Thursday, July 30 • 3:50pm - 5:20pm
S7: Delivering Psychosocial Care in Pediatric and Adolescent Oncology: Unique International Challenges and Opportunities

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Worldwide, pediatric and adolescent/young adult (AYA) cancer affects over 160,000 families each year,1 who experience a complex constellation of psychosocial needs. Despite considerable progress in pediatric/adolescent psycho-oncology, a number of vulnerable populations continue to ‘fall through the cracks’.  For example, emerging research indicates that young children’s distress during cancer treatment may be missed if screening methodologies do not ask the right questions, in the right ways (talk one). Other groups may experience significant psychosocial needs that are unaddressed due to complex developmental factors, and their lack of ‘critical mass’ within treatment-settings, such as AYAs with cancer (talk two). Other sub-groups remain underserviced within pediatric psycho-oncology due to their ‘dislocation’ within the system, such as bereaved parents (talk three) and grandparents of children with cancer (talk four). The unique needs of these groups offer both distinct challenges, and important opportunities, in developing and implementing effective intervention strategies in complex settings. This symposium showcases four innovative studies, each addressing a neglected, underserviced population, and with a focus on translating standards into evidence-based practice.

Addressing recent international consensus that the ‘6th vital sign’ of distress be measured, documented and treated at each clinical contact, Talk one examines the development and validation of an evidence-based tool to quickly and accurately assess a child’s distress, from their own perspective, during cancer treatment. Talk two presents a case-series of ethical and clinical challenges from a large-scale randomized-controlled trial of an online cognitive-behavioural therapy group intervention for AYAs with cancer. The management of these ethical/clinical challenges is discussed with relation to international practice-standards for psychologists in e-mental health. The symposium then turns to the needs of underserviced groups. Talk three presents a multisite study evaluating the impact of different bereavement services/interventions for parents in the aftermath of their child’s cancer. Finally, Talk four focuses on the development, evaluation, and community-based dissemination of a novel intervention to address grandparent’s informational and psychological needs following their grandchild’s cancer diagnosis.

Integrating qualitative and quantitative methodologies, this symposium addresses the impact of cancer across multiple stages of the translational-science research continuum, from important Phase I discovery research (Talks one and three), to Phase II trials evaluating novel interventions (Talks two and four), through to a program of dissemination research evaluating the real-world impact of new models of care and support (Talks three and four).

1.Ferlay J et al.GLOBOCAN 2002: Cancer incidence,mortality and prevalence worldwide.IARC Cancer Base N°5,V.2.0. Lyon, IARC Press. 2004.

Chair: Ursula Sansom-Daly
Discussant: Lori Wiener

S7-1: Translation of Research to Practice for Grandparents of Children with Cancer: National Dissemination and Evaluation of a New Resource, C. Wakefield

S7-2: Recreating Life After Death: The Place of Professional and Social Support In the Lives of Parents Following the Death of a Child From Cancer, L. Donovan

S7-3: Clinical Challenges in Implementing Psychosocial Support in the Online Space: Experiences from the ‘Recapture Life’ Trial, U. Sansom-Daly

S7-4: The Development of a Pediatric Screen: Next Generation Distress Thermometer?, S. Zadeh 

Thursday July 30, 2015 3:50pm - 5:20pm
Marquis Salon 3/4

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