Projects of our research group are categorized into 4 subprograms.
1) Subprogram Outcome measures comprises projects developing and validating new outcome measures such as questionnaires as well as function tests. Reliable and validated outcome measures are crucial for the other subprograms.
2) Subprogram Quality of life comprises projects investigating quality of life of targeted groups of patients. These projects may focus on tumor specific quality of life such as speech, swallowing, sexuality, physical fitness, depression or meaning. Also, the impact of new treatment modalities on quality of life is investigated. Furthermore, studies on the association between quality of life and survival are performed in this subprogram.
3) Subprogram OncoNavigation comprises projects on monitoring quality of life in clinical practice. Important research questions are for instance: “How can patients be identified who might benefit from supportive care?” and “What do patients need?”.
4) In subprogram Innovative Interventions new interventions are developed or existing interventions are adapted for cancer patients and their relatives. Cost-effectiveness studies are carried out to provide scientific evidence needed to implement new interventions into the organisation of health care.
An important goal of our research group is to translate scientific knowledge into clinical practice in as soon as possible. Implementation studies will in turn lead to new insights and a need for further research. For example, new outcome measures may be needed (subprogram 1). Or, more insight is needed into specific aspects of quality of life (subprogram 2) based upon a new intervention can be developed (subprogram 3). This makes the cycle of research and innovation complete.
Eventually, we hope that our research projects will contribute to a “personalized” instead of a “one size fits all” approach of supportive care in the future.