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Pediatric Psycho-Oncology Professionals
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First Name: Joanna

Last Name: Breyer

Position Title: Psychologist

Job Responsibilities: Patient care

Education/Training: Psychology

About Me/My interests: I am a pediatric psychologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital, Boston. Currently my primary clinical work is with pediatric cancer survivors coming to the Perini Quality of Life Clinic. Previously I worked with pediatric cancer patients on treatment and their families with a particular interest in behavioral interventions and play and puppet therapy with younger patients. I ran our psychosocial training program for many years and continue to supervise and to teach. .I designed DFCI’s first “Sibling Day” for siblings of pediatric cancer patients and worked with our local American Cancer Society branch to design a therapeutic day for bereaved siblings.  I worked for five years with a small multi-disciplinary group starting a service to improve the quality of end-of-life care for pediatric patients. I was involved in the creation of a new psychosocial unit including developing guidelines for referrals, delivery of services and multidisciplinary cooperation. I was on the DFCI Ethics Committee for three years.  I am currently involved in a small research project investigating barriers to the transition of childhood cancer survivors to adult medical care.  I have written several book chapters and presented at IPOS meetings and other professional organizations for the past several years on psychosocial issues relating to pediatric oncology.  

Training Opportunities: Yes

My Contact Information:

Address:  Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Pediatric Psychosocial Service, Psycho-Oncology Dept. 44 Binney  St. Boston,  MA. 02115


Phone: 617-632-3059

Topics of Interest for Collaboration: Pediatric cancer survivors, behavioral therapy

Publications that may be of interest to others:  

A. Patenaude, Ph.D., D. Hirsch, MSW, J. Breyer, Ph.D. et. al.  Psychosocial Effects of Transfusion-Related HIV Infection in Pediatric Cancer Patients.  Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 1990: 8(4); 41-58;

J. Breyer, H. Kunin, L. Kalish, A. Patenaude.  The Adjustment of Siblings of Pediatric Cancer Patients - a Sibling and Parent Perspective.  Psycho-Oncology, 1993:2(3); 201-208.

J. Wolfe, J. Hammel, K. Edwards, J. Duncan, M. Comeau, J. Breyer, S. Aldridge et al. Easing of Suffering in Children with Cancer at the End of Life: Is Care Changing? Journal of Clinical Oncology 2008: 26(10):1717-23.

Breyer, J., Sanfeliz, A., Cieurzo, C., Meyer, E.A. Loss and Grief.  In Brown RT (Ed.). Comprehensive Handbook of Childhood Cancer and Sickle Cell Disease: A Biopsychosocial Approach – Oxford University Press.  New York 2006.

Breyer, J. Talking to Children and Adolescents.  In A. Kazak, M. J. Kupst, M. Pao, A.F. Patenaude & L. Wiener (Eds.), Quick Reference for Pediatric Oncology Clinicians: The Psychiatric and Psychological Dimensions of Pediatric Cancer Symptom Management.  IPOS Press.  Charlottesville 2009.


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