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Behavioral Medicine & Rehabilitation Psychology

Behavioral Medicine Services at Siskin Hospital 

Our psychologists and neuropsychologist have specialized training in Behavioral Medicine and Rehabilitation Psychology. 

They are trained to assist individuals living with a chronic medical illness or who have endured a traumatic injury.  We understand that affected individuals and their families frequently encounter heightened levels of stress, feelings of grief and loss, and changes in their quality of life. Our psychologists provide in-depth evaluation and treatment of emotional and behavioral factors affecting adjustment and recovery.

Behavioral medicine services are frequently helpful for individuals coping with:

  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Paralysis and cognitive/emotional problems following stroke
  • Amputation
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Cancer
  • Neurologic Illness (Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, MS)
  • Chronic Pain
  • Lymphedema
  • Traumatic Injury
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Pre-surgical and Pre-transplant Evaluations

Pain Management

Chronic pain can affect all aspects of an individual’s life from work to life at home. Management of chronic pain is complex and many individuals benefit from a combination of therapies, including cognitive behavioral intervention (CBT). Individuals utilizing CBT strategies in a their pain management program frequently experience decreased reliance on narcotic medications and report lower pain levels and improved quality of life. 

Dr. DelGardo provides expert care in the behavioral management of chronic pain and assisting the individual with developing strategies to cope with issues of depression, hopelessness, and helplessness that frequently accompany chronic pain. When appropriate, Dr. DelGardo may also include biofeedback into the treatment plan. Individuals seeing Dr. DelGardo can expect that she will work closely with your physiatrist or pain management specialist to develop an integrated and comprehensive plan of care for your chronic pain condition. 

For individuals considering spinal cord stimulator placement or surgical intervention, Dr. DelGardo can provide the pre-surgical psychological evaluation frequently required by surgeons and pain management specialists.

Bariatric Surgery

Individuals seeking bariatric surgery at accredited bariatric surgical centers must complete a pre-surgical psychological assessment as part of the pre-surgical clearance process.

The purpose of the evaluation is to first identify individuals who may be at high risk for poorer outcomes due to behavioral issues, but more importantly, to identify the individual's behavioral strengths and limitations or other life issues which could affect their ability and motivation to successfully adhere to what is a complex and long-term treatment plan. Given that there is a potential for relapse after bariatric surgery, which is often related to behavioral factors, an effect pre-surgical psychological assessment can assist patients in recognizing potential risk factors and develop behavioral strategies to enhance their ability and motivation to adhere to the program in the long-term.

Dr. Charles Schmittdiel has worked in the bariatric psychology field for more than 10 years with two accredited bariatric programs, conducting pre-surgical assessments according to guidelines from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Schmittdiel is committed to enhancing bariatric outcomes by providing assessments that can guide patients in successfully navigating the challenges associated with long-term adherence to the bariatric regimen. Dr. Schmittdiel also works with post-surgical patients who are struggling with adherence to the program to help them get back on track and maintain their weight loss and lifestyle change gains.

Learn more about the Behavior Medicine Department.