We Are: Maria Edelen, PhD

Maria Orlando Edelen (PhD) is a Quantitative Psychologist specializing in clinical health research in the Department of Surgery at the Brigham and Women’s’ Hospital in Boston. Dr. Edelen’s area of expertise is in psychometric methodology and health policy research with a special emphasis on patient-reported outcomes (PROs). She has made significant contributions to the broad goal of applying psychometric methods, especially item response theory, traditionally utilized in educational testing, to the development, evaluation, and refinement of PROs. Dr. Edelen has extensive experience in PRO measure development, including leading the development of the PROMIS Smoking Assessments, and directing a CMS-funded contract to support CMS’s efforts to adhere to the mandates of the IMPACT Act of 2014 by identifying candidate items for standardization across post-acute care settings. Other measure development work includes projects to measure stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment in the military, asthma-related quality of life, asthma control, and cancer stigma. Current work includes co-leading an NCI-funded project to implement PRO data collection among breast cancer patients receiving care in community cancer centers, leading an NIA-funded project to develop a brief PRO measure to screen for cognitive impairment, an NCCIH project to evaluate PROs for use in assessment of chronic pain, and an NCCIH supplement to develop an ultra-short PROMIS Profile measure.  Other recent work has focused on the development of PRO-based quality measures in primary and palliative care, and patient assessment in post-acute care and hospice. Additional IRT methodology research focuses on developing new tools and applying existing tools in novel ways (e.g., item fit, score linking, detection and impact of differential item functioning).