Cancer Council SA funded researchers, Associate Professor Lisa Beatty and PhD Candidate Morgan Leske from Flinders University, are developing the Healthy Living after Cancer Online program. The research project, which began in 2019, is based on Cancer Council’s Healthy Living after Cancer Program and aims to ensure that all cancer survivors can access the information and support they need to live well after cancer treatment.
Healthy Living after Cancer Online was developed as part of a research study funded by Cancer Council SA and a Flinders Innovation Partnership Seed Grant. The program takes a holistic approach to health and involves nine modules covering physical activity, nutrition, mental health, fatigue management and more.
A/Prof Beatty and Ms Leske have been gathering feedback from a group of cancer survivors, health care professionals and people who are involved in cancer support, to ensure that this program is developed specifically to meet the needs of those who have survived cancer.
Ms Leske says that overall, the program has received positive feedback and stakeholders agree that the program addresses key concerns faced by post-treatment cancer survivors.
“The stakeholders provided feedback on the design of the website to ensure that the program was easy to use, supports users to maintain long term health behaviours, includes content that is relevant and relatable, and offers ways to connect with health care professionals or peer support,” Ms Leske explains.
“The stakeholder feedback was then integrated into the website design of Healthy Living after Cancer Online. By involving end-users in the design process, we have been able to further refine the program to ensure that it best meets the needs of post-treatment cancer survivors.”
Like many others, Ms Leske has been touched by cancer and says she has a personal connection to the development of the program after having family and friends with cancer living in rural areas.
“As I am from the country myself, I understand some of the access limitations that are associated with living in the regional and rural areas, and I can truly see the benefit that an online after cancer program can provide those who are in these disadvantaged areas,” Ms Leske says.
“My hope is that cancer survivors who access this program will not feel forgotten and that we are all still here with them.
“I have had the opportunity to talk one on one with a variety of different people including cancer survivors and healthcare professionals working in oncology.
“I have found it incredibly rewarding to hear about how they overcame such a challenging time and what they are doing now to stay healthy. Also, the people that I have showed the initial design of the program to have been really excited, which makes me feel really excited.”
How can you get involved?
Healthy Living after Cancer Online is now conducting a study to evaluate whether the online program would benefit from adding a telephone coaching component.
They are recruiting Australians who have completed cancer treatment, and do not have any health conditions that may prevent them from engaging in physical activity, to take part in this research project. The study involves participating in the online program for 12 weeks and providing feedback.
If you’re interested in participating in this study or learning more about Healthy Living after Cancer Online, visit www.healthylivingaftercancer.org
Learn more about other cancer research projects currently funded by Cancer Council SA here.