Elizabeth Kacel, M.S.


Elizabeth Kacel, M.S. is a graduate student at the University of Florida in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. Elizabeth graduated cum laude from Northwestern University in 2010 with double majors in Psychology and American History. After graduation, Elizabeth worked at Harvard Medical School as a research coordinator at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For two years she coordinated an R01 investigating racial differences in end-of-life decision-making among cancer patients. For one year she conducted patient assessments for an R01 examining the efficacy of a tai chi intervention for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Elizabeth also contributed to an R01 at the Boston Medical Center as a certified yoga interventionist on a study investigating the effectiveness of yoga as an intervention for chronic low back pain among low income individuals.

Elizabeth joined Dr. Deidre Pereira’s Psycho-Oncology Research Lab in 2013. She completed her master’s degree in 2015, and her thesis explored the associations between traumatic life stressors, anxiety, and depression in gynecologic oncology patients. Elizabeth is currently in the Health Psychology track working toward her doctoral degree under the supervision of Dr. Pereira. She is currently collecting data for her dissertation, “Feasibility and Acceptability of a Yoga Intervention for Distress in Women with Gynecologic Cancers.”

Research Focus

Elizabeth’s primary research interests include coping with cancer, stress management, quality of life, and psychoneuroimmunology. She is interested in examining how psychologists can help cancer patients manage the emotional, physical, spiritual, and social challenges of living with cancer. She is also interested in investigating the role of mind-body interventions (e.g., yoga, tai chi, meditation) in improving quality of life among cancer patients and individuals diagnosed with other chronic diseases.

Selected Presentations

Kacel, E.L., Ulfig, C.M., Kirch, J., Padron, A., Esparza-Duran, D., Wong, S., Smith, S.G., Schultz, G.S., Pereira, D.B. (2017). Presurgical sleep quality, individual resilience, and postsurgical inflammation among women with suspected gynecologic cancer. Poster presentation at the 75th Annual Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Seville, Spain.

Kacel, E.L., Ulfig, C.M., & Pereira, D.B. (2016). Daytime dysfunction associated with poor preoperative sleep quality predicts postoperative length of hospital stay among women undergoing surgery for suspected gynecologic cancer. Oral presentation at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Denver, Colorado.

Kacel, E.L., Esparza-Duran, D., Smith, S., Wong, S., Pereira, D.B. (2016). Childhood sexual abuse and cancer processes and outcomes: A systematic review. Poster session at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Denver, Colorado.

Kacel, E.L., Esparza-Duran, D., Fox, R.A., Patidar, S.M., Sannes, T., Smith, S., Telepak, L.C., Wong, S., Shultz, G., Morgan, L.S., and Pereira, D.B. (2015). Behavioral predictors of pro-inflammatory serum IL-6 concentrations in women undergoing surgery for suspected gynecologic cancer. Poster session at the 73rd annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Selected Publications

Kacel, E.L., Whitehead, N.E., & Pereira, D.B. (2017). Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Clinical Health Psychology Practice: Case studies of comorbid psychological distress and life-limiting illness. Behavioral Medicine, 43(3), 156-164, DOI: 10.1080/08964289.2017.1301875.

Nightingale, C.L., Cranley, N.M., Kacel, E.L., Wong, S.S., Pereira, D.B., Carnaby, G. (2014). A review of music interventions during end-of-life care. Open Access Alternative Medicine, 2(1).

Kacel E., Gao X., & Prigerson H.G. (2011). Understanding Bereavement: What Every Oncology Practitioner Should Know. Journal of Supportive Oncology 9(5), 172-80.

Maciejewski P.K., Phelps A.C., Kacel E.L., Balboni T.A., Balboni M., Wright A.A., Pirl W., Prigerson H.G. (2011). Religious Coping and Behavioral Disengagement: Opposing Influences on Advance Care Planning and Receipt of Intensive Care Near Death. Psycho-Oncology, doi: 10.1002/pon.1967.

Lichtenthal, W.G., Nilsson, M., Kissane, D.W., Breitbart, W., Kacel, E.L., Jones, E.C., Prigerson, H.G. (2011) Underutilization of Mental Health Services Among Bereaved Caregivers with Prolonged Grief Disorder. Psychiatric Services, 62(10), 1225-1229.

Trevino, K.M., Maciejewski, P.K., Fasciano, K., Greer, J., Partridge, A., Kacel, E.L., Block, S., Prigerson, H.G.. (2011). Coping and psychological distress in young adults with advanced cancer. Journal of Supportive Oncology, 10(3): 124–130. doi:10.1016/j.suponc.2011.08.005.