Dr. Anya Griffin is a pediatric psychologist and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pain, and Perioperative Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is the Director of the Stanford Children’s Health Pediatric Rehabilitation Program (PReP), an intensive pain rehabilitation program for pediatric chronic pain with an interdisciplinary treatment team of occupational therapists, physical therapists, pain medicine providers, and pain psychologists. She has trained and worked in the field of pediatric psychology primarily with children and adolescents diagnosed with chronic pain, Sickle Cell Disease, and cancer. Dr. Griffin's research interests include pediatric chronic pain, mind-body interventions for pediatric pain management, oncology, sickle cell disease, and improving the process of transition from pediatric to adult care. She is also a board certified Dance/Movement Therapist and completed her graduate training at UCLA. She was awarded a grant in 2015 from the Stanford Medicine and Muse for her project “Capturing Pain: Photographic storytelling of youth with chronic pain.”

Clinical Focus

  • Psychology

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Fellowship: Emory University Pediatric Anesthesiology GA
  • Internship: USC Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology Internship CA
  • PhD Training: Fielding Graduate University (2005) CA
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Emory University School of Medicine - Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Pediatric Psychology (2006)
  • Internship, University of Southern California - Keck School of Medicine at CHLA, Pediatric Psychology (2005)
  • PhD, Fielding Graduate University, Clinical Psychology - Health Psychology (2005)
  • MA, University of California, Los Angeles, Dance/Movement Therapy (1997)
  • BA, Xavier University of Louisiana (1993)

Research & Scholarship


  • Capturing Pain: Photovoice with pediatric chronic pain, Stanford University School of Medicine


    Stanford, CA


All Publications

  • Virtual Reality in Pain Rehabilitation for Youth With Chronic Pain: Pilot Feasibility Study. JMIR rehabilitation and assistive technologies Griffin, A., Wilson, L., Feinstein, A. B., Bortz, A., Heirich, M. S., Gilkerson, R., Wagner, J. F., Menendez, M., Caruso, T. J., Rodriguez, S., Naidu, S., Golianu, B., Simons, L. E. 2020; 7 (2): e22620


    BACKGROUND: In the field of pain, virtual reality (VR) technology has been increasingly common in the context of procedural pain management. As an interactive technology tool, VR has the potential to be extended beyond acute pain management to chronic pain rehabilitation with a focus on increasing engagement with painful or avoided movements.OBJECTIVE: We outline the development and initial implementation of a VR program in pain rehabilitation intervention to enhance function in youth with chronic pain.METHODS: We present the development, acceptability, feasibility, and utility of an innovative VR program (Fruity Feet) for pediatric pain rehabilitation to facilitate increased upper and lower extremity engagement. The development team was an interdisciplinary group of pediatric experts, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, pain psychologists, anesthesiologists, pain researchers, and a VR software developer. We used a 4-phase iterative development process that engaged clinicians, parents, and patients via interviews and standardized questionnaires.RESULTS: This study included 17 pediatric patients (13 female, 4 male) enrolled in an intensive interdisciplinary pain treatment (IIPT) program, with mean age of 13.24 (range 7-17) years, completing a total of 63 VR sessions. Overall reports of presence were high (mean 28.98; max 40; SD 4.02), suggestive of a high level of immersion. Among those with multisession data (n=8), reports of pain (P<.001), fear (P=.003), avoidance (P=.004), and functional limitations (P=.01) significantly decreased. Qualitative analysis revealed (1) a positive experience with VR (eg, enjoyed VR, would like to utilize the VR program again, felt VR was a helpful tool); (2) feeling distracted from pain while engaged in VR; (3) greater perceived mobility; and (4) fewer clinician-observed pain behaviors during VR. Movement data support the targeted impact of the Fruity Feet compared to other available VR programs.CONCLUSIONS: The iterative development process yielded a highly engaging and feasible VR program based on qualitative feedback, questionnaires, and movement data. We discuss next steps for the refinement, implementation, and assessment of impact of VR on chronic pain rehabilitation. VR holds great promise as a tool to facilitate therapeutic gains in chronic pain rehabilitation in a manner that is highly reinforcing and fun.

