Principal Investigators: Fred Ssewamala, PhD, Kimberly Johnson, PhD, Ozge Sensoy Bahar, PhD
Project Team Members: Apollo Kivumbi, MBchB, Abel Mwebembezi, PhD, Nixon Niyonzima, MBchB/PhD
Field Coordinators: Jennifer Nattabi, MSW, Herbert Migadde
Research Collaborators: Uganda Cancer Institute
Study Aims: Suubi4Cancer (R21CA236531) is a two-year study that seeks to identify confirmed and suspected cancer cases in a cohort of >3,000 youth living with HIV/AIDS (YLWHIV) in districts heavily affected by HIV/AIDS in Southern Uganda. This study also aims to explore the short-term preliminary outcomes of an existing evidence-based economic empowerment (EE) Intervention, on access to pediatric cancer diagnosis, care, and treatment adherence in YLWHIV among individuals with suspected cancers. In the proposed Suubi4Cancer study, we will test the theory that youth and their families’ cognitive and behavioral change is influenced by economic stability. In addition, we will examine if enhanced cancer knowledge through intra-familial support and communication will help maintain positive behavioral health functioning and reinforce engagement in care and treatment. The study findings will also contribute to the initiation of a regional registry for YLWHIV for cancer research.
Study Design: Suubi4Cancer is a mixed methods study that will leverage a five-year NIH-funded R01 clinical trial of perinatally HIV-infected children in 39 Ugandan health clinics to collect pilot data needed to explore acceptability and short-term preliminary outcomes of the enhanced intervention. Using medical records (MRs), we will recruit at least 78 youth (ages 10-21) years with suspected malignancies from ~3,000 HIV+ youth receiving care in 39 clinics (~ two youth/clinic over a six month period).
Study Interventions: Suubi4Cancer will apply a combined intervention that includes an EE intervention that utilizes Child Development Accounts (CDA), which incorporates matched savings, and a series of educational trainings with an emphasis on cancer education, specifically addressing cultural misconceptions regarding cancer tumors. The Suubi EE intervention promotes family income-generating activities (IGAs) for impoverished HIV positive adolescents and their families to meet financial-specific needs associated with managing clinic visitation appointments and fees. Topics covered in the EE include: saving and asset building, self-esteem, and negotiation skills.
Study Progress: As of January 2019, an initial planning meeting was held with our project team member, Dr. Nixon Niyonzima. The team is currently working on getting the IRB materials in place for study approval in Uganda. ICHAD also held several meetings including its first stakeholders’ meeting with the 39 clinics and a meeting with the Uganda Cancer Institute. Field site visits to participating clinics are scheduled for February 2019.