$2.5 million grant to UA nursing professor to ease cancer patients' psychological distress
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IMAGE: This is Terry A. Badger, Ph.D., RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN. view more 

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Credit: UA College of Nursing

Thanks to a new four-year $2.5 million National Cancer Institute grant, the University of Arizona College of Nursing is investigating a precision approach to decrease psychological distress in cancer patients and their family caregivers during treatment.

The project seeks to see if two interventions that already have proven successful in previous research can be employed in a Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial, or SMART. While more traditional approaches employ a “one-size-fits-all” approach to treatment, SMART takes a more individualized approach to assessing the care needs of cancer patients.

“The whole idea of a randomized clinical trial is that you give an intervention to everybody in the same way, whereas SMART designs are predicated upon the idea that you need to reassess at different time points, and possibly change to a different intervention along the way,” said Professor Terry A. Badger, PhD, the study’s principal investigator.

Using SMART, Dr. Badger and her team will employ two post-treatment innovations in the study, which is called “Improving Informal Caregivers’ and Cancer Survivors’ Psychological Distress, Symptom Management and Health Care Use.” The first is a printed Symptom Management and Survivorship Handbook featuring

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