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Faculty

Michael HoergerMichael Hoerger, Ph.D., M.S.C.R.

Assistant professor of psychology, psychiatry, and oncology
contributing member of the tulane cancer center

Ph.D., 2010, Central Michigan University

M.S.C.R., 2016, Tulane University

Email: mhoerger@tulane.edu
Phone: (504) 314-7545
Professional Website: Michael Hoerger
Lab Website: Psycho-Oncology Research Program

3070 Percival Stern Hall

Research Interests


Applicants: Dr. Hoerger is accepting health psychology PhD applicants for admission in 2020 (deadline is 12/1/19) and is always accepting applications for undergraduate research assistants. For details, please visit our lab website.

Dr. Hoerger is a clinical health psychologist and decision scientist who conducts research aimed at supporting quality of life in adults with cancer. Quality of life encompasses both physical functioning and mental health, including depression and anxiety. Dr. Hoerger aims to support quality of life by conducting research on healthcare decision making and service utilization, patient-provider communication, patient education and empowerment, and health disparities. He is particularly interested in increasing utilization of palliative care, a multidisciplinary service for patients with advanced cancer or serious symptoms that is designed with the goal of supporting quality of life.

His research draws from the perspective of translational psychological science, meaning that his psycho-oncology studies are informed by basic psychology research and theory related to personality, emotion, and decision making. This includes Dr. Hoerger’s seminal work on ‘affective forecasting’ and ‘delay of gratification.’ He is also known for his methodologic expertise in study design, survey development and measurement, statistics, and web design.

Dr. Hoerger has devoted his career to conducting transdisciplinary research with current funding from NIH, the state of Louisiana, and philanthropic support. Currently, Dr. Hoerger serves on the editorial boards of Health Psychology and Psychological Assessment, is active in the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), and reviews grants for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). He has also contributed by serving as a reviewer for over 50 scientific journals in psychology and medicine, teaching and mentoring, providing clinical services, and engaging with the community on issues related to work, education, and health. As well, he was Tulane’s first faculty member to complete the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center’s Roadmap Award. 

Selected Publications (from >60)

Bold = student mentee

Hoerger, M., Wayser, G. R., Schwing, G., Suzuki, A., & Perry, L. M. (in press). Impact of interdisciplinary outpatient specialty palliative care on survival and quality of life in adults with advanced cancer: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Perry, L. M., Hoerger, M., Molix, L. A., & Duberstein, P. R. (in press). A validation study of the mini-IPIP five-factor personality scale in adults with cancer. Journal of Personality Assessment.

Perry, L. M., Hoerger, M., Sartor, A. O., & Robinson, W. (in press). Distress among African American and white adults with cancer in Louisiana. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology.

Hoerger, M., Ramos, K., Ellington, L., Perry, L. M., Pollak, K. I., & Porter, L. S. (in press). Organizing psychologists, behavioral scientists, and allied professionals: Formation of the Society of Behavioral Medicine's Palliative Care Special Interest Group. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

Espada, J. P., Rodríguez-Menchón, M., Morales, A., Hoerger, M., & Orgilés, M. (in press). Spanish validation of the Delaying Gratification Inventory with adolescents (Validación española del Inventario de Gratificación Demorada con adolescents). Psicothema.

Perry, L. M., Hoerger, M., Seibert, K., Gerhart, J. I., O'Mahony, S., & Duberstein, P. R. (in press). Financial strain and physical and emotional quality of life in breast cancer. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

Duberstein, P. R., Maciejewski, P. K., Epstein, R. M., Fenton, J. J., Chapman, B., Norton, S. A., Hoerger, M., Wittink, M. N., Tancredi, D. J., Xing, G., Mohile, S.G., Kravitz, R. L., & Prigerson, H. G. (in press). Effects of the VOICE communication intervention on personal caregiver experiences of cancer care and bereavement outcomes. Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Trevino, K. M., Prigerson, H. G., Johnson Shen, M., Tancredi, D. J., Xing, G., Hoerger, M., Epstein, R., & Duberstein, P. R. (in press). Association between advanced cancer patient-caregiver agreement on prognosis and hospice enrollment. Cancer.

