The main focus of my research is treatment regimen adherence. I work with patients and families undergoing cancer treatment and transplant services, including pediatric solid organ transplants and hematopoietic stem cell transplants. I am also working to develop interventions to optimize psychological adjustment and treatment adherence in the context of pediatric cancer or transplant.
I became interested in working with these patients and families while seeing how hard it is to maintain a high level of treatment adherence with the multitude of treatment tasks required for comprehensive care management. I find the strength and resilience of the patients and families that I serve astounding. They inspire me in my work and encourage me to find new ways to tackle the monumental challenge of adherence.
Treating children with cancer, or those requiring a transplant, is quite complex and requires many psychological adjustments. Our lab looks at all the factors that can influence treatment adherence, and we then develop interventions that can help to improve it. In addition, we quantify the impact that treatment adherence has on both psychological and medical outcomes.
My goal is to determine how providers and families can partner to maximize treatment adherence so that other patients and their families do not have to deal with the unintended adverse medical outcomes that can result from non-adherence. I want to find ways that families and the medical teams that support their treatment can improve adherence in both children and adolescents. Ultimately, we want to find ways that these patients can learn to manage their treatment regimens effectively, if needed, as they move into adulthood.