Skip to Content

Cindy Lynn Carmack, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Bio Statement

Dr. Cindy L. Carmack, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.


Dr. Carmack’s research focuses on psychologic factors associated with health and disease. Since joining M. D. Anderson in September 1996, she has examined the impact of cancer on the quality of life (QOL) of both patients and their families. She collaborated on several grants focusing on the QOL of cancer patients, including those diagnosed with testicular, breast, and ovarian cancers. She was also involved in several studies that examined the QOL of the spouses of patients with cancer. One of those studies was funded by the NCI as a supplement to the Cancer Center Support Grant, and it focused on the QOL of spouses of men with prostate cancer. The purpose of the study was to develop a measure to assess the aspects of nonsexual intimacy that may be affected by prostate cancer, to characterize the QOL of spouses, and to examine the association between patient QOL and spouse QOL.


Dr. Carmack's research interests also include health behaviors such as exercise and smoking and how they influence stress response and QOL in healthy and chronically ill populations. She was the co-principal investigator on two funded studies that examined the effect of a physical-activity lifestyle intervention on the QOL of cancer patients. The first study, Active for Life, was a 3-group randomized controlled trial for patients with prostate cancer who were receiving androgen-ablation therapy. Participants were randomly assigned to a physical-activity lifestyle program, an educational-support program, or a standard community-care program. Outcome measures included depression, anxiety, fatigue, physical functioning, and body-mass index. The second study modified the curriculum from Active for Life as a QOL intervention for breast cancer survivors. Results provided pilot data for a larger randomized clinical trial.

Future research will include longitudinal studies of both patient and spouse QOL that will allow us to identify couples at risk for distress and spouses who may experience a complicated bereavement following the patient's death. Dr. Carmack’s overall research goal is to develop psychosocial interventions for both patients and spouses.





Research Interests

Quality of Life


Health Behavior


Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1995 Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, PHD, Clinical Psychology
1994 University of Mississippi Medical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Residency Consortium, Jackson, MS, Required internship for PHD, Clinical Psychology
1993 Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, MA, Clinical Psychology
1990 Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, BS, Psychology


Academic Appointments

Associate Professor, (tenured), Department of Behavioral Science, Division of OVP, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 9/2008-8/2013

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Hawkins RP, Pingree S, Baker T, Roberts LJ, Shaw B, McDowell H, Serlin R, Dillenburg L, Swoboda CM, Han JY, Stewart JA, Carmack CL, Salner A, Schlam TR, McTavish F, Gustafson DH. Integrating eHealth with human services for breast cancer patients. Transl Behav Med 1(1):146-154, 3/2011. PMCID: PMC3321551.
2. Basen-Engquist K, Carmack CL, Perkins H, Hughes D, Serice S, Scruggs S, Pinto B, Waters A. Design of the Steps to Health Study of physical activity in survivors of endometrial cancer: testing a social cognitive theory model. Psychol Sport Exerc 12(1):27-35, 1/1/2011. PMCID: PMC3014624.
3. Spidell S, Wallace A, Carmack CL, Nogueras-Gonzalez GM, Parker CL, Cantor SB. Grief in healthcare chaplains: an investigation of the presence of disenfranchised grief. J Health Care Chaplain 17(1 & 2):75-86, 2011. PMID: 21534068.
4. Badr H, Carmack CL, Kashy DA, Cristofanilli M, Revenson TA. Dyadic coping in metastatic breast cancer. Health Psychol 29(2):169-180, 3/2010. PMID: 20230090.
5. Badr H, Carmack Taylor CL. Sexual dysfunction and spousal communication in couples coping with prostate cancer. Psychooncology 18(7):735-746, 7/2009. e-Pub 12/2008. PMID: 19061199.
6. Perkins HY, Baum GP, Carmack Taylor CL, Basen-Engquist KM. Effects of treatment factors, comorbidities and health-related quality of life on self-efficacy for physical activity in cancer survivors. Psychooncology 18(4):405-11, 4/2009. PMID: 19241489.
7. Basen-Engquist K, Scruggs S, Jhingran A, Bodurka DC, Lu K, Ramondetta L, Hughes D, Carmack Taylor C. Physical activity and obesity in endometrial cancer survivors: Associations with pain, fatigue, and physical functioning. Am J Obstet Gynecol 200(3):288.e1-8, 3/2009. e-Pub 12/25/2008. PMCID: PMC2666540.
8. Huh Shinn E, Carmack Taylor CL, Kilgore K, Valentine A, Bodurka DC, Kavanagh J, Sood A, Li Y, Basen-Engquist K. Associations with worry about dying and hopelessness in ambulatory ovarian cancer patients. Palliative and Supportive Care 7(3):299-306, 2009.
9. Basen-Engquist K, Hughes D, Perkins H, Shinn E, Carmack Taylor C. Dimensions of physical activity and their relationship to physical and emotional symptoms. Journal of Cancer Survivorship 2(4):253-61, 12/2008. e-Pub 10/2008.
10. Carmack Taylor CL, Badr H, Lee JH, Fossella F, Pisters K, Gritz ER, Schover L. Lung Cancer Patients and Their Spouses: Psychological and Relationship Functioning Within 1 Month of Treatment Initiation. Ann Behav Med 36(2):129-140, 10/2008. e-Pub 9/17/2008. PMID: 18797978.
11. Badr H, Carmack Taylor CL. Effects of relationship maintenance on psychological distress and dyadic adjustment among couples coping with lung cancer. Health Psychol 5(5):616-27, 9/2008. PMID: 18823188.
12. Badr H, Carmack Taylor CL. Does talking about their relationship affect couples’ marital and psychological adjustment to lung cancer? Journal of Cancer Survivorship 2(1):53-64, 2008.
13. Carmack Taylor CL, Kulik J, Badr H, Smith M, Basen-Engquist K, Penedo F, Gritz ER. A social comparison theory analysis of group composition and efficacy of cancer support group programs. Soc Sci Med 65(2):262-73, 7/2007. e-Pub 4/19/2007. PMID: 17448580.
14. Carmack Taylor CL, de Moor C, Basen-Engquist K, Smith MA, Dunn AL, Badr H, Pettaway C, Gritz ER. Moderator Analyses of Participants in the Active for Life after Cancer Trial: Implications for Physical Activity Group Intervention Studies. Ann Behav Med 33(1):99-104, 2/2007. PMID: 17291175.
15. Badr H, Acitelli LK, Carmack Taylor CL. Does couple identity mediate the stress experienced by caregiving spouses? Psychology and Health 22(2):211-229, 2007.
16. Carmack Taylor CL, deMoor C, Smith MA, Dunn AL, Basen-Engquist K, Nielsen I, Pettaway C, Sellin R, Massey P, Gritz ER. Active for Life after cancer: A randomized trial examining a lifestyle physical activity program for prostate cancer patients. Psycho-oncology 15:847-862, 2006.
17. Badr H, Basen-Engquist K, Carmack Taylor CL, deMoor C. Mood states associated with transitory physical symptoms among breast and ovarian cancer survivors. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 29(5):461-475, 2006.
18. Basen-Engquist K, Carmack Taylor CL, Rosenblum C, Smith M, Shinn E, Greisinger A, Gregg X, Massey P, Valero V, Rivera E. Randomized pilot test of a lifestyle physical activity intervention for breast cancer survivors. Patient Education and Counseling 64:225-234, 2006.
19. Badr H, Carmack Taylor CL. Social constraints and spousal communication in lung cancer. Psycho-oncology 15:673-683, 2006.
20. O'Hea EL, Boudreaux ED, Jeffries SK, Carmack Taylor CL, Scarinci IC, Brantley PJ. Stage of change movement across three health behaviors: the role of self-efficacy. American Journal of Health Promotion 19(2):94-102, 11/2004. PMID: 15559709.
21. Carmack Taylor CL, Smith MA, de Moor C, Dunn AL, Pettaway C, Sellin R, Charnsangavej C, Hansen MC, Gritz ER. Quality of life intervention for prostate cancer patients: design and baseline characteristics of the active for life after cancer trial. Controlled Clinical Trials 25:265-85, 6/2004. PMID: 15157729.
22. Carmack Taylor CL, Basen-Engquist K, Shinn EH, Bodurka DC. Predictors of sexual functioning in ovarian cancer patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology 22(5):881-9, 3/2004. PMID: 14990644.

