Woolloomooloo, Australia
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Dixon H.,Center for Behavioural Research in Cancer | Scully M.,Center for Behavioural Research in Cancer | Kelly B.,University of Wollongong | Chapman K.,Cancer Council New South Wales | Wakefield M.,Center for Behavioural Research in Cancer
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2014

This study aimed to test whether counter-advertisements (i.e. messages contesting industry marketing) make pre-adolescent children less susceptible to the influence of food promotions. Since children have lower media literacy levels due to their immature cognitive abilities, specific research questions explored were: (1) whether the effectiveness of counter-ads is contingent on children having understood them; and (2) whether counter-ads may be detrimental when they are misinterpreted. A between-subjects experimental design using a web-based methodology was employed. 1351 grade 5-6 students (mean age 11 years) from schools located in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia participated. Participants were randomly shown an animated web banner advertisement (counter-ad challenging front-of-package promotion or control ad) and a pair of food packages from the same product category comprising an unhealthy product featuring a front-of-package promotion (nutrient content claim or sports celebrity endorsement) and a healthier control pack without a front-of-package promotion. Responses to the assigned advertisement, choice of product (healthy versusunhealthy) and ratings of the unhealthy product and front-of-package promotion on various nutritional and image-related attributes were recorded for each child. Sixty-six percent of children who viewed a counter-ad understood its main message. These children rated the front-of-package promotion as less believable and rated the unhealthy product bearing the front-of-package promotion as less healthy compared to the control group. However, children who misunderstood the counter-ad rated the unhealthy product bearing a front-of-package promotion as more healthy and rated the front-of-package promotion more favourably than those who correctly understood the counter-ad. Counter-advertising may have unintended consequences when misunderstood. If public health organizations or government pursue counter-advertising as a strategy to reduce the negative influence of unhealthy food marketing among children, caution is needed in designing counter-ads to guard against possible contradictory effects. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Sinclair C.A.,Cancer Council Victoria | Makin J.K.,Center for Behavioural Research in Cancer | Tang A.,Cancer Council New South Wales | Brozek I.,Cancer Council New South Wales | Rock V.,Cancer Council New South Wales
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2014

Although many countries still face opposition to the legislation of artificial tanning beds, all Australian states and territories have announced a total ban on commercial tanning beds. A combination of epidemiological and policy-centered research, powerful personal stories, and the active advocacy of prominent academics, cancer organizations, and grassroots community campaigners contributed to the decisions to first legislate standards and then ban all commercial tanning beds. We have illustrated that incremental change can be an effective pathway to securing substantial public health reforms.


Stacey F.G.,University of Newcastle | Stacey F.G.,Hunter Medical Research Institute | James E.L.,University of Newcastle | James E.L.,Hunter Medical Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Cancer Survivorship | Year: 2015

Purpose: Little is known about how to improve and create sustainable lifestyle behaviors of cancer survivors. Interventions based on social cognitive theory (SCT) have shown promise. This review examined the effect of SCT-based physical activity and nutrition interventions that target cancer survivors and identified factors associated with their efficacy. Methods: A systematic search of seven databases identified randomized controlled trials that (i) targeted adult cancer survivors (any point from diagnosis); (ii) reported a primary outcome of physical activity, diet, or weight management; and (iii) included an SCT-based intervention targeting physical activity or diet. Qualitative synthesis and meta-analysis were conducted. Theoretical constructs and intervention characteristics were examined to identify factors associated with intervention efficacy. Results: Eighteen studies (reported in 33 publications) met review inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis (n = 12) revealed a significant intervention effect for physical activity (standardized mean difference (SMD) = 0.33; P < 0.01). Most studies (six out of eight) that targeted dietary change reported significant improvements in at least one aspect of diet quality. No SCT constructs were associated with intervention effects. There were no consistent trends relating to intervention delivery method or whether the intervention targeted single or multiple behaviors. Conclusions: SCT-based interventions demonstrate promise in improving physical activity and diet behavior in cancer survivors, using a range of intervention delivery modes. Further work is required to understand how and why these interventions offer promise for improving behavior. Implications for Cancer Survivors: SCT-based interventions targeting diet or physical activity are safe and result in meaningful changes to diet and physical activity behavior that can result in health improvements. © 2014, The Author(s).


