Cancer survivorship begins at the time of a cancer diagnosis and extends through the balance of an individual's life. The number of cancer survivors in the U.S. has tripled in the past 30 years and is expected to increase by 2% annually. Cancer survivors and their families face ongoing physical, psychological and social challenges as a result of their diagnosis and treatment. The discipline of nursing brings a holistic, patient-centered approach to research and clinical practice that focuses on patients'responses to disease and treatment rather than on the disease itself. Because of this approach, nursing is the ideal discipline to prepare researchers to advance the science to prevent, assess and intervene to reduce the negative physical, psychological and social responses to cancer and cancer treatment. However, the number of nurse scientists in the field remains small. Few schools of nursing in the U.S. have the cadre of oncology faculty that exists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. Our oncology faculty possess the research and mentoring experience to prepare nurse scientists to launch productive independent research careers in cancer survivorship. Our faculty conducts multidisciplinary, multi-site research with survivors with a range of cancer diagnoses and their family caregivers, in underrepresented populations, across all phases of the survivorship trajectory. The goal of this T-32 is to develop nurse scientists to lead independent programs of research in cancer survivorship that 1) evaluates physical, psychological and social responses to cancer and cancer therapy over time including the biologic basis for these responses, precipitating/enhancing factors and effects of these responses and 2) develops interventions that prevent and manage negative responses to cancer and cancer treatment, which will ultimately improve quality of life. We will prepare nurse scientists to conduct independent research studies with multidisciplinary teams of investigators from nursing, medicine, psychology, psychiatry, genetics and others. Preparing oncology nurse scientists to conduct theory-guided research at all phases of survivorship will provide the basis for improving the quality of survivorship for patients with cancer and their families.
The number of cancer survivors in the U.S. has tripled in the past 30 years and is expected to increase by about 2% annually. Cancer survivors and their families face ongoing physical, psychological and social challenges as a result of their diagnosis and treatment. This T32 will prepare oncology nurse scientists to conduct research that will improve the quality of survivorship for patients with cancer and their families.
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