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AOSW Research Committee 

The Research Committee is made up of five to seven experienced oncology social work researchers.  The committee provides opportunities for networking as well as conducting psychosocial oncology research. The committee works to improve the link between oncology social work practice and research.  The primary goal of the Research Committee is to assure that social work research in oncology serves the interest of patients and families dealing with cancer and remains relevant to the field. Research Committee meetings serve to enhance communication and coordination for opportunities to communicate research methods, projects and results to AOSW members (e.g. website, Navigator articles, conference presentations and webinars).

Research Committee meetings serve as venues for research to inform practice as well as for practitioners to inform and direct research. In 2003, members of the Research Committee also authored "A Social Work Guide to Conducting Research in Psychosocial Oncology" a step-by-step guide for AOSW members involved in and/or motivated to conduct research in their practice settings.

The Research Committee also reviews research proposals from members and others who wish to use the SWON listserv to conduct research.  In 2016, the Research Committee organized a “Post Conference Research Institute” for researchers and practitioners interested in research in oncology social work. A “White Paper” on the Research Institute is available here

Also in 2016, the Research Committee secured funding for a PCRC and will be developing a Practice-Based Research Collaborative in psychosocial oncology to facilitate research. 

Researchers who are interested conducting such research or in participating in the Research Committee should contact the Research Director: Sophia Smith, PhD, at

Best Practices

View the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS), Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW), and Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Joint Position Statement on Implementing Screening for Distress
AOSW Research Director and Committee Chair
Sophia Smith, PhD, MSW
Duke University
Committee Members
Karen Kayser, PhD
University of Louisville

Hee Yun Lee, PhD
University of Alabama

Elizabeth Rohan, PhD, MSW
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
Julianne Oktay, MSW, PhD
University of Maryland School of Social Work

Daniela Wittmann, PhD, MSW
University of Michigan School of Social Work

Brad Zebrack, PhD, MSW, MPH, FAPOS
University of Michigan School of Social Work 

Staff Liaison

Emily Burch
AOSW Executive Director
Phone: (847) 686-2376