Closing Session – Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) in Cancer Care
Claire Snyder, PhD, has research interests that address health-related quality of life and the quality of medical care, and how to use patient-reported outcomes (PROs) to improve the quality of care in many disease states, including cancer. As the closing speaker for the Connections conference, Dr. Snyder addressed the purpose and significance of PROs, and how PROs can be used to impact care when used in the quality improvement process. Specific research outcomes and methods used to incorporate PROs into care at Dr. Snyder’s institution were discussed. Questions from the participants focused on what to do about missing data and how to apply the information to their own settings. What a great session to end this conference that focused on collaboration to move evidence into practice to improve quality of care! Image: From the International (more…)

Advances in Prostate Cancer: Translating Science
I have been waiting for this session! As  a member of a family where three generations of men  have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the mother of two young boys, this one hits home for me.

Victoria Sinibaldi, RN,MS,, CRNP-BC, and Lixin Song, PhD(c) presented the most recent advances in the treatment of men with prostate cancer, providing insight into the multiple options available, even when cure is not an option.

I am taking away the notion of hope for those who face this disease, and how much has changed in terms of options for future generations.  Yet I also take away how much more we need to know, how much more we’ve yet to understand. Hopeful.

Advances in Prostate Cancer
Victoria Sinibaldi and Lixin Song join to give a great update on this area.

Victoria began with an overview of prostate cancer as a disease with risk factors, symptoms and an overview on diagnosis and screening issues.  She shared issues currently being discussed by experts in the field related to the possible overuse of PSA screening with the rationale for these concerns.  This included false positives and negatives, as well as the variability in this disease trajectory once diagnosed. Ms. Sinibaldi reviewed the various organizations in the U.S. and their conflicting recommendations.
The challenges for practices is trying to make sure that evidence is being used in making screening decisions.
Treatment regimens for metastatic prostate cancer were discussed.  She started with hormonal therapy and the associated side effects.  It is important (more…)

2013 ONS Research Priorities Survey
The lively discussion and interaction about ideas generated by the 2013 ONS Research Priorities Survey presentation this morning was a great example of the opportunities to learn from each other, build new relationships and develop new ideas. These types of discussions and interaction enable ONS to move quality of cancer care ahead by attendees at ONS conferences and participants in ONS projects provide to the organizations.  Keep sharing your ideas!

The role of mentors and mentoring – Distinguished Nurse Researcher Awardee
Dr. Laurel Northouse emphasized the role that her many mentors during all stages of her research career impacted her innovative and impactful (on patients, caregivers, policy makers, nurses in practice and global collaborations) cancer caregiver research program.  Her first slide acknowledged some of those mentors and her later slides of her work acknowledged the many students (many now independent funded researchers) who she has mentored as she moved into a senior researcher role.

She clearly demonstrated how important our mentors and mentees and collaborators are to all of us as we all work to improve the care of people with cancer and their caregivers.

Thank you Laurel for an excellent presentation and for your excellent, important work!

Exploring Patient and Caregiver Experiences
Podium Session 10 presented an opportunity to hear from three researchers on their work with evaluating patient and caregiver experiences. The three presentations were followed by some intriguing  questions about gender differences in the experiences.  This session is worth review if you were not able to join.

2013 ONS Research Priorities Survey

This morning Geri LoBiondoWood, PhD, RN, FAAN, presented the 2013 ONS Research Priorities survey. The survey results are used to help ONS develop Strategic Objectives and Research Agenda, so the survey happens every four (4) years.  Invitations and reminders to complete the survey came through email to ONS members. All doctorally prepared members were asked to participate and the rest of the membership was used to target a 23% membership sample size. The response rate was 11.8% and about half of responders were BSN-prepared nurses, while the other half was comprised of nurses with various education preparations from associate to doctoral degrees. 

The top two problems identified in the survey are self-management (which may include adherence) and neuropathy/neurological effects of treatment. Other difficult to manage issues are fatigue, (more…)

The New World of the ACA
“The Affordable Care Act is much more than a website” noted Alec Stone, the ONS Health Policy Director. His detailed review of how the ACA will impact oncology nurses was very helpful, and gave a clearer look at this very complicated and political law.

2013 ONS Research Priorities Survey Results
I learned a lot at this session…not just from the survey results but from the great discussion from leading nurse scientists in attendance.

The ONS Research Priority Agenda is a survey of great importance not only for ONS and nurse scientists, but for all oncology nurses and those they care for.   The survey response rates are consistent with past surveys but could use a boost in future surveys. 

Neuropathy was 7th in 2008 and now it’s moved up to 2nd as a priority for survey respondents. As expected, survivorship priorities rank very high as a research priority. 

Self management is a high priority.  

Incredible discussion from attendees, thought-provoking ideas and other things to consider…

What are the next steps for addressing the topics identified?  How do we move the agenda forward?  Broad approach or targeted approach?  What are (more…)

Finding the CONNECTIONS on Day 4
OK, so I have faced a fear and have learned to blog.  As feared by others, I am sort of enjoying this and cant seem to stop.

I am sitting in a fabulous session that is addressing the issues of the patient-caregiver dyad.  The slides are just beautiful – in that the trees remind me of fall I miss living in Texas – and the information provides resources to optimize care. (and the standing ovation at the end reflects my appreciation of this wonderful presentation).

The focus of this blog is that this topic + the others of this conferences reallydo blend together to support the practioner to provide and optimize care of the individual with cancer. 

Some of the sessions I have attended may seem to be independent from others – but they are not.  So this is just an encouragement to look for the connections between the topics – and perhaps find (more…)