Bryant J.,Hunter Medical Research Institute | Boyes A.,Hunter Medical Research Institute | Jones K.,Hunter Medical Research Institute | Sanson-Fisher R.,Hunter Medical Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Implementation Science | Year: 2014

Background: There is increasing recognition of gaps between best scientific evidence and clinical practice. This systematic review aimed to assess the volume and scope of peer-reviewed cancer research output in the years 2000, 2005, and 2010.Methods: Eligible papers were published in English and reported on evidence-practice gaps in cancer care. The electronic database Medline was searched for three time periods using MeSH headings and keywords. Abstracts were assessed against eligibility criteria by one reviewer and checked by a second. Papers meeting eligibility criteria were coded as data-based or non-data-based, and by cancer type of focus. All data-based papers were then further classified as descriptive studies documenting the extent of, or barriers to addressing, the evidence-practice gap; or intervention studies examining the effectiveness of strategies to reduce the evidence-practice gap.Results: A total of 176 eligible papers were identified. The number of publications significantly increased over time, from 25 in 2000 to 100 in 2010 (p < 0.001). Of the 176 identified papers, 160 were data-based. The majority of these (n = 150) reported descriptive studies. Only 10 studies examined the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce discrepancies between evidence and clinical practice. Of these, only one was a randomized controlled trial. Of all data-based studies, almost one-third (n = 48) examined breast cancer care.Conclusions: While the number of publications investigating evidence-practice gaps in cancer care increased over a ten-year period, most studies continued to describe gaps between best evidence and clinical practice, rather than rigorously testing interventions to reduce the gap. © 2014 Bryant et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Chen W.,National Cancer Center | Zheng R.,National Cancer Center | Baade P.D.,Cancer Council Queensland | Zhang S.,National Cancer Center | And 6 more authors.
CA Cancer Journal for Clinicians | Year: 2016

With increasing incidence and mortality, cancer is the leading cause of death in China and is a major public health problem. Because of China's massive population (1.37 billion), previous national incidence and mortality estimates have been limited to small samples of the population using data from the 1990s or based on a specific year. With high-quality data from an additional number of population-based registries now available through the National Central Cancer Registry of China, the authors analyzed data from 72 local, population-based cancer registries (2009-2011), representing 6.5% of the population, to estimate the number of new cases and cancer deaths for 2015. Data from 22 registries were used for trend analyses (2000-2011). The results indicated that an estimated 4292,000 new cancer cases and 2814,000 cancer deaths would occur in China in 2015, with lung cancer being the most common incident cancer and the leading cause of cancer death. Stomach, esophageal, and liver cancers were also commonly diagnosed and were identified as leading causes of cancer death. Residents of rural areas had significantly higher age-standardized (Segi population) incidence and mortality rates for all cancers combined than urban residents (213.6 per 100,000 vs 191.5 per 100,000 for incidence; 149.0 per 100,000 vs 109.5 per 100,000 for mortality, respectively). For all cancers combined, the incidence rates were stable during 2000 through 2011 for males (+0.2% per year; P =.1), whereas they increased significantly (+2.2% per year; P <.05) among females. In contrast, the mortality rates since 2006 have decreased significantly for both males (-1.4% per year; P <.05) and females (-1.1% per year; P <.05). Many of the estimated cancer cases and deaths can be prevented through reducing the prevalence of risk factors, while increasing the effectiveness of clinical care delivery, particularly for those living in rural areas and in disadvantaged populations. © 2016 American Cancer Society.


Miller A.,Cancer Council New South Wales | Tang A.,Cancer Council New South Wales
Cancer Forum | Year: 2015

The increasing amount of research demonstrating the needs of people finishing their cancer treatment brings an increasing amount of discussion within the health sector as how to address these needs in an effective way, regardless of geographic location. The puzzle of how much, when, where and how is a conversation that echoes across Australia, a country which holds a maze of differing health systems across the states and territories. Specialist care is vital for the cancer patient, however what happens afterwards can be a puzzle for many people finishing their treatment. Opening the dialogue between health professionals, consumer groups, cancer charities, government bodies and people affected by cancer has the potential to have a strategic impact for reach and effectiveness with post treatment care. In order to assist the growing number of cancer survivors in this country no matter where they live, we need to have a collaborative approach to post treatment care recognising that 'one size doesn't fit all'.