Invited Articles

1. Carmack, Taylor CL, Badr H. Impact of cancer on spousal relationships. Coping with Cancer May/June:10, 2006.
2. Carmack Taylor CL. Spousal intimacy after cancer. Gynecologic Oncology 99:S217-S218, 2005.

Book Chapters

1. Carmack Taylor CL, Basen-Engquist K, Cohen L, Badr H. Psychosocial interventions for breast cancer patients. In: Advanced Therapy of Breast Disease (2nd ed). BC Decker Inc, 759-771, 2004.

Manuals, Teaching Aids, Other Teaching Publications

1. Carmack Taylor CL. Emotional effects of lung cancer on survivors and their spouses, Fall. National Lung Cancer Partnership, 5, 2008.
2. Carmack Taylor CL. Communicating with Your Significant Other. Developed materials for Lance Armstrong Foundation website: Live Strong--Resource for Cancer Survivors, 2004.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: Face-to-Face Videophone Intervention for Colorectal CA Patients
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 4/1/2010 - 3/31/2015
Title: Adherence to Swallowing Rehabilitation Exercises in Head and Neck Cancer
Funding Source: NIH/NIDCR
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Shinn, Eileen
Duration: 9/18/2009 - 8/31/2014
Title: Modeling Adherence to Swallowing and Dental Regimens in Head and Neck Cancer
Funding Source: NIH/DHHS
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Shinn, Eileen
Duration: 8/1/2009 - 10/31/2012
Title: Using Technology to Enhance Cancer Communication and Improve Clinical Outcomes (subcontract)
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator-MDACC
Principal Investigator: D. Gustafson
Duration: 10/1/2008 - 8/31/2013
Title: Efficacy of Cancer Support Programs: A Social Comparison Theory Analysis
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2008 - 8/31/2012
Title: Changing the Culture: A Pilot Study to Train Healthcare Providers to Address Patients' Psychosocial Needs
Funding Source: Donor Funds
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 1/1/2008 - 12/31/2015
Title: Social Cognitive Theory and PA after Endometrial Cancer
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Principal Investigator: Basen-Engquist, K.
Duration: 7/1/2004 - 8/31/2010
Title: Depression Screening and Treatment in Ovarian Cancer
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Co-Investigator and Co-Mentor
Principal Investigator: Shinn, E.
Duration: 10/1/2003 - 9/30/2009

Last updated: 8/13/2015