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Health Behavior and Outcomes

Reducing the Burden of Cancer with Personalized Strategies

Health Behavior and Outcomes Specific Aims

1) Identify and test strategies for improving individualized cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship care.

2) Assess the effectiveness, cost, and potential for dissemination of new and established behavioral interventions across the continuum of cancer care.

3) Advance methods in cancer care behavioral and outcomes research.

The key objective of the Health Behavior and Outcomes (HBO) Program is to lower the burden of cancer by identifying health behaviors and testing health interventions to improve the cancer care experience. Projects range from understanding patient and physician behaviors to improving cancer survivorship outcomes. Co-leaders Steven Katz, M.D., MPH, and Sarah Hawley, Ph.D., MPH, address this mission with the highly trained Health Behaviors and Outcomes team. Program members drive population research and implement new interventions in cancer care delivery and personalized behavioral science, putting their findings into practice.

Advancing Research on Quality of Cancer Care and Care Delivery

Program members are groundbreakers in efforts to identify health behaviors and test health interventions to advance the quality of cancer care. Their focus is studying how care is delivered. Through remarkable innovations and research, members contribute systematic reviews and meta-analyses that provide a foundation for evidence-based clinical practice.

Identifying and Testing Personalized Health Behavior Interventions

Brian Denton, PhD
Brian Denton, Ph.D., Professor, Industrial and Operations Engineering compiles data analytic approaches to medical decision making related to the detection, treatment, and prevention of chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The latest breakthroughs in cancer detection, treatment and survivorship stem from a greater understanding of health behaviors that can lead to prevention and early detection of cancer. The Health Behavior and Outcomes team has made many advancements in decreasing cancer mortality, developing personalized recommendations and interventions in the following areas:

  • Controlling tobacco use, with the evolving area of electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes)
  • Educating men on prostate cancer
  • Understanding how cancer patients and providers communicate and make decisions about treatment
  • Focusing on cancer prevention
  • Increasing cancer screening for colorectal cancer
  • Addressing the poor acceptance of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine

Cancer Prevention, Detection and Management

Members of the Health Behavior and Outcomes Program contribute to the prevention, detection and management of cancer by studying:

  • Health care practices and care delivery
  • Health-related behaviors and how individualized factors influence cancer patients
  • Health-related quality of life as it relates to care delivery and patient preferences
  • Research across the disease spectrum (from prevention and detection to survivorship or advanced disease)

Reducing the Burden of Cancer

screenshots from the Breast Cancer Ally app
Breast Cancer Ally is an app developed in partnership with University of Michigan breast cancer specialists. It provides information about breast cancer and helps patients through every stage of treatment, from the initial diagnosis, through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and anti-estrogen therapy.

A significant goal of the Health Behavior and Outcomes Program is to understand and reduce the burden of cancer throughout the entire disease process. Our members conduct in-depth research and develop interventions to address common and stressful quality of life issues in patients with cancer during and after active treatment. Our members are leaders in these areas:

  • Emerging issues of preserving fertility among adolescent and young adult patients
  • Quality of life concerns of family caregivers of cancer patients

Addressing Disparities across the Cancer Continuum

There is growing awareness that inequalities occur across the cancer continuum in the following areas:

  • Diagnosis
  • Incidence
  • Outcomes
  • Prevention
  • Treatment

These disparities occur with respect to the following:

  • Ethnicity
  • Gender-identity
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Socio-economic status
  • Other patient characteristics

To understand and address these disparities, our team conducts community-based research throughout the population area. Team members have translated their observational research into clinical trials of personalized interventions designed to reduce a range of cancer-related health disparities.

Health Behavior and Outcomes Program Leadership

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