News State NSW News Cancer researchers aiming to reduce patient distress

Cancer researchers aiming to reduce patient distress

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Cancer researchers working with Newcastle’s John Hunter hospital have developed a new treatment model aimed at ensuring a patient’s level of distress is taken into account.

The findings have been presented at this week’s Hunter Medical Research Institute’s Translational Cancer Research Conference in Newcastle.

The has been led by the Ingham Institute’s behavioural scientist at the University of NSW, Professor Afaf Girgis.

She says the 12 month study has seen the development of a new model for the routine assessment of the psychological state of cancer patients.

Professor Girgis says the next phase will involve testing the model’s effectiveness in reducing levels of patient distress.

“Trying to embed into routine practice the assessment of distress in cancer patients when they come through hospitals, like John Hunter hospital for example,” she said.

“Then being able to respond to that distress in a very coordinated way which is evidence-based and integrated.”

The study is currently focussed on the model of care for patients with urological and head and neck cancers.

She says the final results of the study will be available by the end of 2014, with scope for the model to be broadened and adapted to target other cancers and be rolled out across the Australian healthcare system.