Cancer Nursing Research

Researcher

Research Overview

The cancer nursing research program at the University of Melbourne exists to develop new and translate existing knowledge into practice to enhance the experience and outcomes of people affected by cancer, and the efficiency of health service delivery. This will be achieved through undertaking nurse led, health services research and clinically-focused projects that are practice-relevant, and inclusive of consumers in all of our research endeavours.

Specifically the focus of the research program includes:

  • Key symptoms and side-effects – specifically, pain, fatigue cancer infection and cognitive decline
  • Mapping patterns of care for patients with rare and less common cancers to ensure appropriate and timely access to care and treatment
  • Developing patient centred models of care and supportive care interventions to best support people living with rare and less common cancers
  • Developing resources to inform cancer nursing workforce utilisation and demonstrate workforce impact on cancer patient outcomes and health services quality
  • An emerging program of research addressing the needs of older adults with cancer

In 2017, the research group head was awarded $1 million over three years, by the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, to develop and implement a Cancer Nursing Research Innovation Hub (the Hub). The aim of this program is to grow research literacy and capability among cancer nurses. The Hub will be:

  • an incubator for the development of new nurse-led research programs.
  • a point of connectivity and research mentorship for nurses from across Victoria, and will
  • grow academic leadership in nursing research.

This program of work is one of 19 Strategic Research Programs funded and enabled by the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Research projects

The Cancer Nursing Research program at the University of Melbourne was established in 2015. All of our studies reflect critical partnerships with Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Alliance partners and diverse consumer and advocacy groups. Several of our studies are aligned with policy imperatives for the Cancer Strategy and Development Division of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, and we are currently partnering with the Cancer Strategy and Development Division to refresh and develop new resources as part of the Victorian Supportive Cancer Care Framework.

Current RHD student work

  • Erin Kennedy – Nutritional status and nutrition-related quality of life in gastrointestinal neuroendocrine cancer patients
  • Melissa Warren – Emergency presentation of colorectal cancer patients
  • Polly Dufton – Self-management pathway for adult cancer patients to reduce utilisation of emergency department services
  • Priscilla Gates – An exploration of cancer related cognitive impairment in patients with aggressive lymphoma to inform effective supportive care

Future plans for projects and scholarships

Future projects will focus on building knowledge and nursing research capacity across five key domains:

  • Key symptoms and side-effects – specifically, pain, fatigue, cancer infection, cognitive decline with a growing focus on symptom clusters
  • Mapping patterns of care for patients with rare and less common cancers to ensure appropriate and timely access to care and treatment
  • Developing patient centred models of care and supportive care interventions to best support people living with rare and less common cancers
  • Developing a program of research addressing the needs of older adults with cancer
  • Developing resources to inform cancer nursing workforce utilisation and demonstrate workforce impact on cancer patient outcomes and health services quality

Staff

Professor Mei Krishnasamy – Research Group Head
Associate Professor Karla Gough – Applied Statistician
Natasha Moloczij – Program Manager, VCCC Nursing Research Innovation Hub
Catherine Devereux – Program Manager, Cancer Australia Older & Wiser and PanSupport Projects
Hilary Bush – Program Manager, DHHS Supportive Care in Cancer Refresh Project
Carol Jewell – Project Officer, DHHS Supportive Care in Cancer Refresh Project
Janette Alexander – Project Officer, PARTNER Project
Zoe Allway – Project Officer, NBCF, Metastatic Breast Cancer Project
Matt Perich – Research Intern, Exercise as Cancer (the EXMED Project)
Diane Davey – Research Intern, INTACT Study
Colin Wood – Project Officer, Multiple Myeloma project
Kylie Jackson – Research Intern, COOL Study
Associate Professor Lily Gao – International post-doctoral student

Collaborators

Local

Multidisciplinary clinician-researchers and consumer advisory committee members from across the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Alliance:

  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • Olivia Newton-John Cancer, Wellness and Research Centre, Austin Health
  • Western Hospital
  • The Royal Women’s Hospital
  • The Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • St Vincent’s Hospital

The group has strong relationships with the Royal Children's Hospital and looks to develop opportunity for nurse-led cancer research in the near future.

