Catherine R. Messina PhD


Catherine R. Messina PhD

Research Associate Professor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine

Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine

Accreditation Specialist

Program in Public Health


Dr. Messina’s research interests focus on the psychosocial influences on preventive health behaviors, specifically breast and colorectal cancer. This includes the influence of social and economic disparities on access to and uptake of colorectal cancer. Her research on breast and colorectal cancer screening has targeted behavioral and psychosocial pathways on the: individual level (e.g., influence of smoking and obesity on screening; provider recommendations for screening; individual attitudes and perceptions of personal risk for cancer; attitudes about shared decision making about cancer screening, etc); health care system level (e.g., improving office systems to facilitate screening; promoting a team approach to CRC screening in the health center setting); level of social context (which promotes or constrains decisions to screen -e.g., the role of perceived social support on breast cancer screening).


PhD, Social/Health Psychology;  State University of New York at Stony Brook

MA, Social Psychology; State University of New York at Stony Brook

B.A., Psychology;  State University of New York at Stony Brook

A.A.S., Chemistry; State University of New York at Farmingdale

Academic interests:

Cancer epidemiology; cancer screening; patient decision-making; cancer survivorship;

physician-patient relationships

Selected publications:

Messina CR, Lane DS, Anderson JC (2013). Perceptions of risk factors for colorectal cancer and colorectal cancer risk-related behaviors among current, ex- and non-smokers Journal of Cancer Education. 28(3): 444-453.  DOI 10.1007/s13187-013-0485-x    PMID:23749423

Cavanagh MF, Lane DS, Messina CR, Anderson JC (2013). Clinical Case Management and Navigation for Colonoscopy Screening in an Academic Medical Center. Cancer. 119 (suppl 15): 2894-2904.

Lane DS, Messina CR, Cavanagh MF, Anderson JC (2013). Delivering Colonoscopy Screening for Low-income Populations in Suffolk County: Strategies, Outcomes and Benchmarks. Cancer. 119 (suppl 15): 2842-2848. 

Messina CR, Lane DS, Anderson JA (2012). Body mass index and screening for colorectal cancer: Gender and attitudinal factors. Cancer Epidemiology. 36: 400-408.

Lane DS, Cavanagh. MF, Messina CR, Anderson JC. (2010) An Academic Medical Center Model for Community Colorectal Cancer Screening:The CDC Demonstration Program Experience.  Academic Medicine. 85(8):1354-61. 

Messina CR, Lane DS, Grimson R. (2005)  Preferences for decision-making and colorectal cancer screening attitudes and practices. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28(5):439-446. 

Messina CR, Lane DS, Colson RC (2009).  Colorectal cancer screening among users of county health centers and users of private physician practices. Public Health Reports, 124: 568-578. 

Messina, C.R.,  Lane, D.S., Glanz, K., West, D.S., Taylor, V., Frishman, W., Powell, L for the WHI Investigators (2004). The relationship of social support and social burden to breast cancer screening in the Women's Health Initiative. Health Psychology, 23 (6); 582-594.

Book chapter

Messina CR (2011). Barriers to colorectal cancer screening: Patient, physician and system factors. In JA Anderson and CJ Kahi (Eds), Colorectal Cancer Screening, Springer: New York