Matias Mariani – Research Grant – 2015

Dr. Matias Mariani, Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist, Supportive Care Program and Supportive Care Oncology Research Unit, Northeast Cancer Centre, Health Sciences North/Horizon Sante-Nord

Project Title: “Teleneuropsychology: Assessment and Intervention in High-Grade Primary Brain Tumours”

Project Summary:

The vast geographical scope of Northeastern Ontario presents difficulties in delivering care to individuals in remote communities. Some individuals may demonstrate mobility issues that prevent them from receiving required care, including neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation.  Emergent research has demonstrated the feasibility of delivering neuropsychological assessment via remote telehealth systems.  Consequently, the purpose of this study is to assess the feasibility of a remotely-delivered neuropsychological rehabilitation program reaching individuals with high-grade primary brain tumours with impoverished mobility, compromised cognition, and/or lack of access (e.g., rural areas).

The intervention consists of a manualized, 10-week rehabilitation program that aims to train the individual on compensatory strategies in attention, memory, and planning abilities, as well as address common emotional problems and improve quality of life.  Individuals will undergo baseline, post-intervention, and 6-month follow-up remote assessments to determine changes in cognitive and emotional function, in addition to an evaluation of satisfaction with respect to the rehabilitation program and the use of telemedicine to deliver it.  This research can contribute to establish groundwork to change the delivery of medical services to remote populations in Northeastern Ontario.