University Partners

  • Professor Linda Denehy & Dr Catherine Granger, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences University of Melbourne
  • Professor Lynette Joubert and Dr Ralph Hampson, Department of Social Work, School of Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Jon Emery, Herman Professor of Primary Care Cancer Research, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Jennifer Philip, Chair of Palliative Medicine, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Monica Slavin, Professor Karin Thursky, Associate Professor Leon Worth, Dr Ben Teh, at the National Centre for Infections in Cancer, an NHMRC funded CRE, University of Melbourne, VCCC
  • Associate Professor Prue Cormie, Institute for Health & Ageing, Australian Catholic University
  • Dr Anna Ugalde, Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Health, Deakin University
  • Associate Professor Soumitri Varadarajan, Deputy Dean of Industrial and Interior Design, School of Architecture, RMIT.
  • The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

National

  • Professor Leanne Monterosso, University of Notre Dame/St John of God Hopsital, Perth
  • Professor Boon Chua, Director of Cancer and Haematology Services at the Prince of Wales Hospital and the University of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Professor Ray Chan, Queensland University of Technology and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
  • Professor Deborah Anderson, Griffith University | Menzies Health Institute, Gold Coast Campus
  • Associate Professor Barbara Mullan, Curtin University, WA
  • Dr Haryana Dhillon, Senior Research Fellow, School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney
  • Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, Professor of Health Systems Research, Institute of Innovation, Macquarie University

International

  • Dr Kinta Beaver, Professor of Cancer Care and Dr Susan Williamson, Senior Research Fellow, School of Health Sciences, University of Central Lancaster, UK
  • Professor Mary Wells, Lead Research Nurse, Imperial NHS Trust, UK
  • Associate Professor Jo Armes, Reader of Cancer Nursing, University of Surrey
  • Dr Theresa Weisman, Clinical Professor of Applide Health Research in Cancer Care, University of Southampton
  • Dr Roma Maguire, Professor of Digital Health and Care, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  • Dr Carol Tisselman, Professor of Innovative Care at the Karolinska University, Sweden
  • Professor Margaret Barton-Burke, Director of Nursing Research, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, USA

Advocacy and NGOs

  • The Pancare Foundation
  • Breast Cancer Network Australia
  • Counterpoint
  • Think Pink
  • Myeloma Foundation
  • The Cancer Council Victoria
  • Cancer Voices

Policy

  • Cancer Strategy and Development Division of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

Funding

  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Cancer Australia
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Nurses Board, Victoria
  • Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • University of Melbourne
  • Cancer Strategy and Development Division, Department of Health and Human Services, Cancer and Palliative Care Research and Evaluation Unit
  • Western and Melbourne Integrated Cancer Services
  • Cancer Nurses Society of Australia

