Anne Coscarelli, PhD
I was recruited in December of 1992 by the Dean of the UCLA School of Medicine and the Director of the UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center to develop a Center that would provide comprehensive psychosocial care for individuals with cancer and their families. It has evolved over time into a much larger entity with a broader scope and mission. As Founding Director, I feel personally responsible for the programs, staff and services offered at the Center. I believe if I create the right foundation and hire a dedicated staff that understands teamwork, that we will be able to fulfill our mission. I strongly believe that we must take care of the whole person, and not just the disease.
I practice within the Center as a psychologist with almost four decades of experience in oncology and mind/body approaches in addition to the many administrative and supervisory responsibilities. I also believe that it is our responsibility to train the next generation of professionals dedicated to the integration of medicine and psychology in the care of patient with cancer.
I also have been involved in the development of the policy for the California End of Life Option Act and orchestrate the psychosocial support component for patients and families exercising their rights to use aid-in-dying. As part of this I train mental health professionals in helping patients and families to receive high quality end of life care.
I attended the University of California, Santa Cruz and received my B.A. in psychology with honors in 1976. Over the next four years I received an M.A. in clinical psychology with an emphasis in children and families and on my 25th birthday received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis on the psychology of women from the California School of Professional Psychology Los Angeles. I passed my state boards for licensure as a psychologist in California one year later. In 1987 I received the “Outstanding Alumna of the Year Award” for my professional activities and research in the area of psychosocial oncology. In 2007 I received the “Distinguished Service to the Profession of Psychology” award from the Los Angeles County Psychological Association (LACPA) for my work in oncology care as represented in this Center. In 2013 I received the “Outstanding Clinical Care” Award by the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) for my work in the field of psychosocial oncology.
I began my work in the area of cancer at the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VA) in 1980 with a joint appointment at UCLA in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA School of Medicine. For seven years I worked primarily at the VA doing research in the area of rehabilitation needs of individuals with cancer before becoming solely affiliated with UCLA’s School of Medicine as a Research Psychologist. I currently hold academic appointments in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, as an Adjunct Professor of Medicine
As part of a multidisciplinary team of colleagues I received grants from the National Cancer Institute, the Veterans Administration, and UCLA. I developed a tool to assess the needs of individuals with cancer. This tool, the CAncer Rehabilitation Evaluation System (CARES) has become known nationally and internationally through medical and psychological publications as a unique quality of life tool. I have developed a similar tool for patients with HIV infection. I have published in medical and psychological journals and am committed to finding more compassionate ways to support individuals as they make their cancer journey.
In 2017, in addition to being the Founding Director of the Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, I was named the Darcie Denkert Notkin Director of Psychosocial Oncology Care here at UCLA. I am deeply grateful for this honor to be the first Director to carry this name.
Personal Interests and Perspectives
I hold sacred relationships with others. I believe in life long friendships and commitment to family and friends. I see each day as an opportunity to strive to make something better in life, for myself, for someone I love, for someone who needs help. Life has many challenges, and my mother, Kate Coscarelli, who was a novelist and died of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), deeply ingrained in me the determination to find the silver lining in the darkest cloud. I am thankful everyday for this job and the people in my life.
One of the most important things to know about me is that I have had several different names (first and last). I have been known and published under the following names in addition to my current and final names (Anne Coscarelli): Cyndie Coscarelli Schag, Cyndie Schag, Anne Coscarelli Schag, and C. Anne Coscarelli Schag.
Selected Professional Publications
Meyerowitz, B.E., Heinrich, R.L., & Schag, C.C. (1983). A competency- based approach to coping with cancer. In L. Bradley and T.G. Burish (Eds.), Coping with Chronic Disease: Research and Applications. New York: Academic Press.
Heinrich, R.L., Schag, C.C., & Ganz, P.A. (1983). Progress in the treatment of cancer patients: Evaluation of rehabilitation needs. UCLA Cancer Center Bulletin, 10, 8-10.
Schag, C.C., Heinrich, R.L., & Ganz, P.A. (1983). Cancer Inventory of Problem Situations: An instrument for assessing cancer patients’ rehabilitation needs. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 1, 11-24.
Schag, C.C., Heinrich, R.L., & Ganz, P.A. (1984). Karnofsky performance status revisited: Reliability, validity, and guidelines. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2, 187-193.
Heinrich, R.L., Schag, C.C., & Ganz, P.A. (1984). Living with cancer: The Cancer Inventory of Problem Situations. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 40, 972-980.
Heinrich, R.L., & Schag, C.C. (1984). Behavioral medicine approach to coping with cancer: A case report. Cancer Nursing, 7, 243-247.
Kames, L., Naliboff, B., Heinrich, R.L., & Schag, C.C. (1984). The chronic illness problem inventory: Problem oriented psychosocial assessment of patients with chronic illness. International Journal of Psychiatry and Medicine, 14, 65-75.
Heinrich, R.L., & Schag, C.C. (1985). Stress and activity management: Group treatment for cancer patients and spouses. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 439-446.
