David Finitsis, PhD

Senior Scientist, Quality of Life, Hartford Healthcare Cancer Institute (Affiliate)

Research Overview

As a behavioral scientist working in oncology, I am primarily focused on studying quality of life among cancer survivors. I seek to enhance our understanding of both what facilitates and what impedes quality of life improvement from time of diagnosis onward. As a trained clinical psychologist, I also develop behavioral interventions to promote quality of life throughout every phase of cancer survivorship. Being a new investigator, I am currently developing multiple projects to establish my program of research at the Hospital. One such project is an examination of the neuropsychological impairments among patients receiving chemotherapy. Another project will test the relative benefits of physical and intellectual activity on inflammation, cognitive impairments, and other cancer symptoms among survivors. My new role in oncology represents a career shift. Past projects at UCONN took place in the context of my PhD program. These have centered on social and behavioral process of HIV, particularly medication adherence, and examinations of stress and anxiety in college student and outpatient psychiatric populations. Many of these resulted in publications. Throughout my time at UCONN I have had the good fortune to collaborate with several InCHIP investigators, including: Dean Cruess, Seth Kalichman, and Blair Johnson.


PhD, 2016, Clinical Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
MA, 2013 Clinical Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
AB, 1995, Biochemistry, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME

Featured Publications

Finitsis, D.J., Pellowski, J.A., Heudo-Medina, T., Fox, M. & Kalichman, S.C. (2016). Visual analogue scale (VAS) measurement of antiretroviral adherence in people living with HIV (PLWH): A meta-analysis. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, doi: 10.1007/s10865- 016-9770-6

Cruess, D.G., Burnham, K., Finitsis, D.J., White, D., Jones, M., & Kalichman, S.C. (2016). Online partner seeking and sexual risk among HIV+ men who have sex with men: A dialectical perspective. Archives of Sexual Behavior (in press).

Cruess, D.G., Finitsis, D.J., Smith, A.L., Goshe, B.M., Burnham, K., Burbridge, C., & O’Leary, K. (2015). Brief stress management reduces acute distress and buffers physiological response to a social stress test. International Journal of Stress Management, 22(3), 270-286. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0039130

Pellowski, J.A., Kalichman, S.C., & Finitsis, D.J. (2015). Reliability and validity of a single item rating scale to monitor medication adherence for people living with HIV and lower health literacy. HIV Clinical Trials, 16(1), 1-9. DOI: 10.1179/1528433614Z.0000000004

Finitsis, D.J., Pellowski, J.A., & Johnson, B.T. (2014). Text message intervention designs to promote adherence to antiretroviral therapy: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLOS one. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088166

Finitsis, D.J., Cruess, D.G., Perez, G.K., Bogucki, O.G., & Tolin, D.F. (2013). Anxiety chronicity and psychiatric comorbidity: Influences on salivary alpha-amylase in a diagnostically heterogeneous sample of outpatients with anxiety disorders. Journal of Depression and Anxiety, DOI: 10.4172/2167-1044.1000135

Lennon, C.A., Pellowski, J.A., White, A.C., Kalichman, S.C., Finitsis, D.J., Turcios-Cotto, V…Lanouette, G.A. (2013). Service priorities and unmet service needs among people living with HIV/AIDS: Results from a nationwide interview of HIV/AIDS housing organizations, AIDS Care, 25(9), 1083-1091. DOI:10.1080/09540121.2012.749337

Contact Information
Mailing AddressHartford Healthcare Cancer Institute
80 Seymour Street
Hartford, CT 06106-3315