Technology to Understand and Improve Well-being During Cancer Treatment

"I’m definitely developing more patient/people interaction skills the most. I’ve always been personable, but now I’m learning how to keep it at a professional level. I’ve also learned a lot about data entry and SPSS, which is very important in the psychology world. "


Supervising Faculty:

Carissa A. Low, PhD



Carissa Low



Area of Research:  Clinical health psychology/biobehavioral oncology


Description of Research:

We are conducting several pilot studies aimed at using mobile technology to detect behavior and mood changes and to promote health behaviors during cancer treatment.  These studies focus on patients with gastrointestinal cancer who are undergoing surgery or chemotherapy. Our research uses smartphones and wearable sensors to track changes in physical activity, stress, and symptoms during treatment.  These projects are run out of the Hillman Cancer Center in Shadyside.


Duties of Students:

  • Meeting with participants to administer assessments
  • Preparing study materials and equipment
  • Entering and managing data
  • Communicating with study participants by phone, email, or mail
  • Conducting bibliographic searches and literature reviews
  • Attending weekly lab meetings
  • If interested, analyzing data to write honors thesis and/or papers

Additional Requirements:

  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100- Statistics
  • PSY 0035- Research Methods in Psychology


Terms offered: fall, spring and summer


Number of Students: 1 or 2