Ganz, P.A., Schag, C.C., & Heinrich, R.L. (1985). The psychosocial impact of cancer in the elderly: A comparison with younger patients. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 33, 429-435.
Schag, C.C., & Heinrich, R.L. (1986). The impact of cancer on daily living: A comparison with cardiac patients and healthy controls, Rehabilitation Psychology, 31, 157-167.
Heinrich R.L., & Schag, C.C. (1986). Gestion de l’activite et du stress: Traitement de groupe pour les patients atteints d’un cancer. (Group treatment approaches for patients with cancer). Psycholgie Medicale, 18, 687-689.
Ganz, P.A., Rofessart, J., Polinsky, M.L., Schag, C.C., & Heinrich, R.L. (1986). A comprehensive approach to cancer patients’ needs assessment: The Cancer Inventory of Problem Situations (CIPS) and a companion interview, Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 4, 27-42.
Ganz, P.A., Schag, C.C. Polinsky, M.L., Heinrich, R.L., & Flack, V.F. (1987). Rehabilitation needs and breast cancer: The first month after primary therapy, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 10, 243-253.
Polinsky, M.L., Ganz, P.A., Rofessart-O’Berry, J., Heinrich, R.L., & Schag, C.C. (1987). Developing a comprehensive network of rehabilitation resources for referral of cancer patients, Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 5, 1-10.
Heinrich, R.L., & Schag, C.C. (1987). Psychosocial impact of cancer: Cancer patients and healthy controls, Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 5, 75-92.
Ganz, P.A., Schag, C.C., & Heinrich, R.L. (1989). Information about work from studies with the Cancer Inventory of Problem Situations. In I. Barofsky (Ed.) Work and illness: The cancer patient. New York: Praeger Publishing Co, 117-132.
Schag, C.C. & Heinrich, R.L. (1989). Anxiety in Medical Situations: Adult Cancer Patients. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45.
Ganz, P.A., Polinsky, M.L., Schag, C.C., & Heinrich, R.L. (1989). Rehabilitation of patients with primary breast cancer: Assessing the impact of adjuvant therapy, Recent Results in Cancer Research, 115, 244-254.
Meyerowitz, B.E., Heinrich, R.L., & Schag, C.A.C. (1989). Helping patients cope with cancer, Oncology, 3, 120-126.
Ganz, P.A., Schag, C.C., & Heinrich, R.L. (1990). Cancer Rehabilitation In C.M. Haskell, (Ed.) Cancer Treatment, Third Edition, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia.
Schag, C.A.C, Heinrich, R.L., Aadland, R.L., & Ganz, P.A. (1990). Assessing problems of cancer patients: Psychometric properties of the Cancer Inventory of Problem Situations, Health Psychology, 9, 83-102.
Ganz, P.A., Schag, C.A.C., & Cheng, H. (1990). Assessing the quality of life in newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 43,75-86.
Schag, C.A.C. & Heinrich, R.L. (1990). Developing a comprehensive tool: The CAncer Rehabilitation Evaluation System,Oncology, 4, 135-138
Schag, C.A.C., Ganz, P.A., & Heinrich, R.L. (1991). CAncer Rehabilitation Evaluation System Short-Form (CARES-SF): A Cancer Specific Rehabilitation and Quality of Life Instrument, Cancer, 68, 1406-1413.
Ganz, P.A. Schag, C.A.C., Lee, J.J., Polinsky, M.L. Tan, S-J: (1992). Breast Conservation versus Mastectomy: Is there a difference in psychological adjustment or quality of life in the year after surgery?, Cancer, 69, 1729- 1738.
Ganz, P.A., Lee, J.J., Sim, M-S, Polinsky, M.L., Schag, C.A.C. (1992). Exploring the influence of multiple variables on the relationship of age to quality of life in women with breast cancer. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 45, 473- 485.
Ganz, P.A. Schag, C.A.C., Lee, J.J., Sim, M-S. (1992). The CARES: A generic measure of health-related quality of life for cancer patients. Quality of Life Research, 1, 19-29.
Schag, C.A.C., Ganz, P.A., Kahn, B., Petersen, L. (1992). Assessing the needs and quality of life of patients with HIV infection: Development of the HIV Overview of Problems-Evaluation System. Quality of Life Research, 1, 397-413.
Schag, C.A.C., Ganz, P.A., Polinsky, M.L., Fred, C., Hirji, K., Petersen, L. (1993). Characteristics of women at risk for psychosocial distress in the year after breast cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 11,783-793.
Ganz, P.A., Hirji, K., Sims, M.S., Schag, C.A.C., Fred, C., Polinsky, M.L . (1993). Predicting psychosocial risk in patients with breast cancer. Medical Care, 31, 419-431.
Ganz, P.A., Schag, C.A.C., Kahn, B., Petersen, L., Hirji, K. (1993). Describing the quality of life impact of HIV infection: Findings from studies with the HIV Overview of Problems-Evaluation System. Quality of Life Research, 2, 109-119.
Ganz, P.A., Schag, A.C. (1993). Nutrition and breast Cancer. Oncology, 7, 71-75.
