Tamara Somers

Overview:

Tamara J. Somers, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and Faculty Member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Somers conducts research developing, testing, and implementing behavioral interventions for pain and other symptoms in patients with chronic disease (e.g., cancer, arthritis). She is particularly interested in developing behavioral interventions that are personalized to the needs of individual patients and using innovative delivery methods (mobile health) to deliver the interventions. Grant awards from the NIH, American Cancer Society, and other funding agencies support her research. Dr. Somers also co-directs a clinical psychology training program at the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) that trains graduate students, clinical psychology interns, and post-doctoral fellows in psychosocial and behavioral symptom management interventions. She is the Director of Research for the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program at DCI. Dr. Somers maintains a small clinical practice at the Duke Faculty Practice at Erwin Square. 

Positions:

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Medicine
School of Medicine

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute
School of Medicine

Education:

Ph.D. 2007

University of Pittsburgh

Grants:

Coping Skills for Colorectal Cancer Survivors with Pain and Distress

Administered By
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Medicine
Role
Co-Sponsor
Start Date
End Date

Behavioral Weight and Symptom Management for Breast Cancer Survivors and Partners

Administered By
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Medicine
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Co-Sponsor
Start Date
End Date

Optimizing Delivery of a Behavioral Cancer Pain Intervention Using a SMART

Administered By
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Medicine
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group (PCRC) Refinement and Expansion

Administered By
Duke Cancer Institute
Role
Co Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Pain Coping Skills Training for African Americans with Osteoarthritis

Administered By
Medicine, General Internal Medicine
Awarded By
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Role
Co Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Publications:

PERCEIVED RISK OF BREAST CANCER, BELIEFS ABOUT MAMMOGRAPHY, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS IN BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS AND HEALTHY WOMEN AT THE TIME OF MAMMOGRAPHY

Authors
Shelby, RA; Keefe, FJ; Bovbjerg, DH; Skinner, CS; Somers, TJ; Soo, MS; Red, S; Stinnett, S; Luce, MF; Sumkin, J
MLA Citation
Shelby, Rebecca A., et al. “PERCEIVED RISK OF BREAST CANCER, BELIEFS ABOUT MAMMOGRAPHY, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS IN BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS AND HEALTHY WOMEN AT THE TIME OF MAMMOGRAPHY.” International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 17, no. SUPPL 1, SPRINGER, 2010, pp. 278–278.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1437105
Source
wos
Published In
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume
17
Published Date
Start Page
278
End Page
278

Predictors of Intervention Session Completion in a Randomized Clinical Trial of a Behavioral Cancer Pain Intervention.

CONTEXT: Some patients with cancer are able to complete psychosocial pain management intervention sessions, and others find it difficult to do so. OBJECTIVES: Conduct a secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial (N = 178) that compared delivery formats (in-person vs. videoconference) of a pain coping skills training (PCST) intervention for patients with cancer to examine if intervention session completion predicts postintervention outcomes of pain severity and interference, psychological distress, physical well-being, and pain self-efficacy; and identify predictors (i.e., demographics, medical characteristics, baseline outcome scores) of session completion. METHODS: Session completion (i.e., completing all four sessions vs. missing at least one session) was tested as a predictor of postintervention outcomes. Predictors of session completion were then examined. RESULTS: In both study conditions combined, PCST session completion predicted improvement from baseline to postintervention in pain severity (β = -0.27; P = 0.03), pain interference (β = -0.25; P = 0.048), and pain self-efficacy (β = 0.23; P = 0.07). Participants in the videoconference condition were significantly more likely than those in the in-person condition to complete all sessions (83% vs. 65%; P = 0.006). Participants with at least some college education (odds ratio [OR] 4.36; P = 0.04), a diagnosis of breast cancer (OR 6.73; P = 0.04), and higher levels of pain self-efficacy (OR 2.32; P = 0.02) were more likely to complete videoconference sessions. Participants who lived closer to the medical center (OR 0.64; P = 0.07), had early stage cancer (OR 3.82; P = 0.07), and fewer medical comorbidities (OR 0.59; P = 0.04) were more likely to complete in-person sessions. CONCLUSION: Completing PCST sessions is important for improving pain outcomes. Efforts to increase session completion (e.g., videoconference delivery) should be considered.
Authors
Winger, JG; Nunez, C; Kelleher, SA; Ingle, KK; Gandhi, V; Keefe, FJ; Somers, TJ
MLA Citation
Winger, Joseph G., et al. “Predictors of Intervention Session Completion in a Randomized Clinical Trial of a Behavioral Cancer Pain Intervention.J Pain Symptom Manage, vol. 59, no. 6, June 2020, pp. 1268–77. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.01.020.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1431410
PMID
32045676
Source
pubmed
Published In
J Pain Symptom Manage
Volume
59
Published Date
Start Page
1268
End Page
1277
DOI
10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.01.020

Evolution of a longitudinal, multidisciplinary, and scalable patient navigation matrix model.

