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Dr. Michael Hoerger - Tulane University. New Orleans, LA, US

Dr. Michael Hoerger

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Oncology | Tulane University


As a clinical health psychologist and decision scientist, Dr. Hoerger is Louisiana's leading expert in psycho-oncology research






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Michael Hoerger, PhD, on Early Palliative Care: Study Results




Dr. Hoerger is Louisiana's leading expert in psycho-oncology research. He is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Oncology at Tulane University and a Contributing Member of the Tulane Cancer Center. As a clinical health psychologist and decision scientist, he has devoted his career to conducting interdisciplinary research on quality of life in cancer. In his early career, Dr. Hoerger has published 60 articles and chapters in psychology and medicine, serves as a reviewer for 40 scientific journals, teaches research methodology and statistics, mentors research trainees, provides clinical services, and engages with the community on issues related to work, education, and health. Currently, he serves on the editorial boards of Health Psychology and Psychological Assessment, functions as Tulane's Organizational Lead for the NIH-sponsored Palliative Care Research Cooperative (PCRC), and reviews grants for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the National Cancer Institute's "Deep South" GMaP Region 2. As well, he was Tulane's first faculty member to complete the NIH-sponsored Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center's Roadmap Award. Dr. Hoerger is the founding Director of the Psycho-Oncology Research Program.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Public Health

Translational Psychological Science


Clinical Psychology


Accomplishments (1)

NIH National Research Service Award (professional)

2013 Healthcare Decision Making at the University of Rochester Medical Center

Education (5)

Tulane University, School of Medicine: M.S.C.R. 2016

University of Rochester, Medical Center: Postdoctoral Fellowship 2013

University of Rochester, Medical Center: Internship 2010

Central Michigan University: Ph.D., Clinical Psychology 2010

Michigan State University: B.S., Psychology 2005

Media Appearances (1)

Key Elements in the 'Palliative Care Syringe' Identified

Medscape Medical News  online


"People commonly ask, 'What is it in the palliative care syringe? What is it that we actually do?" said lead author Michael Hoerger, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology, psychiatry, and oncology at Tulane University School of Medicine and the Tulane Cancer Center, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Articles (5)

Self-complexity and socio-emotional adjustment to a romantic event in early adulthood

Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

Laura M. Perry, Michael Hoerger, Brittany D. Korotkin, Samantha J. Saks, Paul R. Duberstein

2019 Self-complexity, the extent that people experience themselves as having a number of distinct and meaningful social roles, may have implications for young adults’ socio-emotional adjustment to romantic life events. Based on prior research, we hypothesized that participants who reported lower self-complexity would have worse adjustment to a negative event (not having a date on Valentine’s Day) but better adjustment to a positive event (having a date). Participants (N = 325) completed measures of self-complexity and depression symptom severity at study entry.

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Conceptualizing and Counting Discretionary Utilization in the Final 100 Days of Life: A Scoping Review

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

P.R. Duberstein, M. Chen, M. Hoerger, R.M. Epstein, S.G. Mohile, F. Saeed, L. Perry, S. Yilmaz, S.A. Norton

2019 There has been surprisingly little attention to conceptual and methodological issues that influence the measurement of discretionary utilization at the end-of-life (DIALs), an indicator of quality care.

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Development and Validation of the Palliative Care Attitudes Scale (PCAS-9): A Measure of Patient Attitudes Toward Palliative Care

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Laura M Perry, Michael Hoerger, Sonia Malhotra, James I Gerhart, Supriya Mohile, Paul R Duberstein

2019 Palliative Care is underutilized, and research has neglected patient-level factors including attitudes that could contribute to avoidance or acceptance of Palliative Care referrals. This may be due in part to a lack of existing measures for this purpose.

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A Validation Study of the Mini-IPIP Five-Factor Personality Scale in Adults With Cancer

Journal of Personality Assessment

Laura M. Perry, Michael Hoerger, Lisa A. Molix & Paul R. Duberstein

2019 The Mini International Personality Item Pool (Mini-IPIP) is a brief measure of the Five-Factor Model of personality with documented validity in healthy samples of adults and could be useful for assessing personality in patient populations such as individuals with cancer. The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Mini-IPIP in 2 samples of adults with cancer. A sample of 369 (Sample 1) and a sample of 459 (Sample 2) adults with cancer completed an online survey including the Mini-IPIP.

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Distress among African American and White adults with cancer in Louisiana

Journal of Psychosocial Oncology

Laura M. Perry, MS, Michael Hoerger, PhD, MSCR, Oliver Sartor, MD & William R. Robinson, MD

2019 Screening for distress is a key priority in cancer care, and African American patients may experience increased distress compared to White patients. However, this question has not yet been addressed in Louisiana. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between African American race and distress at a cancer center in Louisiana.

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