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Lisa Barbera, MD, MPA

Senior scientist

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Odette Cancer Centre, Department of Radiation Oncology
2075 Bayview Ave.
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4974
Fax: 416-480-6002

Administrative Assistant: Barb Zurowski
Phone: 416-480-4806


  • B.Sc., 1991, University of Toronto, Canada
  • MD, 1995, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • MPA, 2002, Queen’s University, Canada

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Senior scientist, Evaluative Clinical SciencesOdette Cancer Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Associate professor, department of radiation oncology, U of T
  • Radiation oncologist, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook
  • Senior adjunct scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
  • Clinical lead, patient reported outcomes and symptom management, Cancer Care Ontario

Research Focus:

  • Cancer health services research

Research Summary:

Dr. Barbera's main area of interest is health services research in cancer. Her primary expertise is in using large administrative health datasets to study health care service use.

Health service use at end of life in cancer patients
Health service use at the end of life at a population level can reflect the quality of end-of-life care. Services such as hospitalization, location of death, emergency department visits or palliative care service use are measureable with administrative data. Dr. Barbera has studied these services extensively in Ontario and is funded by the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control for a four-province comparison study.

Patient reported outcomes and symptom management

Dr. Barbera has spent the last several years evaluating the impact of patient-reported symptoms by the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale on health service use at a population level. She has been recently funded by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research to evaluate the management of pain in cancer patients in the province on Ontario. Dr. Barbera is also the lead for patient reported outcomes and symptom management at Cancer Care Ontario.

Gynecologic cancers

Dr. Barbera’s clinical expertise is radiation therapy for gynecologic cancers. She is completing a population-based analysis of the patterns of care of vulvar carcinoma.

She is also interested in sexual health after treatment for cancer. She is an active member of the Scientific Network on Female Sexual Health and Cancer. She chairs the Program in Evidence-Based Care Working Group, whose aim is to create a guideline addressing sexual function in cancer survivors.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Seow H, Brazil K, Sussman J, Pereira J, Marshall D, Austin PC, Husain A, Rangrej J, Barbera L. Impact of community based, specialist palliative care teams on hospitalisations and emergency department visits late in life and hospital deaths: a pooled analysis. BMJ. 2014;348:(g3496).
  2. Barbera L, Atzema C, Sutradhar R, Seow H, Howell D, Husain A, Sussman J, Earle C, Liu Y, Dudgeon D. Do patient-reported symptoms predict emergency department visits in cancer patients? A population-based analysis. Ann Emerg Med. 2013 Apr;61(4):427–37.
  3. Classen CC, Chivers ML, Urowitz S, Barbera L, Wiljer D, O’Rinn S and Ferguson SE. Psychosexual distress in women with gynecologic cancer: a feasibility study of an online support group. Psychooncology. 2013 Apr;22(4):930–5.
  4. Barbera L, Seow H, Husain A, Howell D, Atzema C, Sutradhar R, Earle C, Sussman J, Liu Y and Dudgeon D. Opioid prescription after pain assessment: a population-based cohort of elderly patients with cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Apr;30(10):1095–9.
  5. Warren JL, Barbera L, Bremner KE, Yabroff KR, Hoch JS, Barrett MJ, Luo J, Krahn MD. End-of-life care for lung cancer patients in the United States and Ontario. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011 Jun;103(11):853–62.

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