, Beale EE, Huffman JC, Nock MK. Examination of real-time fluctuations in suicidal ideation and its risk factors: Results from two ecological momentary assessment studies. J Abnorm Psychol. 2017 Aug;126(6):726-738.


Huffman JC, Millstein RA, Mastromauro CA, Moore SV, Celano CM, Bedoya CA, Suarez L, Boehm JK, Januzzi JL. A Positive Psychology Intervention for Patients with an Acute Coronary Syndrome: Treatment Development and Proof-of-Concept Trial. J Happiness Stud. 2016 Oct;17(5):1985-2006.


Celano CM, Beale EE, Mastromauro CA, Stewart JG, Millstein RA, Auerbach RP, Bedoya CA, Huffman JC. Psychological interventions to reduce suicidality in high-risk patients with major depression: a randomized controlled trial. Psychol Med 2016;47(5):810-821.


Campbell KA, Madva E, Villegas AC, Beale EE, Beach SR, Wasfy J, Albanese AM, Huffman JC. Non-cardiac Chest Pain: A Review for the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatrist. Psychosomatics 2016;58(3):252-265.


Celano CM, Beale EE, Beach SR, Belcher AM, Suarez L, Motiwala SR, Gandhi PU, Gaggin H, Januzzi JL Jr, Healy BC, Huffman JC. Associations Between Psychological Constructs and Cardiac Biomarkers After Acute Coronary Syndrome. Psychosom Med. 2016;79(3):318-326.


Kubzansky LD, Kim ES, Salinas J, Huffman JC, Kawachi I. Happiness, health, and mortality. Lancet. 2016;388(10039):27.


Panagioti M, Bower P, Kontopantelis E, Lovell K, Gilbody S, Waheed W, Dickens C, Archer J, Simon G, Ell K, Huffman JC, Richards DA, van der Feltz-Cornelis C, Adler DA, Bruce M, Buszewicz M, Cole MG, Davidson KW, de Jonge P, Gensichen J, Huijbregts K, Menchetti M, Patel V, Rollman B, Shaffer J, Zijlstra-Vlasveld MC, Coventry PA. Association Between Chronic Physical Conditions and the Effectiveness of Collaborative Care for Depression: An Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(9):978-989.


Celano CM, Daunis DJ, Lokko HN, Campbell KA, Huffman JC. Anxiety disorders and cardiovascular disease. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2016, Nov; 18(11):101.


Huffman JC, Albanese AM, Campbell KA, Celano CM, Millstein RA, Mastromauro CA, Healy BC, Chung WJ, Januzzi JL, Collins LM, Park ER. The Positive Emotions after Acute Coronary Events (PEACE) Behavioral Health Intervention: Design, Rationale, and Preliminary Feasibility of a Factorial Design Study. Clinical Trials. 2017 Apr;14(2):128-139.


Millstein, RA, Celano, CM, Beale, EE, Beach, SR, Suarez, L, Belcher AM, Januzzi, JL, Huffman, JC. The effects of optimism and gratitude on adherence, functioning, and mental health following an acute coronary syndrome. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2016, 43:17-22.


Rundell JR, Huffman JC. The COMPASS initiative: implementing a complex integrated care program. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2016, Jul 12. pii: S0163-8343(16)30168-2.


DuBois CM, Millstein RA, Celano CM, Wexler DJ, Huffman JC. Feasibility and Acceptability of a Positive Psychological intervention for patients with type 2 diabetes. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2016, May 5;18(3).


Nikrahan GR, Suarez L, Asgari K, Beach SR, Celano CM, Kalantari M, Abedi MR, Etesampour A, Abbas R, Huffman JC. Positive Psychology Interventions for Patients With Heart Disease: A Preliminary Randomized Trial. Psychosomatics. 2016;57(4):348-358.


