This career development application proposes a mentored training and research experience to develop John Salsman, Ph.D., as an independent investigator in the development of innovative positive psychological outcome measures for cancer prevention and control. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) capture the patient's unique perspective on the impact of chronic diseases such as cancer and assess subjective experience in ways distinct from physiological outcomes. The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) is an NIH Roadmap initiative designed to improve and standardize PROs for patients with a wide range of chronic diseases and demographic characteristics using state-of-the-art psychometric methods. It is an ambitious and comprehensive PRO measurement system that applies item response theory (IRT) modeling to health status assessment. PROMIS has developed and calibrated item banks assessing emotional distress, sleep-wake function, physical function, pain, fatigue, and social health. There remains a gap in the PROMIS domain framework, with no current banks assessing positive psychological functioning (PPF). As more people survive and even thrive with cancer, understanding positive adjustment and growth in cancer is an important complement to understanding impairment, disability and psychosocial morbidity in cancer prevention and control research. Dr. Salsman proposes (1) to develop new item banks for positive psychological functioning (PPF) to augment and expand the existing PROMIS item banks, (2) to explore the utility of the PPF banks across the cancer care continuum using multiple assessments with a heterogeneous group of cancer patients and survivors, and (3) to adapt and pilot test an intervention to promote well-being among young adult cancer patients and survivors to determine feasibility and acceptability. Results will lead to further refinement of innovative measures of PPF and guide development of future interventions to minimize the adverse impact of cancer and enhance adaptive functioning. The proposed research is supported by a training plan that involves interactions with multidisciplinary colleagues and formal coursework in clinical trials, qualitative methodologies, biostatistics, psychometrics, and positive psychology.

Public Health Relevance

The purpose of the proposed research is to develop innovative measures of positive functioning for use in patient care research using modern measure development strategies. We will examine the relationship of these positive variables to important outcomes such as physical symptoms, quality of life, and health behaviors in a group of cancer patients and survivors. These results will help us understand the role of positive psychological functioning in the cancer experience and gain insight into future interventions to help improve coping and quality of life in people with cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Academic/Teacher Award (ATA) (K07)
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Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Perkins, Susan N
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Northwestern University at Chicago
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Munoz, Alexis R; Kaiser, Karen; Yanez, Betina et al. (2016) Cancer experiences and health-related quality of life among racial and ethnic minority survivors of young adult cancer: a mixed methods study. Support Care Cancer 24:4861-4870
Salsman, John M; Yanez, Betina; Smith, Kristin N et al. (2016) Documentation of Fertility Preservation Discussions for Young Adults With Cancer: Examining Compliance With Treatment Guidelines. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 14:301-9
Salsman, John M; Pustejovsky, James E; Jim, Heather S L et al. (2015) A meta-analytic approach to examining the correlation between religion/spirituality and mental health in cancer. Cancer 121:3769-78
Jim, Heather S L; Pustejovsky, James E; Park, Crystal L et al. (2015) Religion, spirituality, and physical health in cancer patients: A meta-analysis. Cancer 121:3760-8
Zebrack, Brad; Kwak, Minyoung; Salsman, John et al. (2015) The relationship between posttraumatic stress and posttraumatic growth among adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients. Psychooncology 24:162-8
Munoz, Alexis R; Salsman, John M; Stein, Kevin D et al. (2015) Reference values of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being: a report from the American Cancer Society's studies of cancer survivors. Cancer 121:1838-44
Kupst, Mary Jo; Butt, Zeeshan; Stoney, Catherine M et al. (2015) Assessment of stress and self-efficacy for the NIH Toolbox for Neurological and Behavioral Function. Anxiety Stress Coping 28:531-44
Park, Crystal L; Sherman, Allen C; Jim, Heather S L et al. (2015) Religion/spirituality and health in the context of cancer: Cross-domain integration, unresolved issues, and future directions. Cancer 121:3789-94
Salsman, John M; Fitchett, George; Merluzzi, Thomas V et al. (2015) Religion, spirituality, and health outcomes in cancer: A case for a meta-analytic investigation. Cancer 121:3754-9
Sherman, Allen C; Merluzzi, Thomas V; Pustejovsky, James E et al. (2015) A meta-analytic review of religious or spiritual involvement and social health among cancer patients. Cancer 121:3779-88

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