University of Colorado School of Medicine
- Assistant Professor of Medicine
Hematological Malignancies and
Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Dr. Jennifer Caspari is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus and is a Clinical Health Psychologist for the University of Colorado Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant and Hematological Malignancies Program. Prior to joining the University of Colorado in October 2012, Dr. Caspari completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute in Denver and a pre-doctoral internship at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System.
She received her doctoral degree in counseling psychology from University of Denver and a master’s degree in community counseling from George Washington University. Dr. Caspari studied psychology and communications in college and received her bachelor’s degree from American University in Washington, DC.
Dr. Caspari specializes in psycho-oncology, which involves the aspects of cancer that go beyond medical treatment such as lifestyle, psychological and social factors. The challenges faced by cancer patients and their loved ones are numerous and demanding, and strongly motivate Dr. Caspari to provide effective, collaborative and compassionate care that addresses the broad psychosocial needs of the cancer population.
Our team values your psychological, emotional, and spiritual health. We have experience guiding many patients and their families through treatment and recovery and want to provide the best comprehensive care to you and your family. Dr. Caspari’s clinical role involves providing evidence-based assessment and psychological intervention to patients with hematological disorders including allogeneic and autologous stem cell transplant recipients and their caregivers. Dr. Caspari’s area of focus includes reducing distress and improving quality of life for patients and caregivers through patient-centered psychological intervention. The psychosocial team can assist you with a variety of concerns such as symptoms of anxiety and depression, enhancing your coping skills as you adjust to the challenges of treatment, managing expectations, communication issues, family issues, coping with uncertainty, practical concerns such as how to sleep better at night, and ways to help you maintain motivation during the treatment process. If you are preparing to have a stem cell transplant, you and your caregiver will meet with one of the transplant psychologists prior to transplant for a standard pre-transplant appointment to discuss the psychosocial aspects of transplant (e.g., mood, coping, social support, family). Your psychologist, or psychosocial team member, will also “check in” during your transplant regarding any psychosocial concerns you or your family may have.
Dr. Caspari’s research interests involve exploring the psychological, social and behavioral aspects of cancer. One project Dr. Caspari is currently involved in, along with Dr. Brewer, explores how patients sleep during hospitalization for autologous stem cell transplant. We know that it is often difficult to sleep well in the hospital and by collecting information about how patients sleep during hospitalization we hope to create future interventions to improve sleep. Dr. Caspari is also involved in a large, 3 year, research study that is investigating the impact on a stress management intervention for caregivers of patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplant. This study will investigate how the stress management intervention impacts caregiver stress as well as patient outcomes post-transplant. Dr. Caspari is also a member of a research group that is providing education and training to nursing staff related to how to recognize and help patients who may be demoralized related to their illness. Finally, Dr. Caspari is interested in researching factors relate to posttraumatic growth, or positive psychological change, which may occur following cancer. She is currently working on a project related to this topic.
Dr. Caspari teaches first and second year medical students communication and psychological interviewing and diagnostic skills. Historically, medical school training has not placed a lot of emphasis on how physicians interact and communicate with patients. Fortunately, this has much improved in recent years and Dr. Caspari finds it very rewarding to teach students interpersonal and communication skills. Further, Dr. Caspari provides presentations to hospital staff related to psychosocial issues of cancer and medical illness as well as informal teaching and consultation to staff related to a variety of topics such as understanding psychological aspects of patient care and how staff members can care for themselves while caring for our patient and families. Each year, Dr. Caspari also supervises doctoral level psychology graduate students who are accepted for a one-year clinical training opportunity on our team. Psychology graduate students provide psychological support and intervention to patients and families under the supervision and mentorship of the psychologists.