The Padamsee Group: A Broad Range of Research
This team is a nationally recognized cancer-prevention focused research group. They collect data and determine processes that empower high-risk women and their health care providers to make the best possible choices to protect each woman’s health. The team’s findings can be used to recommend changes to clinical services, including changes in best practice guidelines, new continuing medical education options for primary care providers, new decision-making aids to which practitioners can refer their patients, or other innovations.
Prior to the Padamsee Group's current projects, the group was among the first nationally and internationally to research high-risk women based on the women’s own words and perspectives. This group of scientists and researchers drew on in-depth, qualitative data from 50 women: 30 white (non-Hispanic) and 20 African-American. Confident generalization of these findings (and development of interventions based on them) requires that core insights from the qualitative research be confirmed through quantitative hypothesis testing.
Today, the team’s work involves collecting quantitative data using self-administered online surveys of 400 to 600 high-risk white and African-American women.
The surveys focus on decision-making dynamics found by prior team research, and it allows for testing a range of specific hypotheses about the relationships between decision-making factors, prevention choices and health outcomes.
Breakthroughs and Discoveries
At the OSUCCC – James, the Padamsee Group is unique to the region and nation: it is the only group in Ohio researching risk-management decision-making among women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer, and one of only a handful of groups around the world explicitly focused on decision-making relating to women’s experiences with high-risk breast and ovarian cancer.
Based on the early phases of research, these experts have already gained critical insight. Not only do women’s experiences with cancers of loved ones make a profound difference in how they address their own risk, process prevention options, and make risk-management decisions, up to half of high-risk women may have never discussed their elevated risk with a health care practitioner. This gap in clinical care may result from primary care providers’ shortage of time needed to delve into family history and cancer risk, or it could be a lack of training and expertise needed to undertake these conversations confidently. Additionally, research indicates that the clinical care gap may also be attributed to the fact that many of these women have never seen a genetics, oncology or breast specialist, which is associated with more thorough information about options.
Further, the way women learn about risk and options can be dramatically different for different demographic groups. Specifically, Padamsee Group experts have found that the social contexts in which African-American and white women make risk-management decisions vary considerably, and that many women’s ability to engage in cancer prevention decision-making is strongly affected by their economic resources.
Ultimately, this team of research specialists hopes to make changes in clinical care and health policy that will allow for optimal support of women facing risk-management decisions related familial risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Empowering women to make intentional, health-protective decisions will reduce cancer incidence and cancer mortality among the groups of women mostly likely to face breast and ovarian cancer.