Lamia Barakat, PhD


Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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Lamia Barakat's Research Program



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Division of Oncology The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 3510 Civic Center Blvd., 10303 CTRB


pain interventions for pediatric sickle cell disease; family-based interventions to improve adaptation among children with cancer and their caregivers; evidence-based assessment in pediatric oncology

doctoral training in clinical psychology

My federally-funded research program is focused examining risk-and-resistance models of adaptation to pediatric chronic conditions particularly sociodemographic and family factors in quality of life and disease management in pediatric hematology and oncology. Another focus is on translating risk-and-resistance models into empirically supported interventions to improve disease management, school functioning, quality of life in pediatric samples. Within oncology, at present, I have an active research program examining evidenced based assessment in clinical care and posttraumatic stress and posttraumatic growth in survivors of childhood cancer and their caregivers. Future projects involve understanding perceived benefits and barriers to participation in clinical trials and examining engagement of adolescents and young adults with cancer in this decision-making and implications for adherence to treatment and quality of life.


Professor of Clinical Psychology in Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (2013– present)
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (2009 – 2013)


PhD, Clinical-Community Psychology, University of South Carolina (1991)
BA, Psychology, Villanova University (1985)

Extended Bio

My role is to coordinate psychosocial programs for the Division of Oncology at Children's Hospital to provide the most effective support to our patients and their families. The child’s primary oncologist and/or social worker consult psychologists when they believe children with cancer and their families might benefit from additional support and intervention.

As the director of Psychosocial Services, I’m proud of the comprehensive, integrated psychosocial care we provide to children with cancer and their families. These services include social work, child life, teacher and school support -- as well as creative arts therapists and psychologists. Our psychosocial staff members are leaders in the field in psychosocial research on child, sibling and family adaptation to cancer and its treatment. They also excel in psychosocial assessment approaches to guide supportive interventions and interventions that promote resilience during treatment and into survivorship.

Through multiple psychosocial programs for all members of the family, the Division of Oncology provides essential services to help children and their families successfully navigate the diagnosis and treatment process. Typically, every child and family is assigned a social worker and child life specialist. They also have access to hospital teachers and educational liaison to aid school reentry.

In the Division of Oncology at Children's Hospital, psychological services consider the whole child in the context of their developmental level, family and home life, school and community supports and unique strengths and resources. We're interested in understanding who the child and family were before the diagnosis of cancer and what their hopes and dreams are for the future. Together, after standard psychological and behavioral assessment, we work to establish a plan to meet a set of common goals around management of the cancer and treatment, adaptation to hospitalization and transition back to home and school.

My own expertise lies in how children and their families come together to address cancer diagnosis and treatment: how they can collaborate and support each other to meet the challenges of childhood cancer, while improving their quality of life. My research involves examining both risk and resilience when chronic medical conditions in childhood are present, particularly within the family and in the larger cultural context.

In addition to child and caregiver competencies, my work also seeks to understand health disparities relating to follow-up care and participation in clinical research. The ultimate goal is to improve access to the best possible medical and psychosocial treatment for all our children with cancer and their families.


Selected Publications

Dampier, C., & Barakat, L.P.. Sickle cell pain. Textbook of Pediatric Pain. 2014.
Barakat, L.P., Daniel, L.C., & Sills, R.. Functional Symptoms in Hematology/Oncology. Functional Symptoms in Pediatric Diseases: A Clinical Guide. 2014.
Daniel, L.C., Hocking, M., & Barakat, L.P.. Cancer. Clinical Practice of Pediatric Psychology: Cases and Service Delivery. New York: Guilford; 2014.
Schwartz Lisa A, Brumley Lauren D, Tuchman Lisa K, Barakat Lamia P, Hobbie Wendy L, Ginsberg Jill P, Daniel Lauren C, Kazak Anne E, Bevans Katherine, Deatrick Janet A. Stakeholder Validation of a Model of Readiness for Transition to Adult Care. JAMA pediatrics. 2013 Aug.
Noll, R.B., Patel, S. Embry, L., Hardy, K.K., Pelletier, W., Annett, R., Patenaude, A., Lown, A., Sands, S., & Barakat, L.P.. Children?s Oncology Group?s 2013 blueprint for research: Behavioral Sciences. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. Vol 60. 2013 June:1048-1054.
Smith Kelsey E, Patterson Chavis A, Szabo Margo M, Tarazi Reem A, Barakat Lamia P. Predictors of Academic Achievement for School Age Children with Sickle Cell Disease. Advances in school mental health promotion. Vol 6(1) . 2013:5-20.
Noll Robert B, Patel Sunita K, Embry Leanne, Hardy Kristina K, Pelletier Wendy, Annett Robert D, Patenaude Andrea, Lown E Anne, Sands Stephen A, Barakat Lamia P. Children's Oncology Group's 2013 blueprint for research: Behavioral science. Pediatric blood & cancer. Vol 60(6) . 2012 Dec:1048-54.
Marsac Meghan L, Hildenbrand Aimee K, Clawson Kathleen, Jackson Leela, Kohser Kristen, Barakat Lamia, Kassam-Adams Nancy, Aplenc Richard, Vinsel Anne, Alderfer Melissa A. Acceptability and feasibility of family use of The Cellie Cancer Coping Kit. Supportive care in cancer. Vol 20(12) . 2012 Dec:3315-24.
Barakat Lamia P, Patterson Chavis A, Mondestin Valerie, Chavez Veronica, Austin Tahirah, Robinson M Renee, Li Yimei, Smith-Whitley Kim, Cohen Robyn. Initial development of a questionnaire evaluating perceived benefits and barriers to pediatric clinical trials participation. Contemporary clinical trials. Vol 34(2) . 2012 Nov:218-226.
Kazak Anne E, Brier Moriah, Alderfer Melissa A, Reilly Anne, Fooks Parker Stephanie, Rogerwick Stephanie, Ditaranto Susan, Barakat Lamia P. Screening for psychosocial risk in pediatric cancer. Pediatric blood & cancer. Vol 59(5) . 2012 Nov:822-7.