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Lori Montross

TitleAssistant Adjunct Professor
InstitutionUniversity of California San Diego
DepartmentFamily Medicine and Public Health
Address9500 Gilman Drive #0664
La Jolla CA 92093
Phone858-246-2706
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    Dr. Lori Montross Thomas is a licensed counseling psychologist. As part of Patient & Family Support Services at Moores Cancer Center, she provides psychological assessment, diagnosis or ongoing therapy for patients and families who are experiencing issues that are either related to the cancer experience or interfering with cancer treatment. In individual or group psychotherapy, she focuses on issues including depression, anxiety, communication, stress reduction, insomnia, grief or other psychological or emotional issues.

    Dr. Montross Thomas is one of 75 Americans currently trained in Dignity Therapy, designed to bring meaning and a sense of legacy to those in palliative care through life reflection interviews. She helps facilitate the International Training Workshop for Dignity Therapy each year, and has been invited to speak to over 50 different groups about her experience with this novel intervention. She is also trained in Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy, designed to bolster the sense of meaning, purpose and peace among people diagnosed with cancer.

    Over the past 15 years, Dr. Montross Thomas has been engaged in research focused on dignity, hospice care, multiculturalism, positive psychology, resilience, successful aging and wisdom. She has received funding for her research from the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI), the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), the MAPI Research Trust and the Westreich Foundation. She has authored or co-authored more than 35 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and abstracts, and has served as a reviewer for over 10 journals and international grant councils.

    Prior to joining UC San Diego in 2013, Dr. Montross Thomas was the Director of Psychology and Integrative Medicine at San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine. She has more than a decade of experience as an educator, with both teaching and managerial experience in academic, counseling and medical settings.

    Dr. Montross Thomas was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral research fellow within the Psychiatry Department of UC San Diego, where she specialized in geriatric psychiatry. She completed her clinical APA-approved internship at the Cincinnati Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center and received her PhD in counseling psychology at the University of Kentucky.

    When not working on her passion to improve the quality of life for people with cancer, Dr. Montross Thomas enjoys spending free time with her husband, her Boston terrier and her friends. She enjoys running, listening to B.B. King and, whenever possible, eating pizza.


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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Scelzo A, Di Somma S, Antonini P, Montross L, Schork N, Brenner D, Jeste DV. Mixed-methods quantitative-qualitative study of 29 nonagenarians and centenarians in rural Southern Italy: focus on positive psychological traits. Int Psychogeriatr. 2018 Jan; 30(1):31-38. PMID: 29229012.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Montross-Thomas LP, Irwin SA, Meier EA, Gallegos JV, Golshan S, Roeland E, McNeal H, Munson D, Rodseth L. Enhancing legacy in palliative care: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial of Dignity Therapy focused on positive outcomes. BMC Palliat Care. 2015 Sep 21; 14:44. PMID: 26391775; PMCID: PMC4578680.
    3. Thomas LP, Meier EA, Irwin SA. Meaning-centered psychotherapy: a form of psychotherapy for patients with cancer. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014 Oct; 16(10):488. PMID: 25182513; PMCID: PMC4861219.
    4. Montross L, Meier EA, De Cervantes-Monteith K, Vashistha V, Irwin SA. Hospice staff perspectives on Dignity Therapy. J Palliat Med. 2013 Sep; 16(9):1118-20. PMID: 23937061; PMCID: PMC3776611.
    5. Yang HB, Nelesen RA, Montross L, Whitmore SM, Ferris FD. Comparison of international medical graduates with US medical students and residents after a four-week course in palliative medicine: a pilot study. J Palliat Med. 2013 May; 16(5):471-7. PMID: 23448688; PMCID: PMC3713437.
    6. Julião M, Montross L. Dignity conversations around a coffee table in Lisbon: the beauty of life's random "carousel" movement. J Palliat Med. 2012 Feb; 15(2):245-6. PMID: 22339331.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Irwin SA, Montross L, Bhat RG, Nelesen RA, von Gunten CF. Psychiatry resident education in palliative care: opportunities, desired training, and outcomes of a targeted educational intervention. Psychosomatics. 2011 Nov-Dec; 52(6):530-6. PMID: 22054622; PMCID: PMC3762465.
    8. Kasckow J, Montross L, Prunty L, Fox L, Zisook S. Suicidal behavior in the older patient with schizophrenia. Aging health. 2011 Jun; 7(3):379-393. PMID: 22028735.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Montross L, Winters KD, Irwin SA. Dignity therapy implementation in a community-based hospice setting. J Palliat Med. 2011 Jun; 14(6):729-34. PMID: 21548823; PMCID: PMC3120093.
    10. Montross L, Kasckow J, Golshan S, Solorzano E, Lehman D, Zisook S. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among middle-aged and older patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and concurrent subsyndromal depression. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2008 Dec; 196(12):884-90. PMID: 19077855.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Zisook S, Montross L, Kasckow J, Mohamed S, Palmer BW, Patterson TL, Golshan S, Fellows I, Lehman D, Solorzano E. Subsyndromal depressive symptoms in middle-aged and older persons with schizophrenia. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007 Dec; 15(12):1005-14. PMID: 18056819.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Moore DJ, Sitzer D, Depp CA, Montross L, Reichstadt J, Lebowitz BD, Jeste DV. Self-administered cognitive screening for a study of successful aging among community-dwelling seniors: a preliminary study. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007 Apr; 22(4):327-31. PMID: 17096466.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Pompili M, Amador XF, Girardi P, Harkavy-Friedman J, Harrow M, Kaplan K, Krausz M, Lester D, Meltzer HY, Modestin J, Montross L, Mortensen PB, Munk-Jørgensen P, Nielsen J, Nordentoft M, Saarinen PI, Zisook S, Wilson ST, Tatarelli R. Suicide risk in schizophrenia: learning from the past to change the future. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2007 Mar 16; 6:10. PMID: 17367524; PMCID: PMC1845151.
    14. Folsom DP, Lindamer L, Montross L, Hawthorne W, Golshan S, Hough R, Shale J, Jeste DV. Diagnostic variability for schizophrenia and major depression in a large public mental health care system dataset. Psychiatry Res. 2006 Nov 15; 144(2-3):167-75. PMID: 16979244.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Zisook S, Nyer M, Kasckow J, Golshan S, Lehman D, Montross L. Depressive symptom patterns in patients with chronic schizophrenia and subsyndromal depression. Schizophr Res. 2006 Sep; 86(1-3):226-33. PMID: 16750346.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Montross L, Depp C, Daly J, Reichstadt J, Golshan S, Moore D, Sitzer D, Jeste DV. Correlates of self-rated successful aging among community-dwelling older adults. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Jan; 14(1):43-51. PMID: 16407581.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Montross L, Zisook S, Kasckow J. Suicide among patients with schizophrenia: a consideration of risk and protective factors. Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2005 Jul-Sep; 17(3):173-82. PMID: 16433060.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Montross L, Barrio C, Yamada AM, Lindamer L, Golshan S, Garcia P, Fuentes D, Daly RE, Hough RL, Jeste DV. Tri-ethnic variations of co-morbid substance and alcohol use disorders in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2005 Nov 15; 79(2-3):297-305. PMID: 15978782.
      View in: PubMed
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