Faculty / Staff Resources Student Resources
University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Environmental Predictors of Stress in Children Undergoing Chemotherapy Infusions

TEM Lab ⟩

Principal Investigator: Leah Stein Duker PhD, OTR/L

Faculty Mentor: Sharon Cermak EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Jul 2016 – Nov 2017

Total funding

Children undergoing cancer treatment are at risk for adverse mental and physical health consequences due to repeated exposures to physical and/or psychological stressors. Although it is well documented that cancer therapies are stressful, there is a lack of data regarding the stress response during the entire outpatient chemotherapy infusion (OCI) experience. This prospective cohort study evaluates the stress response of 60 children (4-12 years) and their caregivers during a single one-to-four hour OCI. Stress will be assessed by physiological and behavioral measurements throughout the infusion process. The aims of this project are to document the behavioral and physiological stress response during pediatric OCI, to determine the association between physical and social environmental factors and child/caregiver stress during OCI, and to evaluate the relationship between levels of stress in children and their caregiver during OCI. This project is significant because tailored environmental modification (TEM) interventions have the potential to support patient-centered care, improve the delivery of healthcare services, increase health-related quality of life and treatment adherence, and diminish posttraumatic stress among children with cancer and their families.This work will also serve as a conceptual model for the use of TEM interventions in other pediatric populations undergoing distressing healthcare procedures in the future.


Type Source Number Amount
Intramural USC Office of the Provost — Zumberge Fund Individual Grant Program FY2017 $29,400