Brenda Bursch, Ph.D.


Professor, Pediatrics

Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

Member, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

Contact Information

Work Phone Number: (800) 825-9989

Work Address:

760 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Dr. Bursch received her PhD from Claremont Graduate School in 1990. She is a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where she has been on faculty since 1994. She is the Clinical Director of the Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation Liaison service, overseeing child psychiatry consultations for pediatric medical inpatients. She was awarded the 2005 UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences Teaching Award for Housestaff Teaching. Dr. Bursch is a medical psychologist with clinical and research interests in pediatric pain, palliative care, somatization, and illness falsification. She has presented lectures at professional conferences within the United States and abroad, and has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters. Dr. Bursch served as an invited member for the International Association for the Study of Pain Ad hoc Subcommittee on Medical School Courses and Curriculum, participating (as first author) in the Development of Core Curriculum on Pediatric Pain Management. Dr. Bursch also participated in the development of national guidelines on both Munchausen by Proxy, and Pediatric Chronic Pain (as Committee Chair). She is currently serving on a multidisciplinary medical school curriculum taskforce to improve the teaching and evaluation of learning for behavioral and social science in medical schools, consistent with the Institute of Medicine recommendations. She has served as Associate Guest Editor for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Special Issue on Pediatric Chronic Pain (2006); and as a manuscript reviewer for JAMA, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Psychosomatics, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Journal of Pediatrics, Cognition and Emotion, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Primary Psychiatry, and Child Maltreatment.


A selected list of publications:

Lester Patricia, Saltzman William R, Woodward Kirsten, Glover Dorie, Leskin Gregory A, Bursch Brenda, Pynoos Robert, Beardslee William   Evaluation of a family-centered prevention intervention for military children and families facing wartime deployments American journal of public health, 2012; 102 Suppl 1: S48-54.
Lester Patricia, Mogil Catherine, Saltzman William, Woodward Kirsten, Nash William, Leskin Gregory, Bursch Brenda, Green Sara, Pynoos Robert, Beardslee William   Families overcoming under stress: implementing family-centered prevention for military families facing wartime deployments and combat operational stress Military medicine, 2011; 176(1): 19-25.
Bursch Brenda   Preventing and Treating Bullying and Victimization JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 2010; 304(20): 2301.
Lester Patricia, Stein Judith A, Bursch Brenda, Rice Eric, Green Sara, Penniman Typhanye, Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane   Family-based processes associated with adolescent distress, substance use and risky sexual behavior in families affected by maternal HIV Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 2010; 39(3): 328-40.
Salpekar Jay A, Plioplys Sigita, Siddarth Prabha, Bursch Brenda, Shaw Richard J, Asato Miya R, LaFrance W Curt, Weisbrot Deborah M, Dunn David W, Austin Joan K, Olson Donald M, Caplan Rochelle   Pediatric psychogenic nonepileptic seizures: a study of assessment tools Epilepsy & behavior : E&B, 2010; 17(1): 50-5.
Bursch Brenda   Treating Child and Adolescent Depression JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 2009; 302(18): 2037-2038.
Bursch Brenda   Psychological/cognitive behavioral treatment of childhood functional abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, 2008; 47(5): 706-7.
Bursch Brenda, Schreier Herbert A, Ayoub Catherine C, Libow Judith A, Sanders Mary J, Yorker Beatrice C   Further thoughts on "Beyond Munchausen by proxy: identification and treatment of child abuse in a medical setting" Pediatrics, 2008; 121(2): 444-5; author reply 445.
Plioplys Sigita, Asato Miya R, Bursch Brenda, Salpekar Jay A, Shaw Richard, Caplan Rochelle   Multidisciplinary management of pediatric nonepileptic seizures Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2007; 46(11): 1491-5.
Bursch Brenda, Hyman Paul E   Parent perceptions of the psychological functioning of their children diagnosed with pediatric motility disorders and that of family members Gastroenterology nursing : the official journal of the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, 2006; 29(3): 209-16.
Shaw Richard J, Wamboldt Marianne, Bursch Brenda, Stuber Margaret   Practice patterns in pediatric consultation-liaison psychiatry: a national survey Psychosomatics, 2006; 47(1): 43-9.
Bursch Brenda, Tsao Jennie C I, Meldrum Marcia, Zeltzer Lonnie K   Preliminary validation of a self-efficacy scale for child functioning despite chronic pain (child and parent versions) Pain, 2006; 125(1-2): 35-42.
Tsao Jennie C I, Myers Cynthia D, Craske Michelle G, Bursch Brenda, Kim Su C, Zeltzer Lonnie K   Role of anticipatory anxiety and anxiety sensitivity in children's and adolescents' laboratory pain responses Journal of pediatric psychology, 2005; 29(5): 379-88.
Tsao Jennie C I, Meldrum Marcia, Bursch Brenda, Jacob Margaret C, Kim Su C, Zeltzer Lonnie K   Treatment expectations for CAM interventions in pediatric chronic pain patients and their parents Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2005; 2(4): 521-7.
Bursch Brenda, Ingman Kathleen, Vitti Lisa, Hyman Paul, Zeltzer Lonnie K   Chronic pain in individuals with previously undiagnosed autistic spectrum disorders The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society, 2004; 5(5): 290-5.
Lester Patricia, Stein Judith A, Bursch Brenda   Developmental predictors of somatic symptoms in adolescents of parents with HIV: a 12-month follow-up Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, 2003; 24(4): 242-50.
Hyman Paul E, Bursch Brenda, Sood Manu, Schwankovsky Lenore, Cocjin Jose, Zeltzer Lonnie K   Visceral pain-associated disability syndrome: a descriptive analysis Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, 2002; 35(5): 663-8.
Tsao Jennie C I, Glover Dorie A, Bursch Brenda, Ifekwunigwe Muriel, Zeltzer Lonnie K   Laboratory pain reactivity and gender: relationship to school nurse visits and school absences Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, 2002; 23(4): 217-24.
Hyman Paul E, Bursch Brenda, Beck David, DiLorenzo Carlo, Zeltzer Lonnie K   Discriminating pediatric condition falsification from chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction in toddlers Child maltreatment, 2002; 7(2): 132-7.
Sanders Mary J, Bursch Brenda   Forensic assessment of illness falsification, Munchausen by proxy, and factitious disorder, NOS Child maltreatment, 2002; 7(2): 112-24.
Ayoub Catherine C, Alexander Randell, Beck David, Bursch Brenda, Feldman Kenneth W, Libow Judith, Sanders Mary J, Schreier Herbert A, Yorker Beatrice, Yorker Beatrice   Position paper: definitional issues in Munchausen by proxy Child maltreatment, 2002; 7(2): 105-11.