Dr. Badger will examine the effectiveness of the two interventions for managing symptoms in an ethnically diverse – about 30 percent Hispanic – sample of cancer survivors of solid tumors at the end of chemotherapy. Though the telephone intervention may not be "high-tech," its accessibility has proven to be a boon to cancer survivors. An important part of Dr. Badger's work is removing barriers between patients and their care.
"All my work is developed to remove barriers so that survivors can get the supportive care they need in a cost-conservative, timely and convenient way," she said. "The Symptom Management and Survivorship Handbook is the first handbook of its kind to be made available for our Spanish-speaking cancer survivors. In fact, both interventions are delivered in either English or Spanish, depending on the survivor's preference."
In development for almost a year, the handbook is heavily illustrated and easy to navigate. It was translated by a certified interpreter and revised after a focus group was held with Spanish speakers.
"We have made incredible advances in treating cancer, and we are now at a point where many people survive a cancer diagnosis,” said UA President Robert C. Robbins, MD. “However, many people still suffer from the very treatments that saved their life. The work that Dr. Badger is doing to help them as they move from being cancer patients to cancer survivors is addressing an important and unmet need. I am pleased to see that these interventions will be available in English as well as Spanish, which will help ensure that a greater number of people benefit from them."
Dr. Badger's team includes Chris Segrin, PhD, UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Tracy E. Crane, PhD, UA College of Nursing; Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; UA Cancer Center; and Alla Sikorskii, PhD, Michigan State University Department of Psychiatry. The study began March 1 and has begun enrolling survivors.
"Thanks to this research, in the future we will be able to offer the right intervention, in the right dose, at the right time to our cancer survivors so that post-treatment symptoms can be reduced and healing hastened with these supportive interventions," Dr. Badger said.