Coping in Children Newly Diagnosed with Cancer and Their Parents: The Illness Management and Parent Adjustment to Cancer Treatment (IMPACT) Intervention
Co-PI: Ahna Pai, Ph.D. at Cincinnati Children’s Collaborators: Rene McNall, M.D. at OUHSC Sunnye Mayes, PhD. at OUHSC
This study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is a multi-site, R01, five-year randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing a new psychosocial intervention, the IMPACT intervention, to a standardized education and psychological support intervention (Education/Support Only [ESO]). The IMPACT intervention was developed by the Mullins lab and Ahna Pai’s research team at Cincinnati Children’s in an effort to reduce parental illness uncertainty, a cognitive experience of ambiguity surrounding a child’s diagnosis that is associated with a host of negative psychosocial outcomes. The goal of the current study is to assess the efficacy of the IMPACT intervention in decreasing parental uncertainty and promoting both parent adjustment and, subsequently, child adjustment in the context of a child’s new cancer diagnosis. This study is currently in year two of implementation. Relevant Publications: 1, 2
Medical and Psychosocial Outcomes in Children with a Disorders/Differences of Sexual Development (DSD) and Their Parents
Co-PI: Amy B. Wisniewski, Ph.D. at Cook Children’s Collaborators: The DSD Consortium
This study is a prospective, longitudinal, NIH-funded, multi-site R01 currently centered at Oklahoma State University. It is the result of a longstanding collaboration between Dr. Amy Wisniewski and Dr. Mullins. The purpose of this study is to examine the medical and psychosocial adjustment of parents of children with DSD with ambiguous genitalia from the time of birth to five years of age. The rare nature of this set of conditions, as well as the complexity and constantly evolving nature of its medical management, has resulted in a lack of available and/or comprehensive research for this population. Thus, we aim to better assess parental adjustment (i.e., depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress symptoms), related psychosocial variables such as illness uncertainty, quality of life, and decisional regret, as well as medical outcomes following surgical intervention, and perceptions of the quality of surgical outcomes. This study is in year five of implementation and has yielded several publications (1, 2, 3, 4) which characterize adjustment for parents of children with a DSD over the first year following diagnosis.
Assessing Psychosocial Outcomes in Young Adults with Chronic Health Conditions
Collaborators: John M. Chaney, Ph.D. Ashley Clawson, Ph.D.
The goal of this project is to examine psychosocial functioning and adjustment outcomes in college students with a wide variety of chronic illnesses, including asthma, allergies, Type 1 diabetes, and epilepsy, among others. Young adult college students with a chronic illness experience a multitude of stressors, including the transition of health care responsibilities from the parent to the young adult in addition to the typical stress of going away to college and establishing new social support systems. This study seeks to examine the complex ways in which having a chronic illness as a college student can affect a number of outcomes such as depression, anxiety, health care management and self-efficacy, and health-related quality of life. Additionally, this study seeks to provide a preliminary investigation of novel predictors of risk and resiliency in chronic illness populations such as the impact of various positive psychology factors, including grit, and cognitive appraisals such as illness-related stigma. This study has yielded a number of publications (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) furthering our understanding of illness-related distress in young adults.
Psychosocial Functioning in Children Newly Diagnosed with Cancer and their Parents
Collaborators: Rene McNall, M.D. at OUHSC Sunnye Mayes, PhD. at OUHSC
This project involves the assessment of multiple cognitive appraisal variables and their relationship to adjustment outcomes in children newly diagnosed with cancer and their parents. This study has been an ongoing project run out of Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center (OUHSC)’s Jimmy Everest Center, with more than 5 years’ worth of data collection already completed. It seeks to provide a better understanding of the multitude of psychosocial implications of having a child newly diagnosed with cancer, as well as being a child newly diagnosed with cancer. Relevant Publications: 1, 2, 3
Parent Adjustment to REhabilitation iNpatient Treatment (PARENT) Study
Collaborators: Rebecca Wallace, PsyD at OUHSC Michael Johnson, MD at The Children’s Center Tami McMichael, APRN at The Children’s Center Stephan Gillaspy, PhD at OUHSC
This project is a longitudinal study of parent psychosocial adjustment during a child’s admission to a pediatric medical rehabilitation hospital. Children admitted to a pediatric medical rehabilitation hospital have conditions which are typically the result of traumatic, life threatening events (e.g., traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries), or other dangerous and debilitating conditions (e.g., stroke, cancer, burns, orthopedic injuries). Previous research indicates that these parents and children are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress symptoms, though there is a paucity of research on modifiable risk factors or clinical interventions in this population. This study seeks to understand risk and resilience factors which affect parent psychosocial adjustment. This project is a collaboration between Oklahoma State University, OU Health Sciences Center, and The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, and is being conducted as Dana Bakula’s dissertation project.
Fostering Hope: Evaluating Multidisciplinary Medical Homes for Youth in Foster Care
Collaborators: Stephen Gillaspy, Ph.D. at OUHSC Amy Cherry, Ph.D. at OUHSC Julia Lees, MD at OUHSC Deborah Shropshire, MD at OUHSC
Youth in foster care (FC) demonstrate mental and physical health difficulties at disproportionally higher rates than the general population. These robust disparities, combined with a pattern of underutilization of services, place these youth at heightened risk for physical and mental health disorders in adolescence and adulthood. Development of interventions for children in FC are key for decreasing barriers to services, increasing continuity of care, and ameliorating negative long-term outcomes. This project will provide preliminary outcome data for the effectiveness of Pediatric Medical Homes (PMH’s) in improving health outcomes for youth in FC. While PMH’s have demonstrated initial success in health screening, this study intends to build upon previous findings by identifying risk factors impacting health outcomes for FC youth enrolled in PMH’s. Findings will demonstrate the utility of medical homes for youth in FC with goals to enhance intervention efforts for children affected by child abuse and neglect. This project is a collaboration between Oklahoma State University and University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, Fostering Hope Clinic, and is being conducted as Hannah Espeleta's dissertation project.
The Impact of a Low-Intensity Physical Activity Intervention on Health Behavior Change in Pediatric Cancer Survivors
Collaborators: Rene McNall, M.D. at OUHSC Sunnye Mayes, PhD. at OUHSC
Using an N-of-1 design, the purpose of this study is to assess the use of a FitBit FlexTM monitoring device as a low-intensity, low cost physical activity intervention in pediatric cancer survivors. We are also interested in examining the influence of social support for physical activity from both family and friends on health behavior outcomes (e.g., physical activity and sedentary behavior). Data from this project will help inform the development of interventions to promote healthy lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity, for pediatric cancer survivors.
Parent and Child Psychological Adjustment in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease
PI: John M. Chaney, Ph.D.
This study seeks to identify how parent and child cognitive appraisals as well as parenting capacity variables contribute to emotional, behavioral, and social adjustment in youth diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and their parents. We are also interested in examining the influence of perceived illness-related stigma on social functioning, and its impact on youth and parent adjustment outcomes.