Improving early referrals to supportive care services in newly-diagnosed pediatric oncology patients
Project Description: Children with cancer have multiple psychosocial issues that require a unique approach from a multidisciplinary team. Psychosocial effects can manifest at increased levels of depression, anxiety, and concerns about mortality. Equally important is the recognition that treatment of childhood cancer inevitably occurs in the context of a family. In childhood cancer, the effects are often felt by more individuals, including one or both parents, one or more siblings who are themselves children or adolescents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, friends, and other individuals who may be directly involved in the care or life experience of the child. As advances in the field of Pediatric Oncology lead to improved survival rates, a focus has shifted to providing comprehensive pediatric cancer care from diagnosis, throughout treatment, and into survivorship. The multidisciplinary Psychosocial Standards of Care Project for Childhood Cancer (PSCPCC), consisting of more than 80 oncology professionals and parent advocates, developed a set of 15 evidence-based standards for psychosocial care that are endorsed by key professional organizations. Among these standards include assessment of psychosocial healthcare needs; monitoring of neuropsychological deficits and school support; screening in long-term survivorship; psychosocial support and interventions; parental mental health; psychoeducation and anticipatory guidance; opportunities for social interaction; sibling support; palliative care/end of life care; and bereavement care. Further, it is widely accepted that many chemotherapeutic agents have chronic side effects such as peripheral neuropathy; propensity for obesity; and increased infection risk, especially from oral infections during episodes of mucositis. Providers within large academic settings often have the resources to provide this comprehensive care to patients but these measures are often overlooked while coordinating the procedures required for formal diagnosis and the initiation of chemotherapy.
QPI: Trisha, Kissoon, (email@example.com)
Collaborators: Jessica, Cromwell, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
UF Health Big Aims: Enhance the Patient Experience None
MeSH Keywords: Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychosocial Support Systems, Palliative Care, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Supportive Care