Hailey W. Bulls, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Palliative Research Center

Hailey W. Bulls, PhD, joined the Section of Palliative Care & Medical Ethics as Assistant Professor in 2019. She completed her PhD in Medical/Clinical Psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, with a pre-doctoral internship at the James A. Haley VA and an R25-funded postdoctoral fellowship in Behavioral Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. Broadly, Dr. Bulls’ current research focuses on 1) mitigating the impact of opioid stigma on cancer patients with pain; 2) early identification cancer patients at risk for pain and neuropathy, with an emphasis on health equity; and 3) novel behavioral interventions to better manage pain. She was recently selected for the Clinical and Translational Science Scholars Program (KL2) in support of this research. Dr. Bulls also evaluates experimental models of pain sensitivity and modulation using actigraphy and quantitative sensory testing. In the clinic, Dr. Bulls specializes in cognitive-behavioral interventions for acute and chronic pain.

Dr. Bulls is an active #AcademicTwitter user: follow her at @hwbulls. Outside of the office, she enjoys exploring her new city, traveling, kickboxing, eating soup dumplings, solving crossword puzzles, and cheering on the Florida Gators.

Education & Training

  • BS (Psychology), University of Florida, 2010
  • MA (Medical/Clinical Psychology), University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2015
  • PhD (Medical/Clinical Psychology), University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2017
  • Predoctoral Internship, James A. Haley VA, 2017
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (Behavioral Oncology), Moffitt Cancer Center, 2019

Representative Publications

Bulls HW, Hoogland AI, Craig D, Paice J, Chang YD, Oberoi-Jassal R, Rajasekhara S, Haas M, Bobonis M, Gonzalez BD, Portman D, Jim HSL. Cancer and opioids: patient experiences with stigma (COPES) – a pilot study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2019;57(4):816-819.

This pilot study indicated that cancer patients with pain experience stigma surrounding their prescription opioid use, resulting in potentially maladaptive behaviors (e.g., under-utilizing opioid prescriptions, avoiding communication with providers and loved ones).

Bulls HW, Hoogland AI, Kennedy B, James BW, Arboleda BL, Apte S, Chon HS, Small BJ, Gonzalez BD, Jim HSL. A longitudinal examination of associations between age and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in patients with gynecologic cancer. Gynecologic Oncology. 2018;152(2):310-315.

This longitudinal study found that older and younger women with gynecologic cancer endorse similar rates of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy during chemotherapy, but that older women struggle to recover after the completion of treatment.

Bulls HW*, Lynch MK*, Petrov ME, Owens MA, Terry SC, Gossett EW, Wesson-Sides KM, Goodin BR. Depressive symptoms and sleep efficiency mediate racial differences in temporal summation of mechanical pain. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 2017;51(5):673-682.

This observational, microlongitudinal study revealed that African-American patients reported greater depressive symptoms in comparison to non-Hispanic whites, which had a directional influence on worse sleep efficiency and subsequently resulted in higher temporal summation of mechanical pain.

Bulls HW, Goodin BR, McNew M, Gossett E, Bradley LA. Minority aging and endogenous pain facilitatory processes. Pain Medicine. 2015;17(6):1037-1048.

Results of this cross-sectional study found that in a group of pain-free individuals, older African Americans demonstrated enhanced pain facilitatory processes compared to older non-Hispanic whites and younger participants from both racial backgrounds.

Click here for a more complete bibliography of Dr. Bulls’ works.

Research Interests

  • Cancer pain
  • Neuropathy
  • Pain psychology
  • Behavioral medicine