Holliday C.,Cancer Council New South Wales | Robotin M.,Cancer Council New South Wales
International Journal of General Medicine | Year: 2010

Introduction: Traditional scientific review processes are not well suited for evaluating the merits of research in situations where the available scientific evidence is limited and if review panels have widely divergent opinions. This study tested whether a Delphi process is useful in grant selection. Materials and method: A Delphi process prioritized novel research proposals in pancreatic cancer. Five reviewers holding similar grants overseas ranked research applications by scientific merit, innovativeness, and level of risk. Result: Three rounds of voting evaluated the best 10 applications received. In the first round of the Delphi process, scores ranged from 5.0 to 8.3. After the second round, the cumulative scores of the eight remaining applications ranged from 10 to 12.6. At the end of the third round, the final cumulative scores of the remaining six applications ranged from 13.6 to 18.2. The four highest ranking applications were recommended for funding, with agreement from reviewers. Conclusion: A modified Delphi process proved to be an efficient, transparent, and equitable method of reviewing novel grant applications in a specialized field of research, where no local expertise was available. This process may also be useful for other peer review processes, particularly where there is limited access to local experts. © 2010 Holliday and Robotin, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.


Robotin M.C.,Cancer Council New South Wales | Kansil M.Q.,Centaurus Partners | Porwal M.,Cancer Council New South Wales | Penman A.G.,Cancer Council New South Wales | George J.,University of Sydney
Bulletin of the World Health Organization | Year: 2014

Problem Although most primary hepatocellular cancers (HCCs) are attributable to chronic viral hepatitis and largely preventable, such cancers remain a leading cause of cancer-related mortality wherever chronic hepatitis B is endemic. Approach Many HCCs could be prevented by increasing awareness and knowledge of hepatitis B, optimizing the monitoring of chronic hepatitis B and using antiviral treatments - but there are gaps in the implementation of such strategies. Local setting The "B Positive" programme, based in Sydney, Australia, is designed to improve hepatitis-B-related health outcomes among immigrants from countries with endemic hepatitis B. The programme offers information about disease screening, vaccination and treatment options, as well as optimized access to care. Relevant changes The B Positive programme has been informed by economic modelling. The programme offers culturally tailored education on chronic hepatitis B to target communities and their health practitioners and regular follow-up through a population-based registry of cases. Lessons learnt As the costs of screening for chronic hepatitis B and follow-up are relatively low and less than one in every four cases may require antiviral drugs, optimizing access to treatment seems an appropriate and cost-effective management option. The identification and accurate staging of cases and the judicious use of antiviral medications are predicated upon an informed and educated health workforce. As establishing community trust is a lengthy process, delaying the implementation of programmes against chronic hepatitis B until antiviral drugs become cheaper is unwarranted.


Lawrence D.,University of Western Australia | Hafekost J.,University of Western Australia | Hull P.,Cancer Council New South Wales | Mitrou F.,University of Western Australia | Zubrick S.R.,University of Western Australia
BMC Public Health | Year: 2013

Background: High rates of smoking and lower rates of smoking cessation are known to be associated with common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, and with individual and community measures of socioeconomic status. It is not known to what extent mental illness and socioeconomic status might be jointly associated with smoking behaviour. We set out to examine the relationship between mental illness, measures of socioeconomic disadvantage and both current smoking and smoking cessation rates. Methods. We used data from the 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing to examine the relationship between mental illness, socioeconomic status and both current smoking and smoking cessation. We used cross-classified tables and logistic regression to examine the relationship between psychosocial and sociodemographic predictors and current smoking. We also used proportional hazards regression to examine the relationship between the factors and smoking cessation. Results: Both mental illness and socioeconomic status were independently associated with current smoking and with lower likelihood of smoking cessation, with gradients in smoking by mental health status being observed within levels of socioeconomic indicators and vice versa. Having a mental illness in the past 12 months was the most prevalent factor strongly associated with smoking, affecting 20.0% of the population, associated with increased current smoking (OR 2.43; 95% CI: 1.97-3.01) and reduced likelihood of smoking cessation (HR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.65-0.91). Conclusions: The association between mental illness and smoking is not explained by the association between mental illness and socioeconomic status. There are strong socioeconomic and psychosocial gradients in both current smoking and smoking cessation. Incorporating knowledge of the other adverse factors in smokers' lives may increase the penetration of tobacco control interventions in population groups that have historically benefitted less from these activities. © 2013 Lawrence et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


