Call for Abstracts: The Role of Health Services Research in Advances in Cancer Prevention and Control

Sponsored by: Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine 
Submission deadline for abstracts: EXTENDED to Monday 17 July 2024

Health Services Research (HSR) and the Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine are partnering to publish a Special Issue on The Role of Health Services Research in Cancer Prevention and Control. The special issue will be edited by Kevin Schulman, MD, Roger Anderson, PhD, Xin Hu, PhD, and Asal Pilehvari, PhD.

Paradigm shifts in cancer screening such as mammography, colonoscopy, and Pap smears have been pivotal in detecting cancers at earlier and more treatable stages. Treatments including targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and precision medicine have prolonged disease-free intervals, improved overall survival, and enhanced quality of life for survivors. Interventions in the delivery and quality of palliative care and hospice utilization have improved the end-of-life experience. Health services research has contributed significantly to evaluating the effectiveness, accessibility, and implementation strategies of these screening programs, treatments, and interventions, guiding their integration into clinical practice.

Nonetheless, challenges persist in ensuring equitable access to high-quality cancer care for all. Disparities in cancer outcomes based on factors including socioeconomic status, sex, gender identification, race, ethnicity, disability, comoribidities, care delivery system, health policy, and geographical location remain a concern. Addressing these disparities and further improving cancer prevention and control strategies requires a comprehensive application of health services research.

Health services research can contribute to understanding how integrating innovative approaches of technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics, big data analytics, and evidence synthesis methodologies can improve informed decision-making across the cancer care continuum. Health services research can also inform policy innovations that promote access to care, and patient-centered care approaches. All present opportunities to further enhance cancer prevention and control and improve patient outcomes.

This special issue will include empirical studies that illuminate the application of health services research throughout the cancer care continuum, from prevention and early detection to treatment, survivorship, and end-of-life care. Examples of topic areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Evaluation of cancer care quality indicators, cancer care utilization and economic outcomes, and/or organizational structures or designs associated with efficiency and effectiveness of cancer care delivery.
  • Evaluation of the use of cutting-edge technologies, including AI and machine learning:
    • to evaluate and/or quantify cancer care quality, utilization, and outcomes; or
    • as a clinical application to improve personalized treatment decision, cancer care quality and utilization in real-world-applications, such as risk stratification, pattern recognition, or improved diagnostic accuracy.
  • Generation of data-driven recommendations to address the access, cost or quality of cancer care for key stakeholders across the cancer control continuum, from prevention to end-of-life care, including but not limited to insurance companies, professional societies, health care providers, governments, patients and caregivers.

HSR is issuing a call for abstracts to invite paper submissions for this special issue. The deadline for initial submission of abstracts is 17 July 2024.  Abstracts may not exceed 300 words and must be formatted as indicated in the HSR Author Instructions (Section 2.4.2.2, keywords not necessary).

Abstracts will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary review panel. Evaluation criteria include:

  • Quality, rigor, and originality 
  • Relevance to the special issue theme 
  • Clarity of writing and presentation.

Authors of abstracts that most closely match the criteria will be invited in August to submit full manuscripts in November 2024.

Invited manuscripts must follow the Author Instructions and undergo the same HSR peer review process as regular issue manuscripts. However, due to the strict timeline for publishing the special issue, the review and revision process will follow an expedited timeline. Authors must be prompt in returning revisions. Invited articles will be published online on acceptance. Some accepted articles might not be selected for the special issue but will be published in a regular issue.

The expected publication date for the special issue is March 2026.

To submit an abstract for consideration, please email it with the corresponding author's contact information to hsr@aha.org. Include “Special Issue HSR in Cancer” in the email subject line.

Key dates for authors
Submission deadline for abstracts: EXTENDED to 17 July 2024
Full manuscript invitation: 12 August 2024 
Full manuscript deadline: 15 November 2024 
Special issue publication date: March 2026

Questions? Please email Kelly Teagle at hsr@aha.org.