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Treating cancer pain in children at home

UCI Health webinar

December 16, 2014

Cancer pain in children can be worse than the disease itself.  

Today, more children are receiving cancer treatments in an outpatient setting instead of a hospital. This improves their quality of life, but relies on parents to identify and treat pain at home.

In the webinar, renowned pediatric pain psychologist Michelle A. Fortier, PhD, co-director of the UC Irvine Center on Stress and Health and clinical researcher at CHOC Children's, talks about what parents and children need to know about the latest interventions to identify, treat and prevent cancer pain.

Fortier has conducted clinical research on more than 500 children and their parents battling cancer pain, which led to developing applications to help parents and children manage pain at home.

During the webinar, Fortier introduces:

  • For parents: C-TIPS, an application to educate parents on identifying and treating cancer pain in their child.
  • For children: Pain Buddy, an application that uses a 3D avatar to help identify cancer pain in children at home. It records, tracks and sends alerts of increasing pain to healthcare providers.

C-TIPS and Pain Buddy empower parents and children with strategies such as relaxation, imagery and breathing techniques to manage pain and stress.

This webinar was scheduled to air on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 11 a.m. PST.

About the speaker

Michelle A. Fortier, PhD, is an assistant professor in both the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care and Department of Psychology & Human Behavior at UC Irvine School of Medicine, and co-director of the UC Irvine Center on Stress & Health.

Fortier is on medical staff in the Department of Pediatric Psychology at CHOC Children’s hospital. In collaboration with CHOC Children’s, the UC Irvine Center on Stress & Health is a research center that comprises a multidisciplinary team assisting children and families manage pain, anxiety and stress surrounding the medical environment and disease burden.

Fortier received her PhD in clinical child psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Her clinical and research interests involve the prevention and treatment of child and adolescent pain, including chronic pain conditions (e.g., headache, recurrent abdominal pain and generalized pain), recurrent pain as a result of chronic illness (e.g., cancer), and acute procedural or postsurgical pain.

In addition, Fortier has a program of research incorporating health information technology to improve the management of pain and symptoms in children.