JJCCC is very active in its behavioral science research program. This nationally recognized research program is designed to increase understanding of the needs of young people with cancer, sickle cell disease and other blood disorders. Research results are published and shared with other cancer centers and children’s hospitals locally, nationally and globally to improve medical and supportive care for children, teenagers and families.
This study evaluates psychological outcomes among adolescent/young adult cancer survivors to track changes that occur during the first five years of survivorship.
This project, funded by the Whittier Foundation, is in collaboration with CHLA and USC’s Cancer Surveillance Program and Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research. The goal is to establish a cohort of young cancer survivors that can be followed longitudinally to learn more about their health practices, follow-up care and the psychosocial, socioeconomic and educational predictors of their health behaviors. Data will be collected from survivors and their parents at both CHLA and Miller Children’s.
These projects are in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute – Pediatrics Branch. Both will take a qualitative approach to learn more about the unique needs that parents face when adjusting to their child’s cancer. Single parents are known to be at a higher risk for negative psychosocial outcomes, the current methods of assessing “lone-ness” are fairly crude and do not account for the wide variation in life situations of parents who check the “single” box. More knowledge is needed about these parents and predictors for positive and negative psychosocial outcomes for them and their children.
The Transnational Parenting study revolves around parents who came to the U.S. specifically seeking care for their child with cancer. Parents often face double challenges and complex feelings involved in establishing themselves in a new country with one child while leaving other children and family behind. This study allows the research team to learn more about their experience, how they came to their decision to seek care internationally, and how a cancer center’s care teams can better meet their needs as they navigate through America’s complicated medical system.
This is an archival, data analytic project in collaboration with a number of institutions including CHLA and MD Anderson. The original study was a Phase III randomized clinical trial, testing the efficacy of problem-solving skills training (PSST) for mothers of newly diagnosed cancer patients. The intervention was successful, and Spanish speaking mothers, who initially demonstrated the lowest problem solving skills, made the greatest improvements. In the current data analytic phase, the research team is taking a closer look specifically at the Latina mothers to learn more about the inter-relationships between acculturation, language use, immigration stress, familism, problem solving and psychosocial functioning.
This is original research in collaboration with Taylor Architecture, Child Life, and Miller Children’s outpatient surgery department. The study tracks pre-procedural anxiety, environmental satisfaction, health care satisfaction, staff satisfaction and the efficacy of Child Life interventions as Miller Children’s transitions from the current shared adult/pediatric outpatient surgery environment to Miller Children’s new exclusively pediatric surgery center.