Nikrahan GR, Laferton JA, Asgari K, Kalantari M, Abedi MR, Etesampour A, Rezaei A, Suarez L, Huffman JC. Effects of Positive Psychology Interventions on Risk Biomarkers in Coronary Patients: A Randomized, Wait-List Controlled Pilot Trial. Psychosomatics. 2016;57(4):359-368.


Soule MC, Beale EE, Suarez L, Beach SR, Mastromauro CA, Celano CM, Moore SV, Huffman JC. Understanding motivations to participate in an observational research study: Why do patients enroll? Soc Work Health Care. 2016;55(3):231-246.


Celano CM, Healy B, Suarez L, Levy DE, Mastromauro C, Januzzi JL, Huffman JC. Cost-Effectiveness of a Collaborative Care Depression and Anxiety Treatment Program in Patients with Acute Cardiac Illness. Value Health. 2016;19(2):185-191.


Huffman JC, Beale EE, Celano CM, Beach SR, Belcher AM, Moore SV, Suarez L, Motiwala SR, Gandhi PU, Gaggin HK. Effects of Optimism and Gratitude on Physical Activity, Biomarkers, and Readmissions After an Acute Coronary Syndrome The Gratitude Research in Acute Coronary Events Study. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2016;9(1):55-63.


Huffman JC, Boehm JK, Beach SR, Beale EE, DuBois CM, Healy BC. Relationship of optimism and suicidal ideation in three groups of patients at varying levels of suicide risk. J Psychiatr Res. 2016;77:76-84.


Nikrahan GR, Laferton JA, Asgari K, Kalantari M, Abedi MR, Etesampour A, Rezaei A, Suarez L, Huffman JC. Effects of Positive Psychology Interventions on Risk Biomarkers in Coronary Patients: A Randomized, Wait-List Controlled Pilot Trial. Psychosomatics. 2016;57(4):359-368.


Freudenreich O, Huffman JC, Sharpe M, Beach SR, Celano CM, Chwastiak LA, Cohen MA, Dickerman A, Fitz-Gerald MJ, Kontos N, Mittal L, Nejad SH, Niazi S, Novak M, Philbrick K, Rasimas JJ, Shim J, Simpson SA, Walker A, Walker J, Wichman CL, Zimbrean P, Sollner W, Stern TA. Updates in Psychosomatic Medicine: 2014. Psychosomatics. 2015;56(5):445-459.


Huffman JC, Celano CM. Depression in cardiovascular disease: From awareness to action. Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2015;25(7):623-624.


Beach SR, Walker J, Celano CM, Mastromauro CA, Sharpe M, Huffman JC. Implementing collaborative care programs for psychiatric disorders in medical settings: a practical guide. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2015;37(6):522-527.


DuBois CM, Lopez OV, Beale EE, Healy BC, Boehm JK, Huffman JC. Relationships between positive psychological constructs and health outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease: a systematic review. Int J Cardiol. 2015;195:265-280.


Suarez L, Beach SR, Moore SV, Mastromauro CA, Januzzi JL, Celano CM, Chang TE, Huffman JC. Use of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and a detailed suicide evaluation in determining imminent suicidality in distressed patients with cardiac disease. Psychosomatics. 2015;56(2):181-189.


Huffman JC, Beale EE, Beach SR, Celano CM, Belcher AM, Moore SV, Suarez L, Gandhi PU, Motiwala SR, Gaggin H, Januzzi JL. Design and baseline data from the Gratitude Research in Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) study. Contemp Clin Trials. 2015;44:11-19.


Celano CM, Millstein RA, Bedoya CA, Healy BC, Roest AM, Huffman JC. Association between anxiety and mortality in patients with coronary artery disease: a meta-analysis. Am Heart J. 2015;170(6):1105-1115.


Huffman J, Millstein R, Mastromauro C, Moore S, Celano C, Bedoya C, Suarez L, Boehm J, Januzzi J. A Positive Psychology Intervention for Patients with an Acute Coronary Syndrome: Treatment Development and Proof-of-Concept Trial. J Happiness Stud. 2015:1-22.


