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Susan M. Czajkowski, Ph.D. joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 1987. She is an expert on psychosocial aspects of disease, including the role of social support and depression on disease risk and recovery and the assessment of health-related quality of life and psychosocial functioning in patients with heart, lung, and blood diseases. In her work as a research psychologist at NHLBI, Dr. Czajkowski develops and manages several programs of research within the Behavioral Medicine Scientific Research Group, Division of Prevention and Population Sciences. She is Project Officer for the Enhancing Recovery in Coronary Heart Disease (ENRICHD) Patients Study, a multicenter clinical trial which evaluated the effects of treating depression and low social support in recent heart attack patients.
Dr. Czajkowski also is Project Officer of a study which assessed the post-surgical adjustment of men and women coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery patients. In addition, she manages several research initiatives involving improvement of adherence to lifestyle and medical therapies in patient populations, including minority patients and the medically underserved. In her role as NHLBI Coordinator of Health-Related Quality of Life Studies, she provides guidance to Institute staff and clinical investigators in the design, implementation, and analysis of the health-related quality of life outcomes of patients enrolled in Institute-sponsored clinical research studies.
Dr. Czajkowski received her Ph.D.in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) in 1985. She received her MA in psychology from UMCP in 1981 and graduated summa cum laude in 1978 with a BA from George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Dr. Czajkowski has authored or coauthored over 40 articles on psychosocial aspects of disease. She is a fellow in the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and a member of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.
Areas of Expertise: Psychosocial aspects of disease, including the role of social support and depression on disease risk and recovery; and assessment of health-related quality of life and psychosocial functioning in patients with heart, lung, and blood diseases
April 21, 2014
: Nature Outlook
Treatment: Marginal gains
Behavioural interventions work, but not for everyone, and weight regain is common. Are there better ways to treat obesity? “We have developed some good interventions for weight control, and those can be very effective in helping people achieve clinically significant weight loss,” says Susan Czajkowski, a research psychologist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and the lead project officer of the Obesity Related Behavioral Intervention (ORBIT) trials. “But we need to work on ways to help people initiate these changes in their lives and to stick with them.”
April 1, 2014
: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pitt to study depression, heart failure connection
Heart failure leads to depression. Or is it the other way around? Doctors working on that medical chicken-or-egg issue long have realized an association between heart failure and depression. But questions still remain whether successful treatment of depression for those with heart failure can extend their lives. The University of Pittsburgh has landed a $7.3 million grant through the National Institutes of Health to try answering this question -- and more.