Prasanna J Ananth, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Medical Oncology; Palliative Care; Pediatrics; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic; Medical Marijuana

Research Organizations

Pediatrics

Yale Cancer Center: Cancer Prevention and Control

Research Summary

Dr. Ananth's research focuses on investigating ways to optimize supportive and palliative care for children with advanced cancer. Prior work explored how children with chronic, life-threatening illness utilize hospital resources in the last year of life; pediatric palliative care mitigates hospital use; enrollment in early phase clinical trials influences end-of-life care; and how providers, patients, and families perceive medical marijuana in pediatric oncology practice. Her ongoing work seeks to define attributes of high quality care for children with advanced cancer.

Extensive Research Description

Dr. Ananth's primary research agenda is to investigate mechanisms of optimizing supportive and palliative care for children with advanced cancer. Throughout the arc of her training as a pediatric oncologist, I have sought formal education in health services and outcomes research methods through a master’s degree in public health at UC Berkeley and the Clinical Effectiveness Program at the Harvard School of Public Health. Previously, she was an Instructor at Harvard Medical School, where she engaged in population sciences methods workshops and didactics with senior faculty and peers. Dr. Ananth is am now an Assistant Professor at Yale School of Medicine, where she is a faculty affiliate in the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research Center. She is also a member of the interdisciplinary, cross-institutional Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC) Research Network, enabling prior and forthcoming collaborations.

Among adults with cancer, intense EOLC is defined by metrics such as hospitalizations in the last weeks of life and delayed hospice referral. No comparable quality measures exist for children with advanced cancer. In a published multi-center study, Dr. Ananth and her colleagues previously identified that children with cancer spend a substantial proportion of their last year of life admitted to the hospital, receiving interventions such as surgeries or mechanical ventilation. In two subsequent studies, they found that PPC consultation may have a measurable impact on reducing hospital resource use and that enrollment in early phase clinical trials may influence timing of PPC engagement. This has yielded her current research, in which she will develop patient- and family-centered, provider-informed quality measures that can be used to assess end-of-life care and develop prospective interventions. Dr. Ananth's previous work has been published in Pediatric Blood & Cancer, Pediatrics, and the Journal of Palliative Medicine. 

Full List of PubMed Publications

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