Huffman JC, DuBois CM, Millstein RA, Celano CM, Wexler D. Positive psychological interventions for patients with type 2 diabetes: rationale, theoretical model, and intervention development. J Diabetes Res. 2015;2015:428349.


Huffman JC, Moore SV, DuBois CM, Mastromauro CA, Suarez L, Park ER. An exploratory mixed methods analysis of adherence predictors following acute coronary syndrome. Psychol Health Med. 2015;20(5):541-550.


Huffman JC, DuBois CM, Mastromauro CA, Moore SV, Suarez L, Park ER. Positive psychological states and health behaviors in acute coronary syndrome patients: A qualitative study. J Health Psychol. 2014 64:27-34.


Beach SR, Kostis WJ, Celano CM, Januzzi JL, Ruskin JN, Noseworthy PA, Huffman JC. Meta-analysis of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor-associated QTc prolongation. J Clin Psychiatry. 2014;75(5):e441-449.


Huffman JC, Niazi SK, Rundell JR, Sharpe M, Katon WJ. Essential articles on collaborative care models for the treatment of psychiatric disorders in medical settings: a publication by the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine Research and Evidence-Based Practice Committee. Psychosomatics. 2014;55(2):109-122.


Huffman JC, Mastromauro CA, Beach SR, Celano CM, DuBois CM, Healy BC, Suarez L, Rollman BL, Januzzi JL. Collaborative care for depression and anxiety disorders in patients with recent cardiac events: the Management of Sadness and Anxiety in Cardiology (MOSAIC) randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(6):927-935.


Huffman JC, DuBois CM, Healy BC, Boehm JK, Kashdan TB, Celano CM, Denninger JW, Lyubomirsky S. Feasibility and utility of positive psychology exercises for suicidal inpatients. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2014;36(1):88-94.


Denninger JW, Bhasin M, Huffman J, Niles H, Creager M, Pande R, Liberman T, Fricchione G, Benson H, Zusman R. Clinical and genomic effects of a relaxation response-based mind-body intervention in stage I hypertension. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2014;20(5):A54-A54.


Rollman BL, Huffman JC. Treating anxiety in the presence of medical comorbidity: calmly moving forward. Psychosom Med. 2013;75(8):710-712.


Beach SR, Januzzi JL, Mastromauro CA, Healy BC, Beale EE, Celano CM, Huffman JC. Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score and adverse cardiac outcomes in patients hospitalized for acute cardiac disease. J Psychosom Res. 2013;75(5):409-413.


Huffman JC. Review: depression after myocardial infarction is associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events. J Psychosom Res. 2013;16(4):110.


Huffman JC, Beach SR, Suarez L, Mastromauro CA, Dubois CM, Celano CM, Rollman BL, Januzzi JL. Design and baseline data from the Management of Sadness and Anxiety in Cardiology (MOSAIC) randomized controlled trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2013;36(2):488-501.


Celano CM, Suarez L, Mastromauro C, Januzzi JL, Huffman JC. Feasibility and utility of screening for depression and anxiety disorders in patients with cardiovascular disease. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2013;6(4):498-504.


Beach SR, Celano CM, Noseworthy PA, Januzzi JL, Huffman JC. QTc prolongation, torsades de pointes, and psychotropic medications. Psychosomatics. 2013;54(1):1-13.


Sowden GL, Mastromauro CA, Seabrook RC, Celano CM, Rollman BL, Huffman JC. Baseline physical health-related quality of life and subsequent depression outcomes in cardiac patients. Psychiatry Res. 2013;208(3):288-290.


Celano CM, Beale EE, Moore SV, Wexler DJ, Huffman JC. Positive psychological characteristics in diabetes: a review. Curr Diab Rep. 2013;13:917-929.


Huffman JC, Celano CM, Beach SR, Motiwala SR, Januzzi JL. Depression and cardiac disease: epidemiology, mechanisms, and diagnosis. Cardiovasc Psychiatry Neurol. 2013;2013:695925.


