DUARTE, Calif. — City of Hope has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to train health professionals in how to screen cancer patients for issues that might affect their care. A key component of this training involves a tablet-based program that helps patients answer questions they might otherwise find difficult to answer, thus helping guide treatment decisions.
“Many cancer patients report that it can be difficult to communicate their ongoing concerns with their doctors and other members of their health care team,” said Clark. “Screening gives patients the opportunity to tell the team about any issues — physical, psychological, social, family, spiritual, financial or others — that may impact their care.”
The NCI grant will fund nine workshops over five years to teach doctors, nurses, business administrators and other professionals about various screening methods, including the tablet-based SupportScreen that was developed at City of Hope. The workshops will also teach how to effectively use these instruments to enhance patient care.
Launched in 2009, SupportScreen is a touch-screen application that prompts patients to answer various questions regarding their care and concerns. Depending on the responses, SupportScreen can alert the patients’ health care teams to critical issues or risks; triage patients to appropriate professionals — including psychiatrists, psychologists, pain specialists, social workers and chaplains; or connect them with relevant community resources and educational materials. Researchers have found that patients are often more likely to share their fears or concerns when prompted by a computer application rather than by a direct personal question.
This grant follows another $1.5 million NCI grant that the Biller Patient and Family Resource Center had received to provide supportive care training to health professionals. Clark said attendees of this workshop learned “practical leadership and program development skills to create supportive care programs of excellence in their respective settings.”
The first workshop from the supportive care grant took place in April and had more than 70 participants. The next one will take place at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City from Oct. 11 to 13. The workshop on patient screening is expected to begin in May 2014.
Research reported in this release was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under grant numbers R25CA174444 and R25CA160049. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About City of Hope
City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the nation. City of Hope’s main hospital is located in Duarte, Calif., just northeast of Los Angeles, with clinics in Antelope Valley and South Pasadena. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S.News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics. For more information, visit www.cityofhope.org