APOS 5th Annual Conference

Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Investigator(s): Patricia Ganz, M.D. -
Award Cycle: 2008 (Cycle 14) Grant #: 14MB-0187 Award: $15,000
Award Type: Joining Forces Conference Award
Research Priorities
Community Impact of Breast Cancer>Sociocultural, Behavioral, and Psychological Issues: the human side

Initial Award Abstract (2008)
The American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) recognizes that to advance cancer care, clinicians, educators, researchers and advocacy groups need access to the latest evidence regarding interventions to improve treatment decision-making, symptom management and quality of life. Psychosocial issues are critical in cancer treatment and affect patientsí family life and economic health. Quality psychosocial cancer care has been shown to produce important patient and family caregiver outcomes.

The APOS 5th Annual Conference will be held in Irvine, California, 28 February Ė 2 March 2008. The conference aims to disseminate research, provide education and build networks between healthcare professionals and patient advocates to eliminate the suffering caused by unmet psychosocial needs. Participants attending the 2008 APOS Annual Conference will gain skills and competence with respect to the following:
  1. Developing cross-discipline professional networks between researchers and practitioners methods to improve the delivery of state-of-the-art medical and psychosocial cancer care for patients and their families,
  2. Engaging and collaborating with advocacy groups to fight for access to competent psychosocial services in a cancer setting,
  3. Translating to home institutions cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research findings to assess and manage distress and to improve quality of life across the continuum of care,
  4. Identifying resources and strategies that researchers and practitioners can employ to improve access to care among ethnically diverse, minority and medically vulnerable populations.

APOS will ask participants to evaluate how well the conference met these learning objectives. The main focus of the conference is disseminating the results of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report titled Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs. Released in October 2007, the report mandates changes in the delivery of quality cancer care to include psychosocial services. Much of the evidence cited in the report was based on studies with women with breast cancer. APOS has firmly established itself as the single national organization devoted solely to psychosocial care in cancer. Members come to work together from the fields of oncology, psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, counseling, therapy and patient advocacy to improve the psychosocial care of cancer patients and their families. With its diverse constituency, APOS is singularly positioned and fully committed to ensuring a multidisciplinary approach to implementing the IOM reportís recommendations for psychosocial oncology care and close the gaps in knowledge and access identified by the report. Key representatives of the committee who developed the IOM report will present at the conference. In addition, APOS is convening representatives from single discipline societies and advocacy groups that work in psychosocial oncology for a roundtable discussion on their organizationís response to the report. This session will establish a cross-organization, and cross-discipline, agenda for addressing gaps in access to quality psychosocial oncology care. An action plan will be developed by participants outlining how to respond to and implement the recommendations of the report. The IOM panel session will be held on Sunday, 2 March 2008 and will be open to all conference attendees.