Preeti Sandhu PsyD, is a pediatric psychologist in the division of Pain and Palliative Medicine at Connecticut Children’s Hospital. Her main research interest is in chronic pediatric pain management and she has past experience in providing education on the utilization of trauma-based therapy. Sandhu received her doctorate in psychology from the University of Hartford in 2018 and completed a fellowship in pediatric pain at Connecticut Children’s (CT Children’s) in 2019.
Sandhu has affiliations with two ongoing research projects where she serves as an interventionist. The first study, FITeens, is a randomized control trial through Cincinnati Children’s and seven other affiliate hospitals. It is a group-based therapy model that is provided to children and teens who are experiencing juvenile fibromyalgia or amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome through a cognitive behavioral (CBT) and physical therapy modality. The second study is through Boston Children’s Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Center (PPRC) where she is implementing motivational interventions to teens who are entering the intensive pain rehabilitation program. Her goal is to identify ways to help families achieve a functional approach to pain management.
“I have a passion for pediatric chronic pain. I love working with adolescents and helping them learn to function with pain using CBT, acceptance and commitment therapy, and motivational interviewing. This helps with treatment adherence, but also their personal goals in the context of academics, family, social relationships, and extracurriculars to bring value back in their life.”
Involvement with CSCH
Sandhu joined CSCH after observing a lack of interventions for specialized programs in the community, specifically the school setting. She wanted to connect with nurses, teachers, guidance counselors, and other school personnel in efforts to help students who are experiencing chronic pain through a direct collaborative approach. CT Children’s attempt to build a connection with CSCH contributed to her interest in a partnership. “I wanted to meet people who were equally interested in research and the dissemination of information to schools.”
Sandhu is a proponent of advocacy, which she believes can be done through networking and research dissemination. In 2022, she plans to connect with Hartford Schools to develop collaborative programs for research dissemination. “We want to support adolescents by offering more strategies such as mindfulness in the nurse’s office and pacing in physical education. We need to desensitize the nervous system and provide education on chronic pain in the school environment”.
The best way to learn more about Sandhu’s work is by viewing her CT Children’s profile.
Sandhu has two rescue animals (cat and dog) that she loves to shower with gifts. She is always looking for an adventure and hopes to go to Alaska in the near future. Hiking is another one of Dr. Sandhu’s passions. She has hiked on mountains areas across the country including Salt Lake City, Utah. When she’s not on the go, Sandhu likes to explore different foods. One thing Sandhu values heavily is the concept of self-care where she has created a rule for herself. “Once a week or once every two weeks I must try something new to fill my cup for the work that I do. I love trying new things and going outside of my comfort zone.”
Undergraduate Researcher Angel Ojide interviewed Dr. Sandhu and wrote this profile.