The Behavioral Research Methods (BRM) Core Facility enhances the scientific objectives of the Center's programs by assisting MSKCC investigators with the design, implementation and execution of research involving the capture of health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) and/or patient-reported outcome (PRO) data. The faculty of the BRM Core are nationally recognized social and behavioral sciences experts who provide technical assistance to all users throughout their various stages of research, including grant and protocol development, research study assistant and support staff training, and sample identification. The BRM Core Facility assists investigators by providing the following specific services and technical support functions: 1) selection, analysis, and interpretation of psychometrically sound assessment tools (provider surveys, semi-structured interviews, patient-reporting instruments, and observer ratings) for the measurement of quality of life, health behavior change, treatment toxicities, and other psychosocial outcomes;2) consultation regarding the development and implementation of research methodologies consistent with "best practices" in psychosocial and behavioral research in cancer;3) qualitative Interview, focus group methodology, and other process evaluation techniques for developing new psychosocial instruments and generating new testable hypotheses;4) training and trouble-shooting with regard to patient Interviewing methods, survey data collection, and human subjects'issues for research support staff conducting quality of life and behavioral/psychosocial studies;and 5) methodological support for research on minority populations in clinical trials, community interventions, and population-based research. The BRM Core Facility maintains an extensive resource library of electronic psychosocial and behavioral measures and research method protocols commonly used in cancer prevention and control research. The services provided by the BRM Core have supported the research of 20 investigators in the past year. During the past grant period the work Of the Core has contributed to 190 publications of researchers.
Methodological advances in the behavioral and social sciences are widely recognized as germane to translational research in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, palliative care, and survivorship. Additionally, the NCI and the FDA acknowledge that patient-reported outcome data is the gold standard for the capture of the patient experience.
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