The Department of Medical Social Sciences organizes our work along specific scientific themes. These themes capture our efforts to forge scientific innovation and, at the same time, produce meaningful applications that measurably improve public health and well being. These innovations and applications take the following forms:
- Measurement Science
Developing surveys and instruments to measure quality of life, patient reported outcomes, neurocognitive and behavioral assessments; technological tools (hardware, software, database solutions) for electronic warehousing and data mining, assessment, and patient education and training
- Applied Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
Designing research that helps us understand human behavior, perceptions of health and functioning. We address the analytical complexities of integrating behavioral, social and environmental data with the physical and biological aspects of health and illness.
- Phenotypic Measurements
Characterizing clinically relevant behavioral and psychological phenotypes across the human lifespan; understanding their contribution to disease onset, morbidity, and mortality
- Outcomes Science
Developing outcome tools that measure performance and function objectively and subjectively, maximizing information gathered efficiently and toward practical purposes of evaluating healthcare delivery and policy.
- Mechanisms of Health and Disease
Explaining mechanisms of health and healthy functioning, in both the presence and absence of human disease. By collaborating with colleagues in the life sciences, we take an integrated biobehavioral approach to this research.
- Clinical Intervention
Combining behavioral medicine with of computer-based technology and modern measurement tools, we aim to improve patient-physician communication, shared decision-making, and help produce optimal health outcomes in engaged, active patients who participate in their care.
- Underserved and Diverse Populations
Finding ways to eliminate health disparities related to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, culture, literacy, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, gender and disability status; developing health interventions and strategies, and the implementation of cultural competency principles.