- Cancer Information
- Cancer treatment
- Clinical trials and research
- Types of clinical research
- Behavioural research
Behavioural researchers try to understand why people behave in the way that they do. They study people’s individual characteristics, lifestyles and social circumstances to see how these factors affect the risk of someone developing or surviving cancer. They then try to develop ways to prevent or change risky behaviours.
Behavioural researchers also look at the emotional and social impacts of cancer on the person with cancer, as well as the impact on their family and friends.
If you take part in a behavioural research study, you may be asked to fill in questionnaires or be interviewed about your lifestyle, including your eating, drinking, smoking, communication and exercise habits.
You may also be asked to participate in a program aimed at positively changing these behaviours. For example, you might be offered free counselling, an exercise class or a session on healthy eating. The aim of the programs may be to reduce cancer risk or to improve the way you cope with cancer.
One area of behavioural research is called psychosocial research. This looks at how cancer impacts people emotionally, psychologically and socially. In cancer care, this is sometimes called psycho-oncology.
Researchers try to understand how patients and carers cope emotionally at different stages of a disease. They develop and test methods to improve people’s ability to deal with various issues.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
A/Prof Andrew Redfern, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Clinical Academic Oncologist, The University of Western Australia, and Lead Clinician, State Breast Cancer Collaborative, WA; Christie Allan, Program Coordinator – Clinical Trials, Cancer Council Victoria; Bronwyn Chalmers, Clinical Trial Coordinator, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute, NSW; Sarah Coulson, Coordinator, Oncology Clinical Trials, Projects and Research, Tasmanian Health Service, TAS; Kate Cox, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Annette Cubitt, Clinical Trials Manager, Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Care Services, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Pete Currie, Consumer; Amy Ives, Clinical Trials Coordinator, Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Care Services, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Sabina Jelinek, Clinical Research Nurse, Murdoch Oncology Clinical Trials Unit, WA; Dr Visalini Nair-Shalliker, Research Fellow – Prostate, Cancer Council NSW; Karlie Neilson, Project Officer – Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW; Prof Mark Rosenthal, Medical Oncologist, and Director, Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, VIC; Joan Torony, CEO, TROG Cancer Research, NSW; Rebecca Weselman, Senior Clinical Trials Coordinator, Oncology Clinical Trials, St John of God Murdoch Hospital, WA; John Williams, Research Governance Officer, Cancer Council NSW.
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