Hello again from the 65th Annual Gerontological Society of America (GSA) conference in San Diego! I just finished presenting my poster based on my dissertation work related to the impact of context, and cancer experience on cancer-related decision making.
The findings suggest that having been diagnosed with cancer in the past does seem to have an impact on decision making competence in cancer-related and non-cancer-related decision domains throughout the survivorship continuum. These results were met with great interest, particularly among those working in cancer research in both clinical and research settings. One of the individuals most vocal about her interest in this area of research was a Program Director at the National Cancer Institute and recommended that we explore opportunities for funding at the NCI.
Understanding older adults’ decision making competence, particularly in the context of cancer, is exceedingly important as the older adult population continues to grow, as treatment and health-care choices get exceedingly more complex, and as the influence of the older adult population on our social policies, and larger economical systems continues to rise.
I am really looking forward to speaking more with members of our CSC team about how we might integrate this line of work into our research agenda. It’s been a great conference, and I’m ready to head back to Philadelphia and share all of these wonderful experiences with my colleagues.