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Older adults with cancer admitted for inpatient care: a retrospective and prospective investigation

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  • Full or part time
    Prof M. Krishnasamy
    Dr K Gough
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

By 2040, the number of Australians aged 65 and over is projected to double, the number aged 85 and over is projected to almost triple. Cancer incidence and cancer-related hospitalisations increase with advancing age. When extended, hospital stays are costly for the healthcare system. They are also costly for individuals, with longer than expected stays being associated with declines in functional capacity. A better understanding of cancer-related stays in older adults may help to minimise extended stays, benefitting patients and releasing capacity in the system, and to guide strategic planning. Likewise, a better understanding of patient and departmental expectations regarding stays may help manage and improve patient care and experiences.

This project comprises a retrospective study to: describe patient and hospital stay characteristics; identify variations across time; and identify predictors of extended stays. It also comprises a prospective study to: understand expectations regarding stays on admission and the relationship between expectations, patient characteristics and hospital stays. The student will develop the skills needed to access, analyse and interpret “real world data” including techniques for synthesising and analysing hospital administrative and medical records data, and patient- and clinician-reported information.

Cancer Experiences Research:
Cancer Experience Research has a broad program of research professionals focused on the experiences of patients, their carers and cancer health professionals. A growing body of research undertaken by allied health researchers, including occupational therapists, pastoral care staff, physiotherapists, social workers, speech pathologists, and dietitians, is focusing on refining and improving the delivery and rehabilitative interventions integral to optimal physical, social, spiritual and emotional outcomes for people affected by cancer.

Funding Notes

All PhD students at Peter Mac must have a scholarship from The University of Melbourne or through another government, trust or philanthropic organisation. Before applying for a scholarship, you must have agreed on a project with an institute supervisor.
For further information regarding scholarships (both local and international), see
Closing dates for applications for scholarships to commence in 2016: Round 1 -31 October 2015; Round 2 - 18 Dec 2015.

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