DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) 4th Annual Conference, 1 - 4 March 2007 in Austin, TX, will provide the only national interdisciplinary forum where an estimated 400 representatives from the fields of oncology, psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, pastoral care, counseling, therapy and patient advocacy can share the latest information on ways to improve cancer survivors' quality of life. The APOS 4th Annual Conference theme is "Promoting Quality Psychosocial Cancer Care across Diverse Communities"; it is dedicated to developing strategies to enhance access to psychosocial care among the underserved. Participants attending the conference will gain skills and competence related to (a) teaching researchers and practitioners methods for identifying and engaging advocacy groups who can collaborate to build strategies that will improve access and treatment for ethnically diverse, minority and medically vulnerable populations; (b) identifying resources and strategies that researchers and practitioners can employ to improve access, treatment and outcomes in psychosocial cancer care among ethnically diverse, minority and medically vulnerable populations; (c) translating cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research findings into clinical and educational programs in participants' own institutions related to the assessment and management of distress, symptom management and quality-of-life issues across the continuum of care; (d) understanding the value of collaboration between researchers and practitioners to improve the delivery of state-of-the-art medical and psychosocial cancer care for patients and their families across cancer settings; and (e) promoting APOS resources and networking with APOS members and other leaders in the field to form valuable professional and lay collaborations. The Annual Conference begins with a full day of practical workshops, providing psychosocial oncology professionals and patient advocates with innovative clinical skills on topics such as community-based research addressing diversity issues, conceptual and measurement issues surrounding diverse communities and palliative care, among others. Subsequent sessions will address survivorship, psychosocial services for minority and underserved populations, quality of life issues, and more. The conference will close with a half-day dedicated to skills-based workshops centered on reducing health disparities in psychosocial care. Evaluation of the conference will include participant response to the overall program and the impact of the sessions on subsequent APOS programs and activities. Abstracts accepted for presentation will be published in a supplement to the journal Psycho-Oncology, and presentations will be posted on the APOS website.
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