Ganz, P.A. Schag, C.A.C., Kahn, B. , Petersen, L. (1994). Assessing the quality of life of HIV Infected Persons: Clinical and descriptive Information from studies with the HOPES. Psychology and Health, 9, 93-110.
Schag, C.A.C., Ganz, P.A., Wing, D.S., Sim, M.-S. Lee, J.J. (1994). Quality of life in adult survivors of lung, colon, and prostate cancer. Quality of Life Research, 3,127-141.
Canales, S., Ganz, P.A., Coscarelli, A. (1995). Translation and validation of a quality of life instrument for Hispanic American cancer patients: Methodological considerations. Quality of Life Research, 4, 3-11.
Ganz, P.A., & Coscarelli, A. (1995). Cancer Rehabilitation In C.M. Haskell, (Ed.), Cancer Treatment, Fourth Edition, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia.
Coscarelli, A. (1995). Touched by Cancer: Strategies for Meeting the Challenges. Los Angeles Business Journal, October 9.
Ganz, P.A. & Coscarelli, A. (1995). Quality of life after breast cancer: A decade of research. In J. Dimsdale and A. Baum (Eds.) Quality of Life in Behavioral Medicine Research, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey (97-113).
Ganz, P.A., Coscarelli, A., Fred, C. Kahn, B., Polinsky, M.L., and Petersen, L. (1996). Breast Cancer Survivors: Psychosocial concerns and quality of life. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 38,183-199.
O’Leary, J.F., Ganz, P.A., Wu, A.W., Coscarelli, A., and Petersen, L. (1998). Towards a better understanding of health-related quality of life: A comparison of the Medical Outcomes Study HIV Health Survey (MOS-HIV) and the HIV Overview of Problems-Evaluation System (HOPES). Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology, 17, 433-441.
Gritz ER, Carmack CL, de Moor C, Coscarelli A, Schacherer CW, Meyers EG, Abemayor E. (1999). First year after head and neck cancer: quality of life. J Clin Oncol 17(1): 352-360.
Ganz, P.A., & Coscarelli, A. (2000). Cancer Rehabilitation In C.M. Haskell, (Ed.), Cancer Treatment, Fifth Edition, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia.
Coscarelli, A. (2000) Commentary: Treating cancer as a family disease. Western Journal of Medicine, 173.
Ashing, T.K., Padilla, G., Tejero, J. Kramer, J. Wright, K., Coscarelli, A., Clayton, S., Williams, I. Hills, D. (2004) Understanding the Breast Cancer Experience of Women: A Qualitative Study of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinas and Caucasians, Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 13, 408-428.
Sarna, L, Grannis, F, Coscarelli, A. (2005). Medical and psychosocial issues in lung cancer survivors. In (eds) Chang, AE, Ganz, PA, Hayes, DF, Kinsella, T, Pass, HI, Schiller, JH, Stone, R., Strecher,V, Oncology: An Evidence-Based Approach, New York: Springer.
Sarna, L, Grannis, F, Coscarelli, A. (2007). Medical and psychosocial issues in lung cancer survivors. In (ed) Ganz, PA, Cancer Survivorship: Today and Tomorrow, New York: Springer.
Ganz, PA, Casillas, JN, Coscarelli, A. (2010). Estimating the Human Costs of Cancer Survivorship in Children, Annals of Internal Medicine, 152:7, 465-466.
Coscarelli, A. Psychologists Can Ameliorate the Human Cost of Suffering Caused by Cancer” The Los Angeles Psychologist, May-June 2010, 6-8.
Coscarelli, A. Recklitis, C., Ahmed, K. (2011). Long-term Psychological Well-being: Strategies for Assessment and Intervention. In Feuerstein, M. & Ganz, P.A. (eds). Health Services for Cancer Survivors, New York: Springer.
Coscarelli, A. Psychologists and Physicians: Integrative Oncology, The Los Angeles Psychologist, Featured Article, Summer 2015, 10-11.
Ahmed, K, Marchand, E, Williams, V, Ganz, PA, Coscarelli, A. (2016) Development and Pilot Testing of a Psychosocial Intervention Program for Young Breast Cancer Survivors, Patient Education and Counseling, 99(3):414-20.
D’Ambruoso S.F., Coscarelli A., Hurvitz S, Wenger N., Coniglio D., Donaldson D., Pietras C., Walling A. (2016). Use of a shared mental model by a team comprised of oncology, palliative care, and supportive care clinicians to facilitate shared decision-making in a patient with advanced cancer. Journal of Oncology Practice. 12(11):1039-1046.
Walling A, D’Ambruoso S.F., Malin, JL, Hurvitz, S, Sisser, A, Coscarelli, A, Clarke R, Hackbarth A, Pietras C, Watts F, Ferrell B, Skootsky S, Wenger, NS. (2017) Effect and Efficiency of an Embedded Palliative Nurse Practitioner in an Oncology Clinic. Journal of Oncology Practice, Sep;13(9):e792-e799