Research in the Health Outcomes and Behavior (HOB) Program aims at the prevention, detection and control of cancer through the study of health-related behaviors, health care practices and health-related quality of life. This work involves research on cancer detection, treatment and the outcomes of treatment.
Program members include experts in behavioral science, social science, health services research and health management research. Research areas for program members include clinical trials, observational studies and existing research. Member areas of expertise include clinical psychology, family medicine, nursing research, medical oncology, behavioral science, medical anthropology, health economics, and family and community health.
HOB Program goals are:
- to understand the determinants of behaviors that can lead to prevention and early detection of cancer and develop effective methods of promoting those behaviors
- to understand and improve patients’ quality of life throughout the disease course
- to synthesize existing evidence and examine delivery of health services in order to improve the quality of cancer care
- to understand and address the social, cultural, and behavioral determinants of cancer-related health disparities
Lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer deaths in men for over 50 years and in 1987 surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. In 1997, Moffitt Cancer Center established the Tobacco Research and Intervention Group to contribution to the understanding of tobacco dependence and its treatment.
Reducing Sun Exposure and Tanning Behavior
Melanoma is a serious public health problem. Program members contribute to the prevention of sun exposure-related malignancies. Most sun exposure and severe sunburns occurring during childhood and are a major risk factor for melanoma in later life.
Behavioral and Psychosocial Aspects of Inherited and Familial Cancer Risk
Identifying the inherited genetic mutations associated with an increased risk for cancer is important. Testing for these mutations is available, and program members research how cancer screening tests and prevention behaviors can be promoted to those with increased genetic risk for cancer.
An increasing number of people in the United States are living with a diagnosis of cancer. Program members carry out research to identify the prevalence and characteristic problems for those who are cancer survivors.
Interventions to Improve Quality of Life
Improving the quality of life in people with cancer is part of cancer care. This means managing disease- and treatment-related symptoms and side effects, as well as management of the disease itself. Additionally, a number of interventions aim at improving the quality of life of family caregivers of cancer patients.
Clinical Research Synthesis
Program members produce systematic reviews and meta-analyses of data that is published in important journals and used by individual practitioners and by guidelines panels to help patients.
Evaluation of Health Service Delivery
In addition to contributing to the literature related to delivery of the surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, program members monitor and improve the quality of cancer care with regard to fertility preservation and the provision of psychosocial care.
Community-Based Participatory Research with Medically Underserved Populations
In collaboration with local community-based health centers, social service agencies, faith-based groups, adult education and literacy groups and local media, Moffitt formed the Tampa Bay Community Cancer Network (TBCCN)
in 2005. TBCCN is engaged in a number of projects that use community-based, participatory research to promote cancer prevention, detection, and control in medically underserved populations.
Comparative Effectiveness Research
Moffitt has increased its activities in “comparative effectiveness research” (CER). The program aims at maximizing the potential created by Moffitt’s personalized medicine initiative, Total Cancer Care®.
Medically Underserved Populations
Moffitt has expanded research activities involving medically underserved populations, and HOB Program investigators are conducting health disparities research.
Genetic Factors to Cancer-Related Behaviors, Symptoms and Side Effects
Several program members examine the contribution of genetic factors to cancer-related behaviors, symptoms and side effects. This work enhances the Program’s scientific contributions as they relate to cancer prevention and health-related quality of life.
Health Outcomes and Behavior Program Members
Thomas H. Brandon, PhD