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Martha Grootenhuis

20B. Implementation of psychosocial risk screening for children with cancer and their parents during and after treatment

With the knowledge that a diagnosis of cancer during childhood has an impact on the whole family system, it is important to understand factors that facilitate or challenge the use of evidence-based approaches to monitor and screen for psychosocial distress screening.

A  well-known, brief and well-validated screener for psychosocial risk in pediatric oncology is the Psychological Assessment Tool (PAT) developed by Kazak et al. The PAT distinguishes families that are at three levels of risk for developing psychosocial problems.

This project focusses on the implementation of the PAT at different time points (after diagnosis and at end-of-treatment) and in different countries (USA, Australia and in the Netherlands). The research questions are centred around strategies for, and success of  implementation. In the United States, the student will join a team of implementation scientists engaged in a national cluster randomized controlled trial (funded by the American Cancer Society) testing two implementation conditions involving specific strategies for implementation.  The student will participate in conducting primary and secondary analyses of study data which includes outcomes at the patient/family, provider, and health system levels. In Australia implementation of the PAT as a a component of a risk-adapted, end-of-treatment model of care will be studied, including feasibility and barriers and facilitators to screening at this trajectory point.  In addition, data on implementation (sharing the scores with health care providers; improvement uptake in different languages) of the PAT in the Netherlands will be collected and studied. In summary, the research will be conducted on available data sets, but also include participation in a new implementation program as part of the project.

The project provides the opportunity to work together with an international team of leaders in the field of psycho-oncology and to get in-depth experience with implementing psychosocial risk screening with the PAT in pediatric oncology.


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