News Article | October 31, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

"Cognitive rehabilitation should be a core part of cancer survivorship care, as cognitive symptoms are very common and have a profound effect on people's lives. This study points to a simple tool that may help alleviate mild cognitive problems." A new study suggests that a widely available web-based program (InsightTM) can help cancer survivors reporting cognitive symptoms. The 15-week program markedly improved participants' self-reported (perceived) cognitive function, lowered anxiety and depression, and improved fatigue. The findings were published online today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest cognitive intervention study that has shown a benefit for patients who are reporting persistent cognitive symptoms following chemotherapy," said study author Victoria J. Bray, MD, Medical Oncologist and PhD candidate at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia. "However, it is equally important to address other symptoms that may be associated with cognitive impairment, such as depression." Mild cognitive impairments, particularly memory and concentration problems, are common among cancer survivors. In fact, up to 70% report some cognitive symptoms following chemotherapy, a condition sometimes referred to as chemobrain.1 Such symptoms have also been linked to poorer quality of life and increased depression, anxiety, and fatigue among cancer survivors. Self-reported cognitive function was markedly improved in the cognitive training group compared to the standard care group, both at the end of the 15-week program and six months later. Program participants reported less perceived cognitive impairment, better cognitive abilities, and lower levels of anxiety, depression, fatigue, and stress. In addition, participants' quality of life was improved at six months following program completion. Objective neuropsychological function test results were not different between the two groups. While this is the largest cognitive intervention study in patients with cancer, longer follow-up is needed to determine if the effects of the training are long-lasting. There are still a number of other unanswered questions to be addressed in future research. For one, it is unclear which method of delivering cognitive rehabilitation is better - a self-directed program such as this one may be suitable for some survivors, while a group-based program may work better for others. It is also unknown what the ideal duration and "dose" of cognitive training should be. "If we could identify patients who are at risk of cognitive impairment, we could intervene earlier, and possibly achieve even better results. We would also like to explore whether there is added benefit from combining cognitive training with physical exercise," said Dr. Bray. The researchers recruited 242 adult cancer survivors in Australia who had completed chemotherapy in the prior 6-60 months and reported persistent cognitive symptoms. Nearly all participants were women (95%); 89% had breast cancer and 5% had colorectal cancer. At the beginning of the study, all participants received a personalized 30-minute telephone consult that provided tips and strategies for coping with cognitive problems in daily life. Participants were randomly assigned to the web-based cognitive rehabilitation program (used at home) or standard oncology care. The primary outcome of the study was self-reported cognitive function, which was assessed using a validated questionnaire known as FACT-COG. It evaluates perceived cognitive impairments, perceived cognitive abilities, and impact of perceived cognitive impairment on quality of life. Separate measures were used to evaluate objective neuropsychological function, anxiety/depression, fatigue, and stress. The independent study was funded by Cancer Council New South Wales and Friends of the Mater Foundation. Acknowledgement to the National Breast Cancer Foundation which assisted with study recruitment and funded Dr. Janette Vardy. 1Boykoff N, et al. Confronting chemobrain: an in-depth look at survivors' reports of impact on work, social networks, and health care response. J Cancer Surviv 3:223-232, 2009. Resources for your readers from Cancer.Net: Journal of Clinical Oncology, the flagship journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, is a leader in reach, readership, impact, and influence. With a focus on significant clinical oncology research, Journal of Clinical Oncology publishes over 1,000 articles in 36 issues a year. ATTRIBUTION TO THE JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY IS REQUESTED IN ALL NEWS COVERAGE.

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