Predictive analytics to facilitate shared decision making in advanced cancers: The importance of communicating risk to advanced cancer patients
It is hypothesised that effective communication of personalised predictions of expected benefits and harms from medicines used in advanced cancer treatment will improve shared decision making, lead to more informed and empowered patients, and enable better decisions regarding whether to commence and continue medicines.
Our group presently has access to individual-patient data (demographic, laboratory and tumour data) from over 10,000 advanced breast cancer patients. Such data allows the development of prognostic tools that can present personalised likelihood of response and adverse effects to medicines.
Historically high-quality prediction models have rarely been available for more than a single outcome for a single medicine. However improved data collection and data sharing initiatives are allowing validated prognostic models to be developed for multiple outcomes for multiple medicines. Despite this there is very little evidence on the optimal design of prognostic tools or apps for the presentation of both benefit and harms to medicines used in advanced cancers.
The project will involve investigating optimal app designs that facilitate effective and relevant communication of personalised predictions of expected benefits and harms from medicines used in advanced cancer treatment, with a patient centred focus. Prospective students require relevant experience in qualitative research designs (e.g. questionnaire development, focus groups), good communication skills, be clinically orientated and have an interest in improving cancer care. Additionally, students require an interest in clinical epidemiology and / or experience with the R programming language or similar data analysis techniques.
The project will be conducted at the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC) which is a partnership between Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre. This partnership brings together oncologists and researchers to foster collaboration in a multi-disciplinary environment. FCIC is a hub for research excellence in innovative cancer research and has an excellent track record for translating research to practice which is a major focus of this project. http://www.fcic.org.au/ http://www.flinders.edu.au/cancer/flinders-centre-for-innovation-in-cancer/
Dr Ashley Hopkins https://www.flinders.edu.au/people/ashley.hopkins
Professor Michael Sorich https://www.flinders.edu.au/people/michael.sorich
Professor Ross McKinnon https://www.flinders.edu.au/people/ross.mckinnon
The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:
• The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
• Applicants must have a health / pharmacology / biostatistics / pharmacy / medical sciences background.
• Applicant must have good verbal and written communication skills.
• Applicants must already have been awarded a first-class honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
Students need to obtain a scholarship that will cover their own living expenses and tuition fees, but we are more than happy to support students in applying for available funding.
Information on potential scholarships include: https://internationaleducation.gov.au/Endeavour%20program/Scholarships-and-Fellowships/Pages/default.aspx http://www.flinders.edu.au/scholarships-system/index.cfm/scholarships/display/a044e http://www.flinders.edu.au/scholarships-system/index.cfm/scholarships/display/a731e2
- A brief curriculum vitae (no more than 5 pages, size 12 times new roman, with 1.5-line spacing) which includes your qualification, GPA, honours class, academic achievements, publications, work history, and referee details.
- A PDF copy of your academic transcript.