Bauer LK, Caro MA, Beach SR, Mastromauro CA, Lenihan E, Januzzi JL, Huffman JC. Effects of depression and anxiety improvement on adherence to medication and health behaviors in recently hospitalized cardiac patients. Am J Cardiol. 2012;109(9):1266-1271.


DuBois CM, Beach SR, Kashdan TB, Nyer MB, Park ER, Celano CM, Huffman JC. Positive psychological attributes and cardiac outcomes: associations, mechanisms, and interventions. Psychosomatics. 2012;53(4):303-318.


Caro MA, Sowden GL, Mastromauro CA, Mahnks S, Beach SR, Januzzi JL, Huffman JC. Risk factors for positive depression screens in hospitalized cardiac patients. J Cardiol. 2012;60(1):72-77.


Wexler DJ, Porneala B, Chang Y, Huang ES, Huffman JC, Grant RW. Diabetes differentially affects depression and self-rated health by age in the U.S. Diabetes Care. 2012;35(7):1575-1577.


Celano CM, Mastromauro CA, Lenihan EC, Januzzi JL, Rollman BL, Huffman JC. Association of baseline anxiety with depression persistence at 6 months in patients with acute cardiac illness. Psychosom Med. 2012;74(1):93-99.


Celano CM, Huffman JC. Depression and cardiac disease: a review. Cardiol Rev. 2011;19(3):130-142.


Huffman JC, Mastromauro CA, Sowden G, Fricchione GL, Healy BC, Januzzi JL. Impact of a depression care management program for hospitalized cardiac patients. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2011;4(2):198-205.


Huffman JC, Mastromauro CA, Sowden GL, Wittmann C, Rodman R, Januzzi JL. A collaborative care depression management program for cardiac inpatients: depression characteristics and in-hospital outcomes. Psychosomatics. 2011;52(1):26-33.


Huffman JC, Mastromauro CA, Boehm JK, Seabrook R, Fricchione GL, Denninger JW, Lyubomirsky S. Development of a positive psychology intervention for patients with acute cardiovascular disease. Heart Int. 2011;6(2):e14.


Bauer LK, Huffman JC. Is low cholesterol associated with depression in cardiac patients? Int J Cardiol. 2010;145(3):537-539.


Sowden G, Mastromauro CA, Januzzi JL, Fricchione GL, Huffman JC. Detection of depression in cardiac inpatients: feasibility and results of systematic screening. Am Heart J. 2010;159(5):780-787.


Huffman JC, Celano CM, Januzzi JL. The relationship between depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndromes. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2010;6:123-136.


Huffman JC, Doughty CT, Januzzi JL, Pirl WF, Smith FA, Fricchione GL. Screening for major depression in post-myocardial infarction patients: operating characteristics of the Beck Depression Inventory-II. Int J Psychiatry Med. 2010;40(2):187-197.


Huffman JC, Smith FA, Fricchione GL, Januzzi JL, Nadelman S, Pirl WF. Depression and failure of cholesterol lowering after acute myocardial infarction. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2010;12(1):PCC.08m00766.


Huffman JC. Could being happy give you a healthy heart? Future Cardiol. 2009;5(4):325-327.


Sowden GL, Huffman JC. The impact of mental illness on cardiac outcomes: a review for the cardiologist. Int J Cardiol. 2009;132(1):30-37.


Huffman JC, Smith FA, Blais MA, Taylor AM, Januzzi JL, Fricchione GL. Pre-existing major depression predicts in-hospital cardiac complications after acute myocardial infarction. Psychosomatics. 2008;49(4):309-316.


Huffman JC, Smith FA, Blais MA, Januzzi JL, Fricchione GL. Anxiety, independent of depressive symptoms, is associated with in-hospital cardiac complications after acute myocardial infarction. J Psychosom Res. 2008;65(6):557-563.


