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  • Caring for someone with cancer in regional SA

    18 May 2015

    In a joint partnership between Cancer Council SA and the University of Adelaide, a university researcher is seeking recruits for a study of people who have cared for someone affected by cancer in rural South Australia.

    It is hoped that this will lead to improved understanding and better support for people who find themselves in this position in the future.

    University of Adelaide Psychology Honours student Melanie Weeks, said she wanted to better understand the particular challenges and needs of carers across the State.

    “Caring for someone with cancer can be a difficult role in any context,” Melanie said.

    “However, geographic and social isolation, limited local medical and psychosocial support, lack of information and difficulties in coordination of care between rural and metropolitan health professionals may be additional challenges that rural caregivers experience.

    “There may also be characteristics of rural communities that make caring for people with cancer a positive experience in these areas.

    “I would really like to hear people’s individual stories. Men and women may have different experiences of caregiving in this context, as might older or younger caregivers. I am hoping to hear from a broad range of people.”

    Ethics approval has now been granted and confidential interviews will be conducted over the phone at a time convenient with participants.

    Dr Kate Gunn, from Cancer Council SA, said that the results from the study would provide important information about how best to support those caring for people affected by cancer in rural South Australia.

    “There are many challenges for people with cancer and their carers who live in rural areas, and we want to ensure we have a good understanding of their needs and are providing the most appropriate assistance possible,” Dr Gunn said.

    “With increasing demands being placed on carers, this timely study will play an important role in ensuring the right levels and types of support are being delivered to the carers of people diagnosed with cancer, no matter where they live.”

    Professor Carlene Wilson and Dr. Gunn, both from Cancer Council SA and the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer and Flinders University, are co-supervising the project and are Visiting Research Fellows in the School of Psychology at The University of Adelaide.

    For more information about the study, or to see if you are eligible to participate, please contact Melanie Weeks on 0409 060 373 or melanie.weeks@student.adelaide.edu.au.

    For cancer information and support, please call Cancer Council 13 11 20, Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5:30pm.


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