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Mental Health Assessment and Dynamic Referral for Oncology (MHADRO)

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
565 E. Swedesford Road suite 200 Wayne, PA 19087-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Mental Health Assessment and Dynamic Referral for Oncology (MHADRO)
Agency: HHS
Contract: 2R42MH078432-02A1
Award Amount: $1,446,423.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 1.3 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year, with the annual cost of treating cancer exceeding 60.9 billion. Mental health and psychosocial factors ass ociated with cancer are poorly recognized and under-treated. The Mental Health Assessment and Dynamic Referral for Oncology (MHADRO) enables oncology treatment providers to efficiently screen for and monitor five important patient care domains, including: (1) mental health functioning; (2) cancer-related physical symptoms/side effects; (3) the patient-provider partnership; (4) barriers to treatment; and (5) adherence with medical regimen and lifestyle change recommendations. The MHADRO's individualized summ ary reports help oncology treatment providers to decide whether and how to intervene when clinically elevated mental health symptoms are present or when a patient reports a desire for treatment or support. Patients who choose the dynamic referral have thei r summary report, an authorization to release information, and their personal contact information electronically transmitted to a credentialed mental health provider, who is then responsible for contacting the patient to discuss treatment options. This pro cess utilizes secure, HIPAA-compliant transmittal technologies. Phase 2 specific aims are: (1) Make design improvements based on Phase 1 results; (2) Test the improved MHADRO with a field trial of 30 patients selected from three participating oncology trea tment centers; and (3) Evaluate the effectiveness of the MHADRO during a single blind, randomized controlled trial of 1,000 mixed cancer patients. Patients will be randomly assigned to the Intervention Group (n=500) or the Control Group (n=500). All subjec ts, regardless of group assignment, will undergo the same assessment procedures at baseline and at 2, 4, 6, and 12 months post-baseline. Those assigned to the Intervention Group will have their Healthcare Provider Reports printed at each of the five assess ments. These reports will be reviewed by their oncology treatment team and a treatment plan will be developed for distressed patients. The patient will receive a Patient Feedback Report, which will be reviewed with him or her by a trained research coordina tor (a healthcare professional). During the assessment, the Intervention Group subjects will be given the opportunity to obtain more information on available psychosocial support groups and offered a dynamic referral to a psychiatrist, mental health counse lor, and/or smoking cessation program. Subjects assigned to the Control Condition will undergo the same five MHADRO assessments. However, their reports will not be printed, nor will they be offered the mental health referrals or psychosocial support group information. Rather, they will be managed using the standard of care provided at the site (i.e., treatment-as-usual). We will use Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) and Linear Mixed Modeling (LMM) to examine group differences in distress over time, whi le adjusting for potential confounding variables such as illness severity and phase of treatment. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Several national organizations, including the National Comprehensive Care Network, the National Cancer Institute, and the Institute o f Medicine, have advocated routine screening for psychological distress among cancer patients and have emphasized the central role of building a collaborative patient-provider partnership to address psychosocial issues. The lack of consistent assessment of psychosocial factors and the patient-provider partnership is a significant problem with far-reaching consequences, including excess suffering, impaired quality of life, treatment dissatisfaction, and treatment non-adherence. The MHADRO has the potential t o impact these outcomes through identifying distressed patients, helping the team decide what action should be taken, strengthening the patient-provider partnership, producing a personalized patient feedback report, facilitating mental health treatment eng agement, and monitoring patients' response to treatment.

Principal Investigator:

Edwin D. Boudreaux

Business Contact:

Grant Grissom
Small Business Information at Submission:

POLARIS HEALTH DIRECTIONS, INC. 444 Oxford Valley Road Langhorne, PA -

EIN/Tax ID: 481301061
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
70 Butterfield Terrace
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university