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Publications

  • Monterosso L, Taylor K, Platt V, Lobb E, Musiello T, Bulsara C, Stratton K, Joske D, Krishnasamy M. Living with multiple myeloma: a focus group study of unmet needs and preferences for survivorship care.2018  March  5(1): 6-15.
  • Moloczij N, Gough K, Solomon B, Ball D, Mileshkin L, Duffy M, Krishnasamy M.Development of a hospital-based patient-reported outcome framework for lung cancer patients: a study protocol. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2018 Jan 11;16(1):10. doi: 10.1186/s12955-017-0837-z
  • Russell L, Ugalde A, Milne D, Krishnasamy M, O Seung Chul E, Austin DW, Chambers R, Orellana L, Livingston PM. Feasibility of an online mindfulness-based program for patients with melanoma: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 2018 April 12: 19(1): 2223. Doi: 10.1186/s13063-018-2575-x
  • Collins A, Sundararajan V, Burchell J, Millar J, McLachlan SA, Krishnasamy M, Le BH, Mileshkin L, Hudson P, Philip J. Transition points for the routine integration of palliative care in patients with advanced cancer. J Pain and Symptom Management. 2018 April; 5692): 185-194.
  • Russel L, Orellana L, Ugalde A, Milne D, Krishnasamy M, Livingston T. Exploring knowledge, attitudes, and practice associated with meditation among patients with melanoma. Integr Cancer Ther. 2018 Jun;17(2):237-247.
  • Moloczij N, Gough K, Solomon B, Ball D, Mileshkin L, Duffy M, Krishnasamy M. Establishing a Patient-Reported Outcome registry for lung cancer patients: a study protocol. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2018 Jan 11;16(1):10. doi: 10.1186/s12955-017-0837-z.
  • Stafford L, Sinclair M, Turner J, Newman L, Wakefield C, Krishnasamy M, Mann GB, Gilham L, Mason K, Rauch P, Cannell J, Schofield P. Study protocol for Enhancing Parenting In Cancer (EPIC): development and evaluation of a brief psycho-educational intervention to support parents with cancer who have young children. Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2017 Dec 11;3:72. doi: 10.1186/s40814-017-0215-y.
  • Monterosso L, Taylor K, Platt V, Lobb E, Krishnasamy M, Musiello T, Bulsara C, Stratton K, Joske D.  A qualitative study of the post-treatment experiences and support needs of survivors of lymphoma. E J Oncology Nursing. 2017 Jun;28:62-68.
  • Brown C, Drosdowsky A, Krishnasamy M. An exploration of medical emergency team intervention at the end of life for people with advanced cancer.  Oncology Nursing 2017 Dec;31:77-83.
  • Edbrooke L, Aranda S, Granger C, McDonald C, Krishnasamy M, Mileshkin L Irving L, Braat S, Clark R, Denehy L. Benefits of home-based multidisciplinary exercise and supportive care in inoperable non-small cell lung cancer - protocol for a Phase II randomised controlled trial. BMC Cancer 2017. Sep 29;17(1):663. doi: 10.1186/s12885-017-3651-4.
  • Kinder S, Gough K, Krishnasamy M. Use of Optimal Care Pathways in the Evaluation of Regional Cancer Care. MJA
  • Jefford M, Ward AC, Lisy K, Lacey K, Emery JD, Glaser AW, Cross H, Krishnasamy M, McLachlan SA, Bishop J. Patient-reported outcomes in cancer survivors: a population-wide cross-sectional study. Support Care Cancer. 2017 Oct;25(10):3171-3179.
  • Moloczij N, Krishnasamy M, Butow P, Hack TF, Stafford L, Jefford M, Schofield P.
  • Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of audio-recordings and question prompt lists in cancer care consultations: A qualitative study. Patient Educ Couns. 2017 Jan 16. (epub ahead of print)
  • Anderson D, Seib C, Tjondronegoro D, Turner J, Monterosso L, McGuire A, Porter-Steele J, Song W, Yates P, King N, Young L, White K, Lee K, Hall S, Krishnasamy M, Wells K, Balaam S, McCarthy AL. The Women's wellness after cancer program: a multisite, single-blinded, randomised controlled trial protocol. BMC Cancer. 2017 Feb 3;17(1):98. doi: 10.1186/s12885-017-3088-9.
  • Krishnasamy M, Chan RJ. Translational Cancer Nursing Research: What Will Your Contribution Be? Cancer Nurs. 2016 Nov/Dec;39(6):425-426
  • Ugalde A, Haynes K, Boltong A, White V, Krishnasamy M, Schofield P, Aranda S, Livingston P. Self-guided interventions for managing psychological distress in people with cancer - A systematic review. Patient Educ Couns. 2016 Dec 14. pii: S0738-3991(16)30562-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2016.12.009. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Shaw T, Yates P, Moore B, Ash K, Nolte L, Krishnasamy M, Nicholson J, Rynderman M, Avery J, Jefford M. Development and evaluation of an online educational resource about cancer survivorship for cancer nurses: a mixed-methods sequential study. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2016 Oct 10. doi: 10.1111/ecc.12576. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Kiss N, Isenring E, Gough K, Wheeler G, Wirth A, Campbell BA, Krishnasamy M. Early and Intensive Dietary Counseling in Lung Cancer Patients Receiving (Chemo)Radiotherapy-A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutr Cancer. 2016 Aug-Sep;68(6):958-67.
  • Kao C.Y, Aranda S, Krishnasamy M, Hamilton B. Interventions to improve patient understanding of cancer clinical trial participation: a systematic review. European Journal of Cancer Care. 2016 Jan 20. doi: 10.1111/ecc.12424.
  • Jefford M, Gough K, Drosdowsky A, Russell L, Aranda S, Butow P, Phipps-Nelson J, Young J, Krishnasamy M, Ugalde A, King D, Strickland A, Franco M, Blum R, Johnson C, Ganju V, Shapiro J, Chong G, Charlton J, Haydon A, Schofield P. Symptom Management and Supportive Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Nurse-Led Supportive Care Package (SurvivorCare) for Survivors of Colorectal Cancer. The Oncologist.2016; 21. doi:10.1634/theoncologist. 2015-0533.

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Research Projects



Faculty Research Themes

Cancer

School Research Themes

Cancer, Practice and service improvement, Recovery and Rehabilitation Across the Lifespan



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Chair in Cancer Nursing; VCCC Research and Education Lead – Cancer Nursing Professor Mei Krishnasamy

Department / Centre

Nursing

Unit / Centre

Cancer Nursing Research


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