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Research Funding

Encouraging the National Cancer Institute to Support Psychological Research

APA recommends that NCI fund more studies on depression and other types of psychological stress that can affect the course of cancer and quality of life.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2022, March 30). Encouraging the National Cancer Institute to Support Psychological Research. https://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/cancer-institute-psychological-research

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APA submitted federal comments (PDF, 243KB) to the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) in response to its request for information about directions that will accelerate scientific progress and increase the impact of DCCPS-sponsored research. 

APA Services appreciates the many suggestions in this comment contributed by APA’s Division 38 (Society for Health Psychology), particularly its president, Barbara Andersen, PhD, of Ohio State University, and her graduate students.  

APA advised the DCCPS to support:

  • Research on psychological or social factors (e.g. motivational variables, perceived stress) that drive the behaviors (e.g. exercise adherence) that NCI wants to see changed.
  • Research on emotional or psychological variables that impact disease progression and survival studied as outcomes, e.g. distress and mortality, depression and survival.
  • Research on the social determinants of health, such as discrimination and stigmatization, on cancer survivorship.
  • Research on provider education regarding cancer survivorship and use of empirically supported psychological treatments. Given that barriers to adequate cancer control treatments come from low expenditures and low support at the institutional level for such services, NCI should consider funding studies on psychological and behavioral interventions that intend to lower medical costs and reduce adverse events.

The DCCPS has been an important source of support for behavioral and social science research over its 25-year history. APA’s comments encouraged continuing collaboration between APA and NCI as the institute implements new research priorities. 

For more information, contact Pat Kobor.