Liesa J. Weiler-Wichtl is MedUni Vienna’s Inventor of the Year 2023

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Bild: MedUni Wien/Robert Harson
Bild: MedUni Wien/Robert Harson

Liesa J. Weiler-Wichtl, clinical and health psychologist at MedUni Vienna’s Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, has been named MedUni Vienna Inventor of the Year 2023 for her "My logbook - I know my way around!" project to support children with cancer and chronic illnesses.

The innovative therapy tool "Mein Logbuch - Ich kenne mich aus!" was developed by Liesa J. Weiler-Wichtl and her team at the Pediatric Neurooncology Unit of the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. "My Logbook" is a comprehensive companion for children and adolescents who are confronted with a chronic illness, especially cancer - from diagnosis to aftercare.

"My Logbook" not only offers information to read, but also practical tips, space for photos, drawing and writing as well as guidance for medical treatments and emotional experiences, which are developed together with the psychosocial team. Complex and challenging topics are thus made tangible and manageable. Given that around 2,200 children in German-speaking countries and 35,000 children in Europe are diagnosed with cancer every year and are confronted with intensive medical examinations, treatments and possible side effects, "My Logbook" serves as a coping and orientation tool.

The "My Logbook" quality improvement project aims to put psychosocial standards and guidelines into practice to ensure that evidence-based recommendations (S3 guideline on psychosocial care in paediatric oncology and haematology https://www.awmf.org/uploads/t­x_szleitli­nien/025-0­02k_S3_Psy­chosoziale­-Versorgun­g-Paediatr­ische-Onko­logie-Haem­atologie_2­020-02.pdf ) actually reach children and adolescents - in an age-appropriate, creative and individualized way. By combining science and clinical practice in a development process lasting several years, the logbook is continuously developed further. Multiple levels are taken into account - interdisciplinary healthcare staff and the perspective of young patients alike.

With over 100 children tested, "My Logbook" is showing initial positive results in terms of expertise experienced and emotional well-being as key factors for resilient development. Originally developed in the field of oncology, the modular logbook can also be used in other areas of pediatrics. The possibility of expansion for specific topics and translation into other languages support the vision of standardized and comparable psychosocial care services throughout Europe.

About the person

Liesa J. Weiler-Wichtl studied psychology at the University of Vienna and completed her doctoral studies in applied medical science at the Medical University of Vienna. She completed her postgraduate training as a clinical and health psychologist and further specializations in paediatric psycho-oncology, child, adolescent and family psychology and further training as a child counsellor (JBA).
She worked as a clinical psychologist at the Pediatric Neurooncology Unit of the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at MedUni Vienna/University Hospital Vienna and currently heads the quality improvement project "My Logbook". She has provided clinical psychological counseling and therapy in private practice and is head of psychosocial rehabilitation at kokon - Rohrbach-Berg.

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