Amy Colver, LCSW
Melody Griffith, MSW, LMSW, OSW-C
AOSW Communications Director
Jeanice Hansen, LCSW, OSW-C
To submit a story or information for inclusion in a future issue of AOSW Newsletter, contact Amy Colver or Melody Griffith on the list above.
Research Report: AOSW 2018 Conference – Focus on Research
The AOSW annual conference in Atlanta included a great deal of exciting research activities! If you were not able to attend this year or if you missed some of the research sessions, here is a brief overview of some of these events.
- The Research SIG held a session on the Patient Centered Research Collaborative (PCRC), which AOSW developed last year. Brad Zebrack led a panel of three members of the PCRC Advisory Board who discussed their experiences as PCRC participants, as well as “lessons learned” as they worked together with patient advocates and oncology social work researchers to create a new organization to promote patient-centered psychosocial research.
- The Poster Session provided introductions and updates to some excellent research by several of the members of the AOSW Research Committee, including AOSW Research Director Sophia Smith and Hee Lee. Other research posters included work on racial disparities in breast cancer outcomes (Lailea Noel) and one on care transitions in outpatient centers (Crystal Broussard and Ellen Csikai).
- The Research Committee presented a Learning Institute on the steps of intervention research. In this session, six important steps were identified in eight different intervention research projects. The session was livened up with an Intervention Research Jeopardy game. Presenters included four senior researchers who are members of the AOSW Research Committee (Karen Kayser, Daniela Wittmann, Hee Lee and Sophia Smith), plus four oncology social work practitioners (Matt Floriani, Amy Corvelyn, Angela Usher and Alison Snow), each of whom has worked on an intervention research project in oncology social work.
Following the presentations, participants worked in small groups with the aid of the presenters to identify potential intervention research projects they could develop in their own practices. Other research-based Learning Institutes included one by AOSW President Tara Schapmire and Barbara Jones on Interprofessional Education; and Jennifer Bires, Daniela Wittman, Sage Bolt and Heather Goltz on Sexual Symptoms Following Cancer Treatment. Finally, Research Committee member and editor of the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, Karen Kayser, led a panel on international oncology social work, offering a perspective on research in international contexts: India, Kenya and South Korea.
- 2018 is the third year the Research Committee has offered a one-day Research Institute. This year, the institute was combined with the PCRC annual meeting for two keynote presentations. The first keynote speaker, Jean S. Kutner, MD, MSPH, FAAHPM, FACP (Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Chief Medical Officer, University of Colorado Hospital), spoke on “Enhancing Care for People with Serious Advanced Illness Through Interdisciplinary Evidence Generation and Research Infrastructure Development.” The second keynote speaker, Claire Snyder, MHS, PhD (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), spoke on “Unlocking the Potential of Patient-Reported Outcomes.”
- Following the two keynotes, Daniela Wittman, PhD, MSW, led a working session on moving from a research topic to an actual research study. Three research topics identified from the list of top priority research topics were used for this group exercise. Each was used to illustrate how one moves from research to an actual study using one of three research methods.
- Sophia Smith led a group that worked on developing a quantitative study on "Does distress management improve patient outcomes?"
- I led a group of participants interested in qualitative research and developing a study on why patients decline social work services: ‘What factors promote or preclude patients from using psychosocial support of social work services?’
- Daniela Wittmann led a group that worked on a mixed methods study on “How do cancer patients define ‘quality of life’?” At the end of this session, the group reconvened and used the opportunity to make suggestions for future research activities, including their interest in a research-oriented listserv. (If you were not in attendance but would like to be part of such a group, please contact Sophia Smith at Sophia.email@example.com.)
At the same time this workshop was taking place, the PCRC (Patient-Centered Research Cooperative) met to review the accomplishments and ‘lessons learned’ in the inaugural year of this innovative program.
In addition to providing opportunities for researchers to share their projects with practitioners, these research-oriented sessions provided opportunities for practitioners who have not engaged in research as part of their practice to learn how it is done and what resources are needed. Participatory education is built into the Learning Institutes, the Research Institute and the PCRC. By offering these research-focused sessions at the conference, the AOSW Research Committee aims to serve as a resource for members who may want to pursue research in their own settings. Whether you attended these research sessions in Atlanta or not, I hope you will be able to participate in a new set of exciting research activities now being planned for next year’s annual conference in Tucson.
About the Author
Julianne S. Oktay, PhD, MSW, FAOSW
Julianne S. Oktay, PhD, MSW, FAOSW
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