Assistant Professor (status only)

Lucia Gagliese

Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth Street, 3EN-464, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 2C4
Research Interests
pain management
contact faculty member for more information

Research Synopsis

Dr. Gagliese's lab’s primary research interest is pain and aging. One major focus is age-related patterns in cancer pain. Her lab is following younger and older women with breast cancer for two years following diagnosis to identify biopsychosocial predictors and mediators of the development, trajectory and impact of pain and disability.  They are also examining age-related patterns in the impact of pain associated with advanced cancer, including impacts on marital relationships. Other projects include validating pain scales and indices of analgesic adequacy for cancer pain across the adult lifespan. 

Another major research focus is pain at the end of life in older people with delirium.  They are developing the first observational pain tool specifically for these patients. They are also interested in how healthcare workers decide whether a patient with delirium is experiencing pain and the role of delirium presentation and patient and healthcare worker characteristics in these decisions. This information will improve pain assessment and management in the last days of life, which our research has shown is often inadequate.

The third major research focus is beliefs and knowledge about pain and aging among healthcare workers and older people.  They have developed an educational intervention which improves some of the most common knowledge gaps.  They are conducting a learning needs assessment with community stakeholders to refine and expand the intervention.  Another project focuses on healthcare workers’ beliefs about cancer pain in older people, including those with delirium.  We are developing the first measure of these beliefs and are conducting narrative-based research about older people with cancer pain and delirium.  This work will inform future pain education initiatives. 

Dr. Gagliese's research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute and York University.     


Recent Publications


  1. Gagliese, L., Rodin, R., Chan, V., Stevens, B., & Zimmermann, C. (2015) How do healthcare workers judge pain in older cancer patients with delirium?  Palliative and Supportive Care. 20:1-8.
  2. Gauthier, LM, Young, A., Dworkin, R., Rodin, G., Zimmermann, C., Warr, D., Librach, L., Moore, M., Shepherd, F., Pillai Riddell, R., McPherson, A., Melzack, R., & Gagliese, L. (2014) Validation of the Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire 2 in young and older people with cancer pain. Journal of Pain. 15(7):756-70, 2014 (Senior Author)
  3. Hochman, J.R., Davis, A.M., Elkayam J., Gagliese, L., & Hawker G.A., (2013) Neuropathic pain symptoms on the Modified painDETECT correlate with signs of central sensitization in knee osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 21(9) S1: 1236-1242.
  4. Gauthier, L.R., Rodin, G., Zimmermann, C., Warr, D., Librach, S.L., Moore, M., Shepherd, F.A., & Gagliese, L. (2012). The communal coping model and cancer pain: the roles of catastrophizing and attachment style. Journal of Pain 13(12): 1258-68. (Senior Responsible Author)
  5. Gagliese, L., Katz, L., Gibson, M., Clark, A.J., Lussier, D., Gordon, A., & Salter, M.W., (2012). A brief educational intervention about pain and aging for older members of the community and healthcare workers. Journal of Pain 13(9): 849-56.
  6. Gauthier, L.R., & Gagliese, L. (2012) Bereavement interventions, end-of-life cancer care, and spousal well-being: A systematic review.  Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 19(1): 72-92  



Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, York University
Senior Scientist, Supportive Care in Cancer Research Division, Ontario 
Staff Scientist, Anesthesia and Pain Management, University Health Network
Director, Cancer Pain Research Unit, Anesthesia and Pain Management, University Health Network