Healthcare Practitioners

Paula Trief, PhD

Paula Trief, PhD
Appointed 09/01/73
309 Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Building
713 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210

315 464-3120

Current Appointments

Hospital Campus

  • Downtown

Research Programs and Affiliations

  • Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Education & Fellowships

  • PhD: Syracuse University, 1977
  • Internship: SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse, 1974

Clinical Interests

  • Diabetes and depression; Diabetes and marital quality; Behavioral interventions for patients with diabetes; Interventions to address health disparities

Education Interests

  • Effective psychotherapy; Unconscious bias training; Research skills mentoring

Research Interests

  • My research focuses on the psychosocial issues that affect patients with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes.  I have developed and tested effective and practical interventions for patients with diabetes, those at risk, and their partners, to help them achieve better physical health (e.g., control of blood sugar, weight) and quality of life.  I have also studied the relationship between depression/anxiety and diabetes outcomes. My current NIH-funded project follows young adults with type 2 diabetes to better understand factors that affect medication adherence and healthcare usage, to design more effective behavioral interventions for this vulnerable group. 

Specialties & Certification

  • Clinical Psychology


  • Adults


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  1. Developing a couples based telephone intervention with adults with type 2 diabetes- with Ruth Weinstock, MD/PhD, and Jonathan Sandberg, PhD (Syracuse University) Marital quality has been identified as a predictor of adaptation to type 2 diabetes. This study involved development and testing of a psychosocial intervention that can be used with couples in which one partner has type 2 diabetes, and assessing it’s feasibility, acceptability and efficacy.
  2. TODAY2-iCount Study. With Ruth Weinstock, MD/PhD. The TODAY (Treatment Options for Adolescents and Youth with type 2 Diabetes), Study was a multi-site (N=15) trial of treatment alternatives for youth who have type 2 diabetes, to identify whether medications alone, or in combination with an intensive lifestyle intervention to promote weight loss, is more effective at managing the youth’s diabetes. That study evolved into the TODAY2 study, an observational study of these youth as they move into adulthood. Our furrent NIH-funded TODAY2:iCount Study is ancillary to TODAY2 and provides the opportunity to follow these now young adults on psychosocial factors, specifically to identify factors that predict medication adherence and healthcare usage, as well as psychosocial factors that predict glycemic control and other diabetes-related outcomes.
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