Group Members

Jeff Huffman

Jeff Huffman, MD, is the Director of the Cardiac Psychiatry Research Program (CPRP), Director of Inpatient Psychiatry Research, and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He currently serves as principal investigator for over ten projects, and has been awarded grants from the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, the Templeton Foundation, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health (NHLBI and NIDDK). He has numerous peer-reviewed publications, including 100 first or senior author publications. He has mentored post doctoral psychology fellows, junior psychiatrist and psychologist faculty, medical students, psychiatry residents, research fellows, psychologists, social workers, and he received the 2015 MGH Psychiatry Outstanding Research Mentor Award. His areas of interest include the impact of psychiatric illness on patients with cardiac disease, and the development and use of positive psychological interventions in a wide range of populations.


Christopher Celano

Christopher Celano, MD, is an attending psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and the Associate Director of the CPRP. He is the recipient of a K23 career development award sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to develop a psychological intervention to improve health behaviors in patients with heart failure. He has published over  50 articles with the team, is an active co-investigator on several projects, and serves as the project director of health behavior trials in patients with coronary artery disease and diabetes and collaborative care interventions for depression and anxiety disorders in patients with heart disease. His areas of interest include the impact of depression and anxiety on cardiac health, the management of delirium, and the promotion of positive psychological states and health behaviors in patients with mental illness and cardiovascular disease.


Scott Beach

Scott Beach, MD, is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is Program Director for the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency and an attending psychiatrist on the consultation service at MGH. He is currently PI of a study investigating neuroimaging and gene expression in patients with catatonia prior to and following lysis with lorazepam, and an active co-investigator on multiple projects. He has published over 50 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles on topics including QTc prolongation with psychotropic medications, catatonia, and deception syndromes.


James Januzzi

James Januzzi, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Harvard Medical School, and the Director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a well-established researcher at Mass General with over 300 peer-reviewed research publications, over 100 review articles and chapters, and has edited three text books. He is internationally known as an expert in the study of biomarkers in patients with heart failure and other cardiac illnesses, and has served as a section editor on the recent American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical practice guidelines for heart failure, and was the lead for the heart failure section for the Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction Global Task Force. He has served as the primary cardiologist on projects for the CPRP for the past nine years, including collaborative care depression and anxiety management trials in hospitalized cardiac patients, and studies of positive psychological states in persons with heart disease.


Brian Healy, PhD

Brian Healy, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, a member of the Biostatistics Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Instructor in Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Healy is also the lead biostatistician for the Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center, which is affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital. His primary research interest is statistical methods development and application for modeling of multiple sclerosis. He has been working with the CPRP for the past 5 years, and he has participated in the design and analysis of several studies.


Rachel Miilstein, PhD

Rachel Millstein, PhD, MHS, is a clinical psychologist at MGH and Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health K23 award to develop a multilevel intervention to promote health behaviors among patients with metabolic syndrome. Her research focuses on chronic disease prevention and the intersection of emotions and health. Rachel has authored many peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in these fields. Her clinical interests include evidence-based therapies, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques for improving mood, anxiety, and well-being.


Emily Feig

Emily Feig, PhD, is a clinical psychologist at MGH and Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is a recipient of the Kaplen Fellowship on Depression from Harvard Medical School through which she is developing an intervention to promote physical activity in patients with depressed mood who have had weight loss surgery. Her research interests focus on understanding risk factors for obesity and eating disorders, as well as improving adherence to health behaviors in individuals with obesity-related chronic disease. Clinically, Emily specializes in cognitive behavioral and acceptance-based therapies targeting anxiety, depression, and disordered eating.


