MySurvivorCare: Stepped-Care Pathway for Improving Wellbeing for Women with Cancer
A key challenge in translating research into practice is overcoming the barriers – competing clinical priorities, lack of time, and a lack of reliable ways to identify patients in need. Current services for cancer survivors are fragmented and struggle to meet demand. Creative solutions are needed to enable more women to access high-quality information about appropriate and effective treatments. Evidence-based treatments exist for the management of the long-term side-effects of cancer treatment, such as psychological interventions for menopausal symptoms, sexual dysfunction, and mood disturbance. However, there is no centralized platform to access these interventions, and no system to ensure women receive the appropriate level of care. Without intervention, female cancer survivors experience worse QoL, and, as side-effects can compromise adherence to therapy, potentially higher morbidity and mortality. MySurvivorCare will be a central online platform to access interventions to manage the most common and troublesome consequences of cancer treatment using a stepped-care approach (i.e. a hierarchy of interventions, from least to most intensive, matched to individual need), an effective and low-cost model for delivering health interventions to large populations. This body of work aims to develop a novel online service delivery platform (MySurvivorCare) and to evaluate its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
The project will consist of a few stages:
Stage 1: A scoping survey to assess prevalence, bother, interference, severity and distress from menopausal symptoms (vasomotor, mood disturbance, sleep disturbance, vulvovaginal dryness, vulvovaginal discomfort or irritation, pain with sex and discomfort or pain whilst urinating) in female cancer survivors across tumour streams. It will also explore menopause-related quality of life, management of symptoms, satisfaction with treatment and unmet needs for management of symptoms in female cancer survivors across tumour streams. The main outcome is to have data collected using the same PROMs across tumour streams so symptoms can be compared. And to compare data from Menopause Symptoms After Cancer (MSAC) clinic participants against community-based participants.
From this patient-driven stepped care model and platform will be developed to delivery effective menopausal symptom management. To do this, three additional stages will be conducted:
A/Prof Michelle Peate (University of Melbourne, Royal Women's Hospital), Ms Nipuni Susanto (University of Melbourne, Royal Women's Hospital), Ms Dorcas Serwaa (University of Melbourne, Royal Women's Hospital), Prof Michael Jefford (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre), Prof Martha Hickey (University of Melbourne, Royal Women's Hospital), A/Prof Carolyn Ee (Western Sydney University), Prof Paul Cohen (King Edward Memorial Hospital), Prof Christobel Saunders (The Royal Melbourne Hospital), Mr Lewis Gauci (University of Melbourne), Kate Rolshoven (consumer representative)
To see the complete list of published papers related to this study please visit the Publications page.