Overview

Chronic pain in youth with sickle cell disease is a complex complication that can have detrimental effects on all aspects of health-related quality of life. Psychological treatments and behavioral approaches are key components of comprehensive chronic pain management. Dr. Sil’s clinical research interest centers on the assessment and treatment of chronic pain in children and adolescents with complex chronic pain conditions, such as sickle cell disease. Her specialization in pediatric pain management focuses on the development and evaluation of behavioral interventions to promote the health and functioning of children and adolescents with chronic sickle cell pain. Dr. Sil's research program works to identify individual and family psychosocial factors that contribute to the onset and maintenance of chronic sickle cell pain and evaluate the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy interventions for chronic pain.

  • Evaluation of the psychosocial and functional contributors to acute and chronic pain in pediatric sickle cell disease
  • Impact of parent and family functioning on child pain, functioning, and quality of life in pediatric sickle cell disease
  • Longitudinal changes and trajectories of pain frequency and psychosocial functioning in youth with chronic sickle cell pain
  • Qualitative and mixed-method studies on adolescent and parent experiences with chronic sickle cell pain
  • Development and evaluation of cognitive-behavioral interventions for chronic sickle cell pain

Kerri Woodward, PhD (Post-doctoral Psychology Fellow)

Current Project: Psychosocial Risk and Healthcare Utilization in Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease

Email: kerri.eileen.woodward@emory.edu

 

Yelena Johnson, PhD (Post-doctoral Psychology Fellow)

Current Project: Biopsychosocial Factors Associated with Parenting Stress in Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease

Email: yelena.louise.johnson@emory.edu

Alana Leever, PsyD, 2016-2017, Postdoctoral Psychology Fellow

Current position: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Nationwide Children's Hospital 

Sil S, Cohen LL, Bakshi N, Watt A, Hathaway M, Abudulai F, Dampier C. (2020). Changes in pain and psychosocial functioning and transition to chronic pain in pediatric sickle cell disease: A cohort follow-up study. Clinical Journal of Pain, 36, 463-471.

Sil S, Lai K, Lee JL, Gilleland Marchak J, Thompson B, Cohen LL, Lane P, Dampier C. (2020). Preliminary evaluation of the clinical implementation of cognitive-behavioral therapy for chronic pain management in pediatric sickle cell disease. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 49, 102348.

Sil S, Goldstein-Leever A, Travers C, Gilleland-Marchak J, Alexander A, Thompson B, Griffin A, McCracken C, New, T. (2019). Enhancing pain assessment in pediatric sickle cell disease by applying quality improvement science. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 7 (4), 335-346.

Sil S, Cohen LL, Dampier CD. (2019). Pediatric pain screening identifies youth at risk of chronic pain in sickle cell disease. Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 66 (3), e27538-e27546.

Ludwig N, Sil S, Cohen LL, Dampier CD. (2018). Executive function impacts pain coping and health-related quality of life in youth with sickle cell disease. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 43 (1), 1160-1169.

Goldstein-Leever A, Cohen LL, Dampier C, Sil S. (2018). Parent pain catastrophizing predicts child depressive symptoms in youth with sickle cell disease. Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 65 (7), e27027-e27033.

Martin S, Cohen LL, Mougianis I, Griffin A, Sil S, Dampier C. (2018). Stigma and pain in adolescents hospitalized for sickle cell vaso-occlusive episodes. Clinical Journal of Pain, 34 (5), 438-444.

NHLBI: K23

Evidence-based Approaches to Chronic Pain Management in Youth with Sickle Cell Disease

Goal: To characterize the natural course of chronic sickle cell pain in youth and determine psychosocial risk factors that impact chronic pain to inform the development of an adaptive family-focused behavioral intervention that is tailored to meet individual family needs to reduce pain-related disability.

 

Pediatric Research Alliance Pilot Grant - Emory University School of Medicine

Feasibility, Acceptability, and Pilot of an Intervention to Improve Functioning in Adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease

Goal: To refine and pilot test an intervention that involves taking and captioning purposeful photographs that align with The Hero’s Journey to improve mental and physical health. Photos and stories will be uploaded onto an interactive website for youth with sickle cell disease.

Role: Co-I

PI: Cohen

 

Research Initiation Program - Georgia State University 

Framing Opportunities and Challenges Using Stories (FOCUS)           

Goal: To refine and pilot test an intervention that involves taking and captioning purposeful photographs that align with The Hero’s Journey to improve mental and physical health. Photos and stories will be uploaded onto an interactive website for youth recently diagnosed with cancer. 

Role: Co-I

PI: Cohen

  • Health-related quality of life, psychosocial functioning, and coping in children and adolescents with chronic pain
  • Psychosocial risk factors for the development of chronic pain in children and adolescents with sickle cell disease
  • Therapeutic mechanisms and long-term health outcomes following psychological interventions for chronic pain