Nursing Professor Lauri Linder Wins NIH Award to Improve Symptom Management for Kids with Cancer
Dec 3, 2014 1:00 PM
Lauri Linder, PhD, APRN, COPN, assistant professor with the University of Utah College of Nursing and clinical nurse specialist for the Cancer Transplant Center at Primary Children’s Hospital has been awarded a three-year K23 award from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to support her study of “Engaging School-Age Children with Cancer in Designing a Symptom Assessment App.” The proposed research addresses a critical need to develop child-sensitive measures to identify symptoms for children with cancer and decrease their impact and/or persistence. For Linder, symptom management is at the heart of nursing and a natural outflow of her 24 years in clinical practice. “My clinical questions come out of my practice experience,” she says. “And the underlying goal for me always is to identify elements of caring for kids that we as nurses can own and improve.’”
Linder has over 20 years of experience as a pediatric oncology nurse and holds national certification as a pediatric oncology nurse. She specializes in symptom management in children and adolescents with cancer with attention to care in the inpatient setting. Linder explains, “My research interests novel uses of technology to capture the symptom experience of children and adolescents with cancer as well as investigation of genetic mechanisms involved in symptom profiles. My training in molecular genetics includes attending the NIH/NINR-sponsored Summer Genetics Institute in 2005.” She is a member of the Consortium to Study Symptoms in Adolescents with Cancer (CS2AC). This newly-established consortium is a group of nurse researchers in the United States with a shared interest in studying symptoms in adolescents with cancer.
The K23 award is the mentored patient-oriented research career development award. It is given to provide support for the career development of investigators who have made a commitment to focus on patient-oriented research. This mechanism provides support of supervised study and research for clinically trained professionals who have the potential to develop into productive, clinical investigators.
The Computerized Symptom Capture Tool, or CSCAT, is Linder’s current iPad app that is being used by adolescent and young adult cancer patients to create graphical images of relationships between symptoms they are experiencing and identify the priority symptom in each group based on their own perspective. “In past studies, we used to give patients paper and a pencil and ask them to circle their symptoms. Then we, as researchers, applied statistical methods to analyze the data,” says Linder. “With C-SCAT, we empower the individual and give them the opportunity to tell us what symptoms they believe are related, what they believe makes certain symptoms better or worse. Our goal is to give the data to their provider and it becomes the basis for a conversation regarding what is happening with their symptoms.”
With the help of NIH, Linder will be able to continue her quest to identify elements of caring for kids that nurses can own and improve.
Abbey ChristensenAbbey Christensen is the Communications Specialist for the College of Nursing.