Christina Massey

Christina Massey, PhD, is a clinical psychologist at MGH and Instructor at Harvard Medical School. She joined the CPRP in 2017 and is primarily an interventionist for ongoing studies looking to increase physical activity in individuals with a variety of health difficulties and psychosocial stressors. She completed her doctoral training in clinical psychology with a specialization in forensic psychology at The Graduate Center, CUNY at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and her doctoral internship at MGH.  In addition to the CPRP, she is a member of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program and the Rapid Access Psychiatry team.Her clinical and research interests include evidence-based treatments, diagnostic and forensic assessment and evaluation, and facilitating lasting behavioral changes to promote overall well-being.


Wei-Jean Chung, PhD

Wei-Jean Chung, PhD, is a clinical psychologist at MGH and Instructor at Harvard Medical School. She received her doctoral training in clinical psychology at Adelphi University prior to completing her doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at MGH. She is currently an interventionist for the PEACE and BEHOLD Studies at the CPRP. In addition to her involvement with the CPRP, her clinical practice involves caring for people with serious mental illness and complex personality organization across multiple clinical services within MGH Psychiatry, including Primary Care Psychiatry, the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Team, the Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory, and the MGH inpatient psychiatry service.


Franklin King, MD

Franklin King, MD, is an attending psychiatrist at MGH and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  He joined the CPRP in 2018, after completing a fellowship in consult-liaison psychiatry at MGH in 2018 and residency at MGH/McLean in 2017, where he also served as consult-liaison chief resident during his fourth year. He graduated from UMass Medical School in 2013. His clinical interests include disorders at the intersection of medicine and psychiatry, the mind-body interface, and neuropsychiatry.


Elizabeth Madva

Elizabeth Madva, MD, graduated from the MGH/McLean psychiatry residency program in 2019, where she served as a chief resident, and is now participating in a new two year combined clinical and research fellowiship on the MGH psychiatry consultation-liaison service. She graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College in 2015 and from Yale University in 2008, magna cum laude, with a BA in Cognitive Science. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies. She began working with the CPRP in 2016 at the end of her first year of psychiatry residency. Her clinical and research interests fall within the areas of consultation-liaison psychiatry and neuropsychiatry, with special interests in somatic symptom and functional neurological disorders, as well as psychiatric symptoms arising in the context of medical illness.


Hermioni Lokko Amonoo

Hermioni Lokko Amonoo, MD, MPP, is an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS), as well as staff physician on the Medical Psychiatry Service at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). She is also the Associate Training Director of the BWH/HMS psychiatry residency training Program. Her areas of interest include the impact of psychiatric illness, management strategies and palliative care in diverse cancer patients to develop innovative and practical psychological interventions for cancer patients and their care givers. She is currently the principal investigator for a project seeking to develop a positive psychology intervention to improve function and quality of life in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. She is an active co-investigator for the PEACE and TOTAL Health trials and assists with other projects at the CPRP. She is a graduate of the psychosomatic medicine/psycho-oncology fellowship at the BWH and DFCI, the adult psychiatry residency training program at the Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospitals, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 


Margaret C. Bell

Margaret C. Bell, RN, MPH, MS, works as a nurse care manager in the CPRP’s Total Health Study, a blended care intervention trial for patients with comorbid heart disease and mood or anxiety disorders. She is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from Boston College in 1994. Her work at Boston College included publications on Russian immigrant adjustment, effect of post-partum depression on mother-child interaction and domestic violence in pregnant women. She has worked in health care in Jerusalem, Amsterdam, New York, New Hampshire and Boston as a public health nurse, student health nurse, and psychiatric nurse. For the last 20 years she has monitored and managed NIH multi-site research trials in hepatology and cardiac research.


Sonia Kim

Sonia Kim, BA, graduated from UCLA in 2015 summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. She is in her second year with the program and is serving as the primary research coordinator for the MAPP study (a PP-MI behavioral intervention study for patients with metabolic syndrome) and PERSONAL (a text-messaging intervention that utilizes adaptive algorithm for patients with prior ACS). Before joining the CPRP, she worked as a rehabilitation specialist at the Sound End Community Health Center, working with underserved populations. Sonia is interested in studying social and chronic disease epidemiology and is currently applying to programs in public health to begin in Fall 2020.


