Sima Zadeh, PsyD

Sima Zadeh, PsyD
Research Fellow
Pediatric Psychology Fellow

Sima Zadeh, PsyD, is a pediatric psychologist in the Psychosocial Support and Research Program of the Behavioral Health Core. As both a clinician and scientist, her work focuses on providing psychosocial support to pediatric patients and their families. Her current research is focused on advance care planning and end-of-life support in adolescents and young adults, assessing distress in pediatric patients, social isolation in medically isolated patients, pediatric amputation practices, parental needs and coping, and sibling issues.  Dr. Zadeh also provides staff support both within the Pediatric Oncology Branch and staff bereavement support throughout the NIH Clinical Center. 

Areas of Expertise

1) pediatric cancer, 2) psychosocial oncology, 3) therapeutic support, 4) therapeutic resources, 5) end of life, 6) social isolation in medical isolation

Contact Info

Sima Zadeh, PsyD
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, 1H-PEDS, Room 1-5460
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ph: 301-451-9110

Dr. Zadeh's research focuses on critical clinical issues, including: end-of-life planning in adolescents and young adults, distress screening, pediatric amputation practices, emotional consequences of medically required isolation, lone parenting, transnational parenting, couples dyadic coping, sibling donor experiences. Additionally, the Psychosocial Support and Research Program carries out research both in support of NCI and NIH investigators and to further the field of pediatric psycho-oncology, including studies to help understand the psychosocial experiences and needs of youth living with rare diseases, including graft-versus host disease (GVHD), gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC).

The Psychosocial Support and Research Program is currently enrolling on the following research studies: 

  • Checking out Checking In: The Development of an Electronic Screening Tool for Pediatric Distress
  • An Exploratory Study of Voicing My CHOiCES as a Tool for Advanced Care Planning in Adolescents and Young Adults with Metastatic, Recurrent, or Progressive Cancer 
  • Understanding the Influence of Childhood Cancer on the Parents’ Marital/Parter Relationship
  • Pilot Study of Educational Interventions in Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell Donors to Increase Knowledge of Donation and Transplantation Procedure
  • Pediatric Amputation: The Experience of a Pediatric Amputee and Current Clinical Practice
  • Physician Preferences for Distress Screening
  • This is My World: An Examination of the Utility and Feasibility of a Therapeutic Workbook
NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Social and Behavioral Sciences

Selected Publications

  1. Zadeh S, Pao M, Wiener L.
    Palliative and Supportive Care. [Epub ahead of print - March 13]: 1-9, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Wiener L, Zadeh S, Wexler LH, Pao M.
    Pediatric Blood & Cancer. 60(5): 715-718, 2013. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Tweets, Blogs, and Boundaries: Social Media Use in Pediatric Oncology.
    Zadeh S, Tunick R.
    In: Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology: Textbook for Multi-disciplinary Care. Srpinger Verlag in press, 2015. [ Book Chapter ]
  4. Specialized Programs of Staff Support and Training in Pediatrics.
    Zadeh S, Phillips J, Aizvera J, Wiener L. Editors: G. Christ, L. Behar, C. Messner.
    In: Handbook of Oncology Social Work. Oxford University Press in press, 2015. [ Book Chapter ]
  5. This is My World .
    2nd edition: Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Mental Health 2011. [ Book ]

Dr. Zadeh is a research fellow in the Psychosocial Support and Research Program of the Behavioral Health Core of the Pediatric Oncology Branch. Prior to joining the NCI in 2009, Dr. Zadeh completed her pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology in the Pediatric Behavioral Medicine program at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Zadeh’s early career was focused on pediatric chronic illness where she worked directly with HIV/AIDS, transplant (cardiac, renal, liver, and multi-visceral) and neurology. 

Now working in the field of psycho-oncology, she has specific interests in adjustment to diagnosis/treatment, adherence, end-of-life and bereavement. During her time with NCI, she has authored a therapeutic workbook, titled This Is My World, as well as several other therapeutic/educational resources related to social isolation in medically isolated pediatric patients, medication adherence, and bereavement. Dr. Zadeh also co-authored an advance care planning guide for adolescents and young adults, Voicing My CHOiCES, which has been distributed worldwide and is is widely used in pediatric centers. The Psychosocial Support and Research Program also developed and hosts a website for Pediatric Pscyho-Oncology Professionals. Dr. Zadeh’s research has been published in several peer-reviewed scientific journals and she has also co-written book chapters. Additionally, Dr. Zadeh has been invited to speak about her research with children, adolescents and young adults living with cancer and their families at both national and international conferences.