1. Adjustment to the disease
Better define measures of quality of life, including psychological well-being, and provide professional caregivers with concrete measures to systematize supportive care. What is unique about this axis is that we study the adjustment of parents and families in order to favour a resilient environment.
2. Patient-professional communication
Understand the conditions under which the communication of healthcare professionals is optimal for the diagnosis and structure of care, identify factors that explain the professional caregivers' distress when faced with the patients' difficulties, and develop practical support approaches.
We are aiming to describe and explain the long-term emotional and cognitive repercussions of cancer and its treatments in a cohort of patients undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. An extension of this project, initiated at CHU Sainte-Justine, is in progress at the CHUL of Quebec and at McMaster Children's Hospital (Ontario).
In the context of a multidisciplinary intervention during cancer treatment, we are developing a manualized psychological support intervention for parents of a child with cancer: "Regain control together". This intervention is based on problem-solving training and promoting better communication within the family.
We are studying the effects of mindfulness training on emotional regulation processes and caregiver empathy and are considering original stress measures that have not been used in this context before.
We are studying the transition process to the adult healthcare environment by identifying professional representations and practices in the preparation for transition. We are validating measures to compare the degree of transition preparation in adolescents who have undergone cancer treatment or in other clinical conditions.
In order to identify the best strategies for detecting emotional distress among survivors and their families, we developed a validation program for formalized tools. We also compare different psychological identification strategies based on empathetic mechanisms such as perspective taking.
In order to relieve procedural distress and pain experienced by children during treatment, we have trained nurses on a variety of communication strategies that have been derived from clinical hypnosis. We are evaluating this intervention on behavioural criteria in both caregivers and children.
This project aims to develop a quantified and validated Quality of Life evaluation strategy for children receiving palliative care. It combines qualitative studies with caregivers and quantitative validation studies. There are several ongoing international collaborations on this theme.