The POGO Supportive Care Clinical Practice Guidelines Program provides healthcare professionals in Ontario and worldwide with the best options for managing the side effects of cancer and improving the health and quality of life of children with cancer. These Guidelines translate the current evidence into recommendations for daily clinical practice. For example, in POGO’s most recent guideline on managing fatigue (published in the medical journal Lancet Child & Adolescent Health), physical activity is strongly recommended as a way to help ease this common and distressing symptom. It further recommends that physical activity should suit each patient’s specific needs, likes and abilities. The POGO Guidelines team based this recommendation—one of four—on research with adults that showed the consistent benefit of physical activity, and the universal availability, low risk of harm and low costs of fitness options. The fatigue guideline was developed by a multidisciplinary and multinational group of experts, together with childhood cancer survivors.
More about Supportive Care Clinical Practice Guidelines
Supportive care helps manage cancer’s side effects
Supportive care is the prevention and management of the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment, which means managing the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Supportive care includes preventing and treating infections, reducing nausea and vomiting, as well as managing psychosocial issues, including depression, anxiety, and caregiver distress.
Clinical Practice Guidelines improve outcomes
Guidelines provide a way of translating evidence into clinical practice. Across clinical specialties, treatment according to guidelines has been shown to improve outcomes. Providing evidence-based supportive care for healthcare teams has the potential to optimize treatment outcomes, reduce suffering, and improve the quality of the cancer treatment journey for children with cancer.
POGO’s Clinical Practice Guidelines are internationally endorsed
In its short duration, the POGO Guidelines Program has been extremely successful. In addition to the newly released management of fatigue guideline, POGO has published six Guidelines. Five have been endorsed by the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). This means that links to the guideline recommendations are now embedded into the COG’s trial protocols. Endorsements by other organizations, nationally and internationally, include the Canadian C17 Network, the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology and the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer.
POGO’s Clinical Practice Guidelines fill a void
POGO’s Clinical Practice Guidelines are incredibly important for healthcare teams because very few evidence-based supportive care guidelines exist that specifically focus on children with cancer. POGO’s Guidelines are informed by parents who rank the treatment-related adverse effects as most severe and concerning to their children, and by pediatric oncology healthcare providers who have identified topics for which guidance is most needed.