Lauren Harnedy

Lauren Harnedy, BA, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2019, with a degree in psychology. She is in her first year with the CPRP and primarily manages the MASTERY study, a behavioral intervention which combines positive psychology and motivational interviewing to improve mental health and increase physical activity in midlife adults. Additionally, she is the primary coordinator for the PATH study, a positive psychology intervention for patients with cancer who have recently undergone a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Before joining this group, Lauren worked in the University of Massachusetts’ Clinical Affective Sciences Lab and Affect and Social Cognition Lab, as well as Harvard University’s Nock Lab. In addition to her role at the CPRP, she volunteers for Samaritans, a suicide prevention and crisis hotline in Boston.


Regina Longley

Regina Longley, BA, graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University in 2019, with a degree in Spanish. Currently in her first year with the CPRP, Regina primarily manages the Total Health study, a blended care intervention trial for patients with comorbid heart disease and mood or anxiety disorders. She also works on the Dexmedetomidine and Delirium studies. Previously, Regina worked as Research Assistant in the Early Childhood Cognition Lab at Cornell University, which investigates causal learning, self-control, and free will beliefs in young children. She hopes to apply to medical schools next summer.


Perla Romero, MD

Perla M. Romero, MD, is a research fellow at the CPRP. She was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, where she also attended Universidad de los Andes School of Medicine. During her studies, she was involved in several research projects, including an original investigation analyzing the association between armed conflict, violence and mental health. Her main interests include human behavior, neuroscience and mental health. Perla's main goal is to pursue a psychiatry training in the US, and intends to pursue an academic career dedicated to this specialty.


Henry Onyeaka

Henry K Onyeaka, MD, MPH, is a research fellow at the CPRP. He graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana and recently completed his MPH degree in Quantitative Methods at the Harvard School of Public Health. His clinical interests include digital health, mood disorders, community psychiatry and studying the interactions between mental health and chronic illnesses. At the CPRP, he directs subject screening and data collection for several prospective clinical trials evaluating the role of positive psychology in patients with medical conditions including acute coronary syndrome, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart failure. He also contributes to data analysis and writing manuscripts for publications. Henry intends to apply to Psychiatry residency training this year.


Juliana Zambrano, MD

Juliana Zambrano, MD, is a research fellow at the CPRP. She graduated from Universidad de los Andes School of Medicine in Bogotá, Colombia and is currently completing a Master’s in Public Health at Harvard T.H Chan school of Public Health. Her areas of interest include Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, the mind-body interface, and Population Mental Health. She is currently in charge of medical data collection and participant screening for a study on a collaborative care intervention for patients with acute coronary syndrome and heart failure with psychiatric comorbidities, as well as for positive psychology interventions for individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease. She intends to apply for residency training in psychiatry in the future.


Alba Carillo

Alba Carrillo, PhD, is a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School. She received her doctoral training in psychology research at the University of Valencia (Spain), where she obtained an international and cum laude grade for her PhD. She also holds two MA degrees in psychotherapy. Additionally, she has more than 120 hours of teaching experience at the University of Valencia, and more than 5 years of clinical experience as a therapist. Her research interests lie in the field of Positive Psychology and, more specifically, she focuses on the use of Information and Communication Technologies to deliver and enhance Positive Psychology Interventions.


Rafaela Dos Santos

Rafaela Dos Santos, RN, BSN, is a clinical intern working in the CPRP’s Total Health Study. Rafaela holds a BS in Biology and a BA in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst as well as a BSN from MGH Institute of Health Professions, where she is currently a graduate student working towards her MSN and is scheduled to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner in May of 2020. Rafaela is currently a RN in a pediatric psychiatric inpatient unit. She spent several years prior to nursing school working with adolescents in the mental health field. Rafaela is interested in holistic health, focusing on the interrelationship between the body and mind.