PoCoG Supported Studies - CONCEPTS Developed 2020-21


PoCoG-CDW-2021-01: Identification of factors impacting on widespread and sustainable implementation of professionally-led, theoretically-informed, stage-specific groups for women living with metastatic breast cancer (mBC) in Australia


Aims: The aims of this study are to:

1. To systematically review the literature on advanced cancer groups to establish what is known about the perceived benefits, and barriers and facilitators to establishing and maintaining stage-specific, peer or professionally-run advanced cancer groups.

2. To map the number, type, model of practice, location, membership, funding, history and future direction of existing (and defunct) mBC groups in Australia.

3. To understand what value and role women with mBC and the healthcare professionals involved in their care place on mBC support groups.

4. To co-design, test and implement a resource to help hospitals, cancer centres, breast care nurses, counsellors etc. understand how to establish and maintain an advanced cancer support group.


Team: Andrea Smith, Sophie Lewis, Mary O'Brien, Marika Franklin, Kirsty McRuvie, Pia Hirsch, Kerryn Ernst, Frances Boyle


PoCoG-2021-02: Meditation for the reduction of anxiety and existential distress in palliative care


Aim: To evaluate the impact of a concentrative meditation practice on existential distress and anxiety in people receiving palliative care.


Team: Angela Rao, Wei Lee, Diana Ferreira


PoCoG-2021-03: Assessing the acceptability, feasibility and utility of a nurse-led survivorship program for patients with metastatic melanoma who are long-term responders to immunotherapy or targeted therapy: a pilot study


Aim: The aims of this project are:

1. To co-design a survivorship program for people with metastatic melanoma who are long-term responders to immunotherapy or targeted therapy

2. To assess the acceptability, feasibility and utility of the survivorship program


Team: Julia Lai-Kwon, Sarah Heynemann, Haryana Dhillon, Iris Bartula, Sarah Lane


PoCoG-2021-04: Ticking off the Bucket List – using Virtual Reality to improve quality of life in palliative care


Aim: The overarching aim of this project is to assess the feasibility and acceptability of using VR in palliative care to increase patients' quality of life and wellbeing. More specifically, we aim to

1. Establish the effects of multiple personalised VR sessions on quality of life, depression, distress, anxiety and pain measures in patients receiving palliative care

2. Determine the acceptability and usefulness of VR from patients, carers/families and hospital staff perspectives.

3. Identify potential barriers for a broader implementation (e.g., recruitment rate, ease of sourcing tailored content, technical problems).


Team: Amanda Hutchinson, Tobias Loetscher, Dimitrios Saredakis, Hannah Keage 


PoCoG-2021-06: BRIDGES-4AYA: An online information resource to bridge the gaps between treatment and education/ employment for Adolescent and Young Adults (AYAs) with cancer.


Aim: To develop BRIDGES-4AYA: An online information resource to bridge the gaps between treatment and education/ employment for Adolescent and Young Adults (AYAs) with cancer.


Team: Joanna Fardell, Sarah Ellis, Ursula Sansom-Daly, Pandora Patterson, Jennifer Chard


PoCoG-2021-07: Implementation of a Clinician Intervention to Reduce Fear of Recurrence in Cancer Survivors (CIFeR_2 Implementation Study)


Aim: To determine the barriers and facilitators to routine implementation of an oncologist-delivered education and communication intervention during routine oncology clinic follow-up appointments, to address FCR in breast cancer patients.


Team: Jenny Liu, Jane Beith, Phyllis Butow, Joanne Shaw, Anastasia Serafimovska