Prevention and Control

Christine Rini, PhD

Christine Rini, PhD, is Director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center

Dr. Rini is a social/health psychologist whose research focuses on psychosocial factors that facilitate or hinder adjustment to health-related challenges, including making decisions about managing high risk for cancer, reducing physical symptoms such as pain, and recovering physical and emotional health after cancer treatment. She is especially interested in how the social environment can affect people’s ability to meet these challenges, and also how the social environment interacts with people’s beliefs, attitudes, and dispositional characteristics. In her work, Dr. Rini seeks both to build evidence for interventions and to translate research into behavioral and psychosocial interventions that improve the health and well-being of patients and their family members.


Health Decision Making and Responses to Next Generation Sequencing
Dr. Rini’s work in this area investigates how people understand, make decisions about, and respond to information from genomic sequencing for diagnostic purposes, public health screening in adults, and newborn screening.

Rini, C., Khan, C., Moore, E., Roche, M. I., Evans, J. P., Berg, J. S., Powell, B. C., Corbie-Smith, G., Foreman, A. K. M., Griesemer, I., Lee, K., O’Daniel, J., Henderson, G. E. (In press). The who, what and why of research participants’ intentions to request a broad range of secondary findings in a diagnostic genomic sequencing study. Genetics in Medicine.

Langer, M., Roche, M. I., Brewer, N. T., Berg, J. S., Khan, C. M., Leos, C., Moore, E., Brown, M., Rini, C. (2017). Development and validation of a genomic knowledge scale to advance informed decision making research in genomic sequencing. Medical Decision Making Policy & Practice, 2(1), 1-13. doi: 10.1177/2381468317692582.

Hamilton, J. G., Lillie, S. E., Alden, D. L., Scherer, L., Oser, M., Rini, C., Tanaka, M., Baleix, J., Brewster, M., Lee, S. C., Goldstein, M. K., Jacobson, R. M., Myers, R. E., Zikmund-Fisher, B. J., Waters, E. A. (2016). What is a good medical decision? A research agenda guided by perspectives from multiple stakeholders. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 40(1), 52-68. doi: 10.1007/s10865-016-9785-z. PMC5296255.

Gray, S. W., Martins, Y., Feuerman, L., Bernhardt, B., Biesecker, B. B., Christensen, K., Joffe, S., Lehmann, L., Rini, C., Street, R., Veenstra, D., McGuire, A. L., and members of the CSER Consortium Outcomes and Measures Working Group. (2014). Social and behavioral research in genomic sequencing: Approaches from the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research Consortium Outcomes and Measures Working Group. Genetics in Medicine, 16(10), 727-735. doi: 10.1038/gim.2014.26. PMC4163120.

Symptom Management Interventions
Dr. Rini and her colleagues have created various interventions to help people manage psychological and physical symptoms, including pain. In one line of work, she and her colleagues developed an online program to help people learn coping skills that have been  shown by research to help people reduce chronic pain. Another intervention (Expressive Helping) reduced physical symptoms and distress in stem cell transplant survivors. Dr. Rini has also collaborated on research to teach couples how to manage side effects of treatment for localized prostate cancer.

Rini, C., Vu, M. B., Lerner, H., Bloom, C., Carda-Auten, J., Wood, W. A., Basch, E. M., Voorhees, P. M., Reeder-Hayes, K., Keefe, F. J. (2017). PainCOACH for Cancer: A qualitative study of patient and provider perspectives on adapting an automated, web-based pain coping skills training program to treat persistent cancer pain. Palliative & Supportive Care, 7, 1-15. doi: 10.1017/S1478951517000086.

Nyrop, K. A., Callahan, L. F., Rini, C., Altpeter, M., Hackney, B., Schechter, A., Wilson, A., Muss, H. B. (2015). Adaptation of an evidence-based arthritis program for breast cancer survivors on aromatase inhibitor therapy who are experiencing joint pain. Preventing Chronic Disease, 12, 140535. doi: 10.5888/pcd12.140535. PMC4467257.

Rini, C., Porter, L. S., Somers, T. J., McKee, D. C., DeVellis, R. F., Smith, M., Winkel, G., Ahern, D. K., Goldman, R., Stiller, J. L., Mariani, C., Patterson, C., Jordan, J. M., Caldwell, D. S., & Keefe, F. J. (2015). Automated, Internet-based pain coping skills training to manage osteoarthritis pain: a randomized controlled trial. Pain, 156(5), 837-848. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000121. PMC4402249.

Song, L., Rini, C., Deal, A. M., Nielsen, M., Kinneer, P., Teal, R., Johnson, D. C., Dunn, M. W., Mark, B., & Palmer, M. (2015). Improving couples’ quality of life through a web-based, couple-oriented prostate cancer education intervention. Oncology Nursing Forum, 42(2), 183-92. doi:10.1188/15.ONF.183-192.

Rini, C., Austin, J., Wu, L., Winkel, G., Valdimarsdottir, H., Stanton, A. L., Isola, L., Rowley, S., & Redd, W. H. (2014). Harnessing benefits of helping others: A randomized controlled trial testing Expressive Helping to address survivorship problems after hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Health Psychology, 33(12), 1541-1551. doi: 10.1037/hea0000024.

Social Support and Health
Dr. Rini has a long track record of investigating how social support and support-related interactions influence health and well-being. For instance, one line of her research in this area focuses on understanding how variation in the effectiveness of social support provides insight into circumstances under which receiving support will be truly helpful to the recipient (versus having unintended negative consequences). This work seeks to help explain the mixed evidence for benefits of receiving support during times of life stress or life transition. It also investigates antecedents of variation in the effectiveness of support attempts and consequences of this variation for support recipients.

Rini, C., Symes, Y., Campo, R. A., Wu, L. M., Austin, J. (2016). I keep my problems to myself: Negative social network orientation, social resources, and health-related quality of life in cancer survivors. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 50(3), 385-396. doi: 10.1007/s12160-015-9765-5.

Rini, C., Emmerling, D., Austin, J., Wu, L., Valdimarsdottir, H., Redd, W. H., Woodruff, R., Warbet, R. (2015). The effectiveness of caregiver social support is associated with cancer survivors’ experience of their treatment: A linguistic analysis of survivor narratives. Palliative & Supportive Care, 13(6):1735-44. doi: 10.1017/S1478951515000681.

Rini, C., Redd, W., Austin, J., Mosher, C. E., Meschian, Y. M., Isola, L., Scigliano, E., Moskowitz, C. H., Papadopoulos, E., Labay, L. E., Rowley, S., Burkhalter, J. E., Dunkel Schetter, C., DuHamel, K. N. (2011). Effectiveness of partner social support predicts enduring psychological distress after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79, 64-74. doi:10.1037/a0022199. PMC3690958.

Rini, C., & Dunkel Schetter, C. (2010). The effectiveness of social support transactions in intimate relationships. In J. Davila and K. Sullivan (Eds), Support Processes in Intimate Relationships (pp. 26-67). New York, NY: Oxford.