    View details for DOI 10.2196/22620

    View details for PubMedID 33226346

  • Team Approach: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in Children and Adolescents. JBJS reviews Tileston, K. R., Griffin, A., Wagner, J. F., O'Day, M. N., Krane, E. J. 2020; 8 (4): e0174

    View details for DOI 10.2106/JBJS.RVW.19.00174

    View details for PubMedID 32304498

  • Enhancing Pain Assessment in Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease by Applying Quality Improvement Science. Clinical practice in pediatric psychology Sil, S., Goldstein-Leever, A., Travers, C., Gilleland-Marchak, J., Alexander, A., Thompson, B., Griffin, A., McCracken, C., New, T. 2019; 7 (4): 335–46


    Standardized pain assessment and interventions are recommended for youth hospitalized for pain. This quality improvement (QI) project integrated into a pediatric psychology service aimed to increase the standardized assessment of pain-related functional ability for youth with sickle cell disease (SCD) hospitalized for pain.Children and adolescents (n=102) with SCD referred for psychology consultation for poor coping in response to pain during hospitalization completed a validated self-report of functional ability in addition to pain intensity during inpatient psychology visits. At the time of the quality initiative, routine and standardized assessment of pain-related functional ability was not integrated into standard clinical care. Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycles determined the feasibility and addressed common barriers of routine assessment and documentation of pain-related functional ability among youth with SCD during inpatient psychology visits with the primary goal to increase assessment of functional ability to at least 85% among patients with SCD referred for pediatric psychology consultation to address pain management within 1 year.Through iterative PDSA cycles, routine assessment of pain-related functional ability during psychology visits increased to an average of 93% over the course of 12 months. Routine, standardized assessment of functional ability was considered feasible within a pediatric psychology service.This project supported the feasibility of integrating standardized assessment of functional ability to enhance pain assessment for youth hospitalized for SCD pain as part of routine clinical care in a multidisciplinary setting regardless of psychology referral.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/cpp0000277

    View details for PubMedID 31938673

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6959975

  • Risk and Resilience in Pediatric Pain: The Roles of Parent and Adolescent Catastrophizing and Acceptance. The Clinical journal of pain Feinstein, A. B., Sturgeon, J. A., Bhandari, R. P., Yoon, I. A., Ross, A., Huestis, S., Griffin, A., Simons, L. 2018


    OBJECTIVES: Both pediatric and parent pain catastrophizing and pain acceptance are key factors associated with pediatric pain outcomes; however, the interactive effects of these factors within the parent-child dyad have yet to be tested. The aims of this study were to examine: (1) the mediating role of child catastrophizing between parent catastrophizing and child outcomes (pain interference and mobility), (2) the mediating role of child acceptance between parent acceptance and child outcomes, and (3) whether child acceptance buffers the relation between parent catastrophizing and child catastrophizing, which in turn impacts child outcomes.METHODS: Cross-sectional data from 324 youth with chronic pain ages 10 to 17 years (M age=14.72, (SD=2.12); 73.1% female; 59% Caucasian) and their parents were collected. Participants completed measures assessing pediatric PROMIS domains (mobility and pain interference), pain catastrophizing, pain acceptance, and child pain intensity. Mediation was conducted via 1000-draw bootstrap-adjusted analyses in Mplus.RESULTS: Parent pain catastrophizing was indirectly associated with child pain interference via child catastrophizing but was not associated with mobility difficulties in the mediation model. Parent pain acceptance was indirectly associated with both child pain interference and mobility via child acceptance. We did not find evidence of child acceptance buffering parent and child pain catastrophizing.DISCUSSION: The findings of this study highlight the need for caregiver involvement in multidisciplinary treatments to mitigate risk and enhance resilience in youth with chronic pain.

    View details for PubMedID 30028367

  • Stigma and Pain in Adolescents Hospitalized for Sickle Cell Vasoocclusive Pain Episodes CLINICAL JOURNAL OF PAIN Martin, S. R., Cohen, L. L., Mougianis, I., Griffin, A., Sil, S., Dampier, C. 2018; 34 (5): 438–44


    Sickle cell disease (SCD) pain and hospitalizations increase during adolescence and adolescents with SCD may be at-risk for experiencing health-related stigma, which may result in poor health outcomes. This study examined relations among health-related stigma, pain interference, social support, quality of life (QOL), and hospital outcomes (ie, loneliness, pain reduction, and length of stay [LOS]) in adolescents hospitalized with SCD pain.Twelve- to 18-year-old adolescents (N=92) hospitalized with SCD pain completed measures of stigma, pain interference, social support, QOL, and state loneliness. Reduction of pain intensity during hospitalization and LOS were collected from medical chart review.Higher stigma was associated with higher pain interference, lower QOL, more loneliness, and less pain reduction in the hospital. Pain interference was positively associated with LOS.These preliminary findings highlight the importance of assessing and addressing SCD-related stigma and pain interference in adolescents hospitalized for SCD pain as these factors may influence treatment outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000553

