Supporting Children with Cancer: The Cellie Cancer Coping Kit

Cellie Cancer Coping KitI love it when research gets translated into practice. This guest post by Aimee Hildenbrand, BS & Meghan Marsac, PhD shows a great example. Aimee is a doctoral student at Drexel University and a clinical research assistant at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Meghan is a pediatric psychologist and the center’s Director of Training.

While children with cancer and their families are often resilient, the invasive and painful medical procedures, emotions, and changes to daily life that come with illness can be overwhelming. In fact, children with cancer frequently consider treatment to be more traumatic than cancer itself, underlining the need for comprehensive medical care that incorporates psychosocial services. However, supportive care tools tailored to the experience of childhood cancer and its treatment are limited.

To help address children and caregivers’ need for emotional support during pediatric cancer treatment, our team at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia developed the Cellie Cancer Coping Kit (Cellie Kit). Continue reading

How to bridge the gap between research and real life

Tons of fascinating research findings get published in academic journals. But how much of them are really translated into practice and sustainably implemented?

In order for science to be valuable it needs to be used: in the short run possibly as a stepping stone for new research but ultimately it needs to change something in real life.

I don’t think we optimally use the knowledge we gather about trauma recovery and other mental health issues for the public good. Nor in other disciplines for that matter. As an indication, many universities only stimulate academic output. Publications in professional outlets, popular science magazines, blogs, or policy documents are not ‘counted’ for performance reviews. I even know of institutional boards that state publications under Impact Factor 2 – an academic publication metric, only a few peer-reviewed psychology journals reach this level – should be considered ‘weak’ (and should therefore not be registered on employees’ publication records!).

As a result, there is a gap between research and real life that desperately needs a bridge. Continue reading