Lara Traeger, PhD

Lara Traeger, PhD

Research Interests: Behavioral aspects of symptom management and quality of life among adults with cancer.



Dr. Traeger is a psychologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She conducts behavioral health research in cancer, with funding from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Traeger also is active in mentoring research fellows and psychology interns. She provides seminars and consultation on statistical modeling, qualitative research, and psychotherapy protocols. Additionally, Dr. Traeger specializes in providing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help patients improve health behaviors and enhance physical and emotional well being. She has served as a therapist on numerous funded trials of CBT for patients with cancer and other chronic conditions.

Research Interests

Dr. Traeger’s research focuses on behavioral aspects of symptom management and quality of life among adults with cancer. This includes developing interventions to help patients reduce depression, anxiety and pain, and manage the challenges of intensive anticancer treatments. She also studies strategies for enhancing resilience among cancer care clinicians.


Selected Publications

Traeger L, Penedo FJ, Gonzalez JS, Dahn J, Lechner S, Schneiderman N, Antoni MH. Illness perceptions and quality of life in men treated for localized prostate cancer. J Psychosom Res. 2009; 67(5): 389-397

Traeger L, Pirl W. Approaching the treatment of depression in elderly cancer patients. Aging Health. 2010; 6(3): 393-403.
3. Traeger L, Greer JA, Fernandez-Robles C, Temel JS, Pirl WF. Evidence-based treatment of anxiety in patients with cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2012; 30(11): 1197-1205.

Traeger L, Penedo FJ, Benedict C, Dahn J, Lechner S, Schneiderman N, Antoni MH. Identifying how and for whom cognitive-behavioral stress management improves emotional well being among recent prostate cancer survivors. Psychooncology. 2013; 22(2): 250-259.

Traeger L, Park ER, Sporn N, Repper-DeLisi J, Convery MS, Jacobo M, Pirl W. Development and evaluation of targeted psychological skills training for oncology nurses in managing stressful patient and family encounters. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2013; 40(4): E327-336.

Traeger L, Cannon S, Keating Nancy L, Pirl WF, Lathan C, Martin MY, He Y, Park, ER. Race by sex differences in depression symptoms and psychosocial service utilization among non-Hispanic black and white patients with lung cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(2): 107-113.

Traeger L, McDonnell T, McCarty C, Greer JA, El-Jawahri A, Temel JS. Nursing intervention to enhance outpatient chemotherapy symptom management: patient-reported outcomes of a randomized controlled trial. Cancer. 2015; 121(21): 3905-3913.


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