    View details for Web of Science ID 000430140700007

    View details for PubMedID 28877143

  • Yoga intervention for an adolescent with juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a case study. Adv Mind Body Med Feinstein, A., Cohen, L., Masuda, A., Griffin, A., et al 2018; 32 (1): 13-20
  • A Pilot Study of Mindfulness Meditation for Pediatric Chronic Pain. Children (Basel, Switzerland) Waelde, L. C., Feinstein, A. B., Bhandari, R., Griffin, A., Yoon, I. A., Golianu, B. 2017; 4 (5)


    Despite advances in psychological interventions for pediatric chronic pain, there has been little research examining mindfulness meditation for these conditions. This study presents data from a pilot clinical trial of a six-week manualized mindfulness meditation intervention offered to 20 adolescents aged 13-17 years. Measures of pain intensity, functional disability, depression and parent worry about their child's pain were obtained at baseline and post-treatment. Results indicated no significant changes in pain or depression, however functional disability and frequency of pain functioning complaints improved with small effect sizes. Parents' worry about child's pain significantly decreased with a large effect size. Participants rated intervention components positively and most teens suggested that the number of sessions be increased. Three case examples illustrate mindfulness meditation effects and precautions. Mindfulness meditation shows promise as a feasible and acceptable intervention for youth with chronic pain. Future research should optimize intervention components and determine treatment efficacy.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/children4050032

    View details for PubMedID 28445406

  • Assessment of family psychosocial functioning in survivors of pediatric cancer using the PAT2.0 PSYCHO-ONCOLOGY Gilleland, J., Reed-Knight, B., Brand, S., Griffin, A., Wasilewski-Masker, K., Meacham, L., Mertens, A. 2013; 22 (9): 2133-2139


    This study aimed to examine clinical validity and utility of a screening measure for familial psychosocial risk, the Psychosocial Assessment Tool 2.0 (PAT2.0), among pediatric cancer survivors participating in long-term survivorship care.Caregivers (N=79) completed the PAT2.0 during their child's survivorship appointment. Caregivers also reported on family engagement in outpatient mental health treatment. Medical records were reviewed for treatment history and oncology provider initiated psychology consults.The internal consistency of the PAT2.0 total score in this survivorship sample was strong. Psychology was consulted by the oncology provider to see 53% of participant families, and families seen by psychology had significantly higher PAT2.0 total scores than families without psychology consults. PAT2.0 total scores and corresponding subscales were higher for patients, parents, and siblings enrolled in outpatient mental health services since treatment completion. Results were consistent with psychosocial risk categories presented within the Pediatric Psychosocial Preventative Health Model. Fifty-one percent of families presenting for survivorship care scored in the "universal" category, 34% scored in the "targeted" category, and 15% scored in the "clinical" category.Data indicate that the overall proportions of families experiencing "universal", "targeted", and "clinical" levels of familial distress may be constant from the time of diagnosis into survivorship care. Overall, the PAT2.0 demonstrated strong psychometric properties among survivors of pediatric cancer and shows promise as a psychosocial screening measure to facilitate more effective family support in survivorship care.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pon.3265

    View details for Web of Science ID 000323451500028

    View details for PubMedID 23529924

  • Applying a Developmental-Ecological Framework to Sickle Cell Disease Transition. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology Griffin, A., Gilleland, J., Cummings, L., Johnson, A., Brailey, T., New, T., Eckman, J., Osunkwo, I. 2013; 1 (3): 250-263

    View details for DOI 10.1037/cpp0000027

  • Pediatric Chronic Pain and Health-Related Quality of Life: Interrelationships between coping, fatigue, and health- related quality of life Journal of Pediatric Nursing Gold, J., Kant, A., Carson, M., Palmer, S., Griffin, A., Joseph, M. 2009; 24 (2): 141-150
  • Gender differences in the relation between functioning and values-based living in youth with sickle cell disease Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology Martin, S., Cohen, L., Welkom, J., Feinstein, A., Masuda, A., Griffin, A. 2016; 4 (1): 11-22

    View details for DOI 10.1037/cpp0000127

  • Identification of Pica Behaviors in Youth with Sickle Cell Disease: A Quality Improvement (QI) Project Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology Reed, B., Thompson, B., Bigham, L., Sil, S., Griffin, A., Johnson, A. 2015; 3 (3): 167-174

    View details for DOI 10.1037/cpp0000097

  • Pediatric psychology at Georgia State University: Evaluation of Training with the Society of Pediatric Psychology Competencies Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology Cohen, L., Rodrigues, N., Bishop, M., Griffin, A., Sil, S. 2015: 205

    View details for DOI 10.1037/cpp0000101


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