Duberstein, P. R., Kravitz, R. L., Fenton, J. J., Xing, G., Tancredi, D. J., Hoerger, M., Mohile, S. G., Norton, S. A., Prigerson, H. G., & Epstein, R. M. (in press). Physician and patient characteristics associated with more intensive end-of-life care. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

Malhotra, K., Fenton, J. J., Duberstein, P., Epstein, R. M., Xing, G., Tancredi, D. J., Hoerger, M., Gramling, R., & Kravitz, R. L. (in press). Prognostic accuracy of patients, caregivers and oncologists in advanced cancer. Cancer.

Korotkin, B. D., Hoerger, M., Voorhees, S., Allen, C., Robinson, W., & Duberstein, P.R. (in press). Social support in cancer: How do patients want us to help? Journal of Psychosocial Oncology.

Kehoe, L. A., Xu, H., Duberstein, P., Loh, K. P., Culakova, E., Canin, B., Hurria, A., Dale, W., Wells, M., Gilmore, N., Kleckner, A. S., Lund, J., Kamen, C., Flannery, M., Hoerger, M., Hopkins, J. O., Liu, J. J., Greer, J., Epstein, R., & Mohile, S. G. (in press). Quality of life of caregivers of older patients with advanced cancer. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Gerhart, J., Hand, D., Hoerger, M., & O'Mahony, S. (in press). Single subject designs and practice-based research in palliative care. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

Hoerger, M., Perry, L. M., Korotkin, B. D., Walsh, L. E., Kazan, A. S., Rogers, J. L., Atiya, W., Malhotra, S., & Gerhart, J. (in press). Statewide differences in personality associated with geographic disparities in access to palliative care: Findings on openness. Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Rochefort, C., Hoerger, M., Turiano, N. A., & Duberstein, P. R. (in press). Big Five personality and health in adults with and without cancer. Journal of Health Psychology.

Martin, S. M., Gerhart, J. I., Rochefort, C., Perry, L., & Hoerger, M. (in press). Affective forecasting in health psychology. In S. Richards & L. Cohen (Eds.), The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology, Volume III: Clinical Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine. Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Hoerger, M., Greer, J. A., Jackson, V. A., Park, E. R., Pirl, W. F., El-Jawahri, A., Gallagher, E. R., Hagan, T., Jacobsen, J., Perry, L. M., & Temel, J. S. (2018). Defining the elements of early palliative care that are associated with patient-reported outcomes and the delivery of end-of-life care. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 36, 1096-1102.

Gerhart, J., Chen, E., O'Mahony, S., Burns, J., & Hoerger, M. (2018). An examination of state level personality variation and Physician Aid in Dying legislation. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 56, 385-389.

Saeed, F., Hoerger, M., Norton, S. A., Guancial, E., Epstein, R. M., & Duberstein, P. R. (2018). Preferences for palliative care in cancer patients: Are men and women alike? Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 56, 1-6.

Perry, L. M., Hoerger, M., Silberstein, J., Sartor, O., & Duberstein, P. R. (2018). Understanding the distressed prostate cancer patient: Role of personality. Psycho-Oncology, 27, 810-816.

Fox, R. S., Lillis, T. A., Gerhart, J., Hoerger, M., & Duberstein, P. (2018). Multiple group confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the DASS-21 Depression and Anxiety scales: How do they perform in a cancer sample? Psychological Reports, 121, 548-565.

Hoerger, M. (2018). Randomization failure in palliative care RCTs. Palliative Medicine, 32, 533-534.

Duberstein, P. R., Chen, M., Chapman, B. P., Hoerger, M., Saeed, F., Guancial, E., & Mack, J. W. (2018). Fatalism and educational disparities in beliefs about the curability of advanced cancer. Patient Education and Counseling, 101, 113-118.

O'Mahony, S., Ziadni, M., Hoerger, M., Levine, S., Baron, A., & Gerhart, J. (2018). Compassion fatigue among palliative care clinicians: Findings on personality factors and years of service. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 35, 343-347.


View All of Dr. Hoerger's Publications

Dr. Hoerger's Courses


  • Psychology Research Method – PSYC 3130
  • Health Psychology – PSYC 6800
  • Personality Psychology – PSYC 7010
  • Research Methods in Health Psychology – PSYC 6100

Department of Psychology • 2007 Percival Stern Hall • New Orleans, LA 70118 • Phone: 504-865-5331 • psych@tulane.edu