The R2R team recently had the honor of interviewing Dr. Laurel Northouse, a researcher and practitioner who not only created an intervention to improve quality of life among men with prostate cancer and their caregivers, but who also conducted a pilot effectiveness study of implementing this program at a Cancer Support Community affiliate.
Dr. Northouse and her colleagues created the FOCUS program in 2007 and received high ratings on NCI’s Research-tested Intervention Programs website. More information about the program, and relevant materials, are available here. You can read more about the pilot effectiveness study published in 2016 here.
Scroll down to read more about Dr. Northouse’s experience creating, studying, and implementing this psychoeducational program, and chime in with your views in the associated discussion below.
Dr. Laurel Northouse has conducted research with cancer patients and their family caregivers for over 25 years. Building on extensive experience conducting longitudinal and multivariate studies, Dr. Northouse and colleagues developed a psycho-educational intervention, called the FOCUS Program, to help cancer patients and their family caregivers cope with cancer and maintain their quality of life. The FOCUS Program has been tested for efficacy in three randomized clinical trials with patients and their family caregivers who were managing breast, prostate, lung or colorectal cancer. Based on the positive effects of the program on patient and caregiver outcomes across the series of trials (e.g., higher self-efficacy, better dyadic communication, more effective coping, less uncertainty about the illness, and higher HRQOL), they translated the FOCUS Program to an Internet-based delivery format. They also implemented the program in a small group format at the Cancer Support Community (CSC) in Ann Arbor, MI. and are completing another implementation study in two additional CSC sites in different geographical areas in the U.S.
Faculty website http://nursing.umich.edu/faculty-staff/laurel-northouse