Faculty Summaries
Suzanne M. Miller, PhD
Suzanne M. Miller, PhD
  • Director, Psychosocial and Biobehavioral Medicine Program
  • Director, Behavioral Center of Excellence in Breast Cancer
  • Director, Intervention Development and Measurement Core of the Cancer Information Service Research Consortium
  • Professor, Cancer Prevention and Control Program
  • Director,
Office Phone: 215-728-4069
Fax: 215-214-1651
Office: P4149
Developing and Evaluating Interventions to Improve How People Cope with Cancer Risk, Disease, and Survivorship

The goal of Dr. Miller’s research is to make cancer prevention-control programs more effective by identifying the distinctive ways in which individuals make decisions, adjust to risk information, and manage recommended medical regimens. Her efforts focus on the application of assessments and interventions that are specifically targeted and tailored to individual and cultural differences among patients and their families. The studies in her program are conceptually derived from our integrative theory-based framework, the Cognitive-Social Health Information Processing model. Based on her model, she is currently exploring the utility of traditional (e.g., print materials, telephone counseling) as well as new technology (e.g., text-messaging, web-based applications) to enhance decision-making for prevention, treatment, and clinical trial options; adherence to recommended screening regimens; adjustment to cancer feedback; and the translation and dissemination of interventions into clinical, community, and other real world service settings. Employing a transdisciplinary team approach, our work is currently focusing on interventions to reduce relapse in smoking cessation; promote cervical screening for abnormal pap smears; enhance quality decisions in genetic testing as well as in early stage breast and prostate cancer; facilitate the transition into survivorship after active treatment for breast and prostate patients; and to develop and test interventions to activate patients to better coordinate their care following a cancer diagnosis, with a particular focus on underserved populations.

Dr. Miller in the News
Check out the recent article featuring Dr. Miller in Coping Magazine discussing Denial - Is it dangerous? Or just a normal reaction to a cancer diagnosis?
Read more.

Based on the model, we have been developing both traditional and new technology interventions that help patients overcome psychosocial barriers to behavioral change, as well as approaches to navigating the health system that help bridge disparities in access to care and thereby contribute to achieving health care quality goals. We are currently exploring decision-making; adherence to recommended screening, prevention, and treatment regimens; adjustment to cancer feedback; biobehavioral linkages from cancer risk through survivorship; and the translation and dissemination of interventions into clinical, community, and other real world service settings. Employing a transdisciplinary team approach, our work focuses particularly on decision making for genetic and biomarker risk feedback, as well as for cancer treatment and clinical trial decision making; cancer prevention and control outreach efforts; biobehavioral factors in tobacco control; and psychosocial, behavioral, cognitive, and systems factors in survivorship, as well as in integrated models of survivorship care.

Description of research projects
Selected Publications
  1. Meropol,N.J., Egleston B.L., Buzaglo J.S., Balshem, A., Benson A.B., Cegala D.J., Cohen R.B., Diefenbach M.A., Miller S.M., Fleisher L., Ross E.A., Schulman K.A., Sulmasy D.P., Weinfurt K.P. (in press). A web-based communication aid for patients with cancer:  The CONNECTtm Study. Cancer. PMC Journal-In Process
  2. Buzaglo J., Miller S.M., Kendall J., Stanton A., Wen KY, Scarpato J, Zhu F., Lyle J. & Rowland J. (2013). Evaluation of the efficacy and usability of the NCI’s Facing Forward Booklet in the cancer community setting. Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice. PMC journal-In Process
  3. Hudson S.V., Miller S.M., Hemer J., Ferrante J.M., Lyle J, Oeffiner K.C. & DiPalo R.S (2012).  Not what I want but maybe what I need:  Adult cancer survivors discuss follow-up in primary care.  Annals of Family Medicine, 10 (5) 418-27. PMID 22966105 PMC Journal-In Process
  4. Marcus A., Diefenbach, M., Stanton A., Miller SM., Fleisher L., Raich P., Morra M., Slevin Perocchia R., Vu Tran Z., & Bright M. (in press).  Cancer Patient and survivor research from the Cancer Information Service Research Consortium:  A preview of three large randomized trials and initial lessons learned.  Journal of Health Communication.  PMC Journal-In Process PubMed
  5. Miller S.M., Hudson S., Egleston B., Manne S., Buzaglo J., Devarajan K., Fleisher L., Millard J., Solarino N., Trinastic J., Meropol N. (2012) The relationships among knowledge, self-efficacy, preparedness, decisional conflict and decisions to participate in a cancer clinical trial.  Psycho-Oncology (epub ahead of print 14 Feb). PMCID: PMC 3374030 PubMed
  6. Wen, K.Y., Miller, S.M.., Stanton, A., Fleisher, L., Morra, M.E., Jorge, A., Diefenbach, M.A., Ropka, M.E., & Marcus, A. (2012). The development and preliminary testing of a multimedia patient-provider survivorship communication module for breast cancer survivors. Patient Education and Counseling. 88(2): 344-49 PMCID: PMC 3419388 PubMed
  7. Miller S.M., Roussi, P., Daly M., & Scarpato J. (2010).  New Strategies in Ovarian Cancer: Uptake and experience of women at high risk of ovarian cancer who are considering risk-reducing salpongo-oophorectomy. Clinical Cancer Research, 16 (21), 5094-5106. PMCID: PMC3107031 PubMed
  8. Miller S.M., Bowen, D.J., Croyle R.T., & Rowland, J.H. (Eds.) (2008). Handbook of Cancer Control and Behavioral Science:  A Resource for Researchers, Practitioners, and Policymakers. Washington, DC:  American Psychological Association.
  9. Miller S.M., McDaniel S.H., Rolland J.S., & Feetham S.L. (Eds.) (2006). Individuals, Families, and the New Era of Genetics: Biopsychosocial Perspectives. NY, NY: W.W. Norton
All publications