This Longitudinal patient navigation Matrix Model was developed to overcome barriers across the cancer care continuum by offering prepatients, patients, and their families with support services. The extraordinary heterogeneity of patient needs during cancer screening, risk assessment, treatment, and survivorship as well as the vast heterogeneity of oncology care settings make it nearly impossible to follow a static navigation model. Our model of patient cancer navigation is unique as it enhances the traditional model by being highly adaptable based on both patient and family needs and scalable based on institutional needs and resources (eg, clinical volumes, financial resources, and community-based resources). This relatively new operational model for system-wide and systematic navigation incorporates a carefully cultivated supportive care program that evolved over the last decade from a bottom up approach that identified patient and family needs and developed appropriate resources. A core component of this model includes shifting away from department-centric operations. This model does not require a patient to opt in or independently be able to report their needs or ask for services-it is an opt out model. The multidisciplinary "cross-training" model can also facilitate reimbursement and sustainability by clarifying the differentiating actions that define navigation services: identification of barriers to quality care and specific actions taken to overcome those barriers, across the full continue of cancer care from community engagement to survivorship or end-of-life care.
Authors
Corbett, CM; Somers, TJ; Nuñez, CM; Majestic, CM; Shelby, RA; Worthy, VC; Barrett, NJ; Patierno, SR
MLA Citation
Corbett, Cheyenne M., et al. “Evolution of a longitudinal, multidisciplinary, and scalable patient navigation matrix model.Cancer Med, vol. 9, no. 9, May 2020, pp. 3202–10. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/cam4.2950.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1434148
PMID
32129946
Source
pubmed
Published In
Cancer Medicine
Volume
9
Published Date
Start Page
3202
End Page
3210
DOI
10.1002/cam4.2950

Enhancing meaning in the face of advanced cancer and pain: Qualitative evaluation of a meaning-centered psychosocial pain management intervention.

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to obtain patient evaluations of the content, structure, and delivery modality of Meaning-Centered Pain Coping Skills Training (MCPC), a novel psychosocial intervention for patients with advanced cancer and pain. MCPC aims to help patients connect with valued sources of meaning in their lives (e.g., family relationships), while providing training in evidence-based cognitive and behavioral skills (e.g., guided imagery) to reduce pain. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 patients with stage IV solid tumor cancers and persistent pain. Transcripts were analyzed using methods from applied thematic analysis. RESULTS: When evaluating MCPC's educational information and skills training descriptions, participants described ways in which this content resonated with their experience. Many coped with their pain and poor prognosis by relying on frameworks that provided them with a sense of meaning, often involving their personally held religious or spiritual beliefs. They also expressed a need for learning ways to cope with pain in addition to taking medication. A few participants offered helpful suggestions for refining MCPC's content, such as addressing common co-occurring symptoms of sleep disturbance and fatigue. Concerning MCPC's structure and delivery modality, most participants preferred that sessions include their family caregiver and described remote delivery (i.e., telephone or videoconference) as being more feasible than attending in-person sessions. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Participants were interested in an intervention that concurrently focuses on learning pain coping skills and enhancing a sense of meaning. Using remote delivery modalities may reduce access barriers (e.g., travel) that would otherwise prevent many patients from utilizing psychosocial services.
Authors
MLA Citation
Winger, Joseph G., et al. “Enhancing meaning in the face of advanced cancer and pain: Qualitative evaluation of a meaning-centered psychosocial pain management intervention.Palliat Support Care, Mar. 2020, pp. 1–8. Pubmed, doi:10.1017/S1478951520000115.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1434071
PMID
32115006
Source
pubmed
Published In
Palliat Support Care
Published Date
Start Page
1
End Page
8
DOI
10.1017/S1478951520000115

EXTENDING THE REACH OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS FOR CHRONIC PAIN: INNOVATIVE METHODS FOR INCREASING UTILIZATION

Authors
Edmond, SN; Wachholtz, A; Somers, TJ; Kerns, RD
MLA Citation
Edmond, Sara N., et al. “EXTENDING THE REACH OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS FOR CHRONIC PAIN: INNOVATIVE METHODS FOR INCREASING UTILIZATION.” Annals of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 52, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2018, pp. S676–S676.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1319199
Source
wos
Published In
Annals of Behavioral Medicine
Volume
52
Published Date
Start Page
S676
End Page
S676