Robert Noll, PhD



Robert Noll, PhD, is a Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Psychology in the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Noll’s research has focused on psychosocial issues in pediatric oncology, notably documenting caregiver distress after children are initially diagnosed with cancer, and subsequently developing evidence-based interventions.  Over three large randomized clinical trials (N > 1400), in Spanish and English, and across 8 sites, their research team has shown that Bright IDEAS Problem Solving Skills Training is acceptable to caregivers, and that improvements in problem solving skills lead to less distress, and fewer symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress.  Caregivers who receive the intervention show that the benefits persist over time, and while all participant caregivers benefit, the greatest gains are seen in low SES, single, minority caregivers.  Dr. Noll’s current R25e focuses on dissemination of this evidence-based intervention to professionals (e.g., psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, counsellors, clergy, psychologists) across the US and Canada. Bright (optimism) IDEAS (Identify, Define, Evaluate, Act, See if it worked) trains professionals to use this evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy designed to enhance problem solving skills in caregivers of children recently diagnosed with cancer. The intervention has shown significant benefits, without causing harm. Over 250 psychosocial professionals across the United States have been trained to use this intervention.  As part of their dissemination science grant, they are also training pediatric psychosocial professionals in additional areas of pediatrics to utilize this intervention to help distress parents of sick children.

Visit the Bright (optimism) IDEAS webpage.