I am currently an associate professor with primary affiliation with the Combined Psychology Ph.D. program. I also supervise students in the adult-health psychology training emphasis within the Combined Ph.D. program. My main research interests involve chronic low back pain, outcomes following surgical interventions for low back pain (e.g., lumbar fusion, discectomy, spinal column stimulation, rhizotomy), carpal tunnel syndrome, and college student stress. I am particularly interested in the utility of using pre-surgical psychosocial variables to predict clinical outcomes and medical costs following surgical interventions. I have developed statistical models demonstrating that pre-surgical psychosocial variables are more predictive of long-term patient outcomes and medical costs following surgery than pre-surgical pathophysiology. I currently have ongoing studies involving Utah Workers' Compensation patients who are receiving surgery for low back pain. My students and I are routine presenters at the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) annual research conferences. I am also a manuscript reviewer for Spine, the leading subspecialty journal for the treatment of spinal disorders. My clinical interests are in primary care, health psychology, and behavioral medicine. I currently supervise a number of graduate student health psychology practica including: USU Student Health and Wellness Center, Brigham City Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, and the Cache Valley Cancer Treatment and Research Clinic. I currently teach graduate courses in Health Psychology, Introduction to Psychotherapy, Empirically Supported Treatments (adult), and Research Design and Analysis.
LINK: USU Community Clinic
Research Interests: Health related quality of life, psychosocial predictors of back surgery outcomes, psychological functioning