Tamara Cadet

Associate Professor of Social Work
  • School of Social Work
Tamara Cadet photo


(617) 521-3981

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  • M.S.W.
  • M.P.H
  • Ph.D.

About Me

Tamara J. Cadet, Ph.D., L.I.C.S.W., M.P.H., is an Associate Professor at the Simmons School of Social Work. She also holds a faculty appointment at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology. Dr. Cadet brings her more than 25 years of practice experience in many capacities and settings to her teaching and to her research. Dr. Cadet has worked in the fields of substance abuse, adoption, mental health, health care, schools, and oncology with children, adults, families, and older adults, as both a social worker and as a community organizer. She has a motto, that if she is not thinking about the underserved or under-represented client or patient, then she has forgotten the most important part of conducting research. It this commitment to social justice that permeates every aspect of her research. Her ultimate objective is to advance efforts to develop health promotion interventions for underserved and underrepresented older adults in order to contribute to reducing oncology-related disparities. To this end, her research has primarily focused on improving access to cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment services for older minority adults. Dr. Cadet has been the recipient of several national career development awards for her research and has been funded by the National Cancer Institute through a Supplement. She was also a recipient of the National Institute of Health Loan Repayment Program. She is currently funded by the National Institute of Aging and involved with the Simmons School of Social Work Health Resources and Services Administration funded Behavioral Health Workforce and Education and Training Program. She particularly enjoys translating her research to practice for community-based organizations where she serves and preparing social workers for effective evidence-based practice.

Dr. Cadet has three core assumptions in her teaching including: doing whatever helps students learn, adopting a critically reflective stance, and being aware of how students experience their learning and perceive my actions (Brookfield, 2006). One of her goals is to create safe environments for students to actively learn and engage with the topic in their own time and space. I believe my role is to provide meaningful information that connects students' learning to their overall personal, professional, and academic experiences (Hooks, 1994). Learning begins when students apply and integrate their knowledge. Significant learning begins when students integrate their ideas, when students learn about themselves and others, and, most importantly, when they learn how to learn. Significant learning is not a linear process but a cyclical process where one aspect of learning informs another. It is my hope that lasting change has occurred for my students through our collective learning.

Dr. Tamara Cadet's Curriculum Vitae

Area of Expertise

Health social work, evidence-based health promotion interventions, facilitators and barriers to reducing disparities in preventative health behaviors, health care service utilization among vulnerable populations with a focus on oncology and gerontology

What I Teach

Dr. Cadet's teaching interests include clinical practice, human behavior, health-care practice, older adults, and intervention research. Specifically, Dr. Cadet teaches the foundation clinical practice course on the ground and online, an online human behavior in the social environment course, an advanced health care practice course, an older adult practice course, and a Ph.D.-level course in intervention research.

Research/Special Projects

Dr. Cadet's research interests include oncology, aging, health behaviors, psychosocial and cultural factors, and health promotion. Based upon her dissertation research, older Hispanic and non-Hispanic women and the psychosocial factors influencing their breast and cervical cancer screening participation, she investigates and promotes evidence based health promotion interventions for underserved populations. She is specifically interested in behavioral factors that influence health behaviors.

Dr. Cadet is currently adapting and evaluating a colorectal cancer screening decision aid for use among older women and men with low health literacy levels. She recently completed adapting and evaluating a mammography screening decision aid for use among older women with low health literacy levels. She continues to collaborate with colleagues to investigate the psychosocial and cultural factors that influence older adults and their cancer-screening behaviors using national datasets, including the Health and Retirement Study.

Selected Grant Activity

National Institute of Aging (2020-2025)
Shared decision-making and colorectal cancer screening behaviors among older adults
with low health literacy
Role: Principal Investigator

Health Resources and Services Administration (2017 – 2021)
Behavioral Health Workforce and Education and Training Program
Role: Program Evaluator

National Institutes of Health-Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program (2017 – 2019)
Adaptation of a mammography decision aid for low health literate women aged 75 and older
Role: Principal Investigator

Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (2016 – 2019)
3R01CA181357-03S1 (Admin Supp)
Adaptation of a mammography decision aid for low health literate women aged 75 and older
In collaboration with Dr. Mara Schonberg, MD, MPH; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Role: Principal Investigator


Cadet, T., Valencia, E.,* Moore, M., & Davis, C. (Accepted for publication). Using Community Based Participatory Research Project to Increase Awareness about Breast Cancer Screening in African American Women. Sage Research Methods Cases

Bibbins-Domingo, K, Ajayi, T., Cadet, T., Cooper, L., DeSalvo, K., Esguerra, C. et a. (2019). Integrating Social Care into the Delivery of Health Care. JAMA. Published online September 25, 2019. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.15603

Nedjat-Haiem, F. R., Cadet, T. J., Amatya, A., Thompson, B., & Mishra, S. I. (2019). Efficacy of Motivational Interviewing to Enhance Advance Directive Completion in Latinos With Chronic Illness: A Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 1049909119851470.

Nedjat-Haiem, F. R., Cadet, T. J., Amatya, A., & Mishra, S. I. (2019). Healthcare Providers' Attitudes, Knowledge, and Practice Behaviors for Educating Patients About Advance Directives: A National Survey. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine®, 36(5), 387-395.

O'Conner, K. O., Cadet, T., Brown, M., & Barnett, J. T. (2018). The impact of peer support on risk of future hospital readmissions among older adults with a medical illness and co-occurring depression. Social Sciences, 7(9), 156.

Bakk, L. & Cadet, T. (2018) Awareness of the Medicare Part D low-income subsidy among older non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics. Social Work in Public Health, 33(4), 250-258.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Council on Social Work Education 2019-2022
Commission on Research

International Patient Decision Aid Standards Collaboration 2019
Health Literacy Review Working Group

National Academies of Sciences Consensus Study 2018
Integrating social care needs into health care

Gerontological Society of America 2018
Behavioral and Social Sciences representative to GSA Public Policy Committee


Simmons University Research Award (2019)

Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity Research Scholar (2019-2020)

Butler-Williams Scholars Program (2016)
National Institute of Aging