Longitudinal Assessment of Mental Health Needs of Parents with Advanced Cancer

Award: $39,000

Need/Problem: Parents with advanced cancer experience unique psychological concerns due to simultaneously raising and supporting their children while adjusting to the physical and psychological effects of life-limiting illness. Their children are at increased risk of long-term psychological effects from parental cancer and early parental loss and their caregivers or partners suffer from high rates of depression and anxiety.

Grant Summary:  We plan to conduct a mixed-methods, cohort study of parents with advanced cancer who have dependent-age children using semi-structured interviews and six validated measures to examine parental concerns, coping strategies to alleviate these concerns, physical and psychological symptoms and quality of life.

Goals & Projected Outcomes:
The goals are the following:
1)    To identify areas of peak psychological symptom burden that are amenable to future intervention in this patient population.
2)    Characterize coping strategies utilized by this patient population that are associated with reduced psychological distress.
3)    Identify and create a tailored mental health intervention for this patient population that can be tested and refined in a subsequent NIH career development grant for the Principal Investigator.

Grant Details: Grant funds will be used for participant incentives, project supplies, and personnel costs (biostatistician, research assistant).

Eliza “Leeza” Park