Partnership & Collaboration


University of Sydney

The Pam Mclean Cancer Communications Centre, Royal North Shore Hospital (Professor Stewart Dunn, A/Professor Fran Boyle and Dr Paul Heinrich)
Professor Stewart Dunn founded the Medical Psychology Research Unit, which is now part of CeMPED. Professor Dunn has worked extensively with CeMPED staff on communication research and workshops. With colleagues A/Professor Fran Boyle and Dr Paul Heinrich at The Pam McLean Cancer Communications Centre, Royal North Shore Hospital, he continues to collaborate with CeMPED in this field particularly in the development and evaluation of communication skills training tools and workshops. Through this rich collaboration CeMPED is able to put much of its research into practice.

Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), University of Sydney and the Central Sydney Area Health Service (A/Prof Michael Solomon, A/Professor Jane Young, A/Professor Glen Salkeld)
CeMPED has an enduring collaboration with SOuRCe, through CeMPED’s co-director, Professor Phyllis Butow, who is also a Co-Director of SOuRCE. With SOuRCe, research has been conducted on: a) the role of decision tools in supporting surgeons and patients with rectal and gyneacological cancer; b) a range of patient preferences studies; c) and a large program grant evaluating nurse telephone contact for colorectal cancer patients in follow-up.

Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELUM), University of Sydney
CeMPED and VELUM have collaborated on a number of studies exploring ethical consent to clinical trials and support for cancer survivors. The two centres share many research interests and have an active, ongoing dialogue.

Peter McCallum Cancer Centre
Staff at the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre and CeMPED are collaborating on a number of studies exploring survivorship interventions, support programs for gynaecological cancer patients, adherence to medication in adolescents and young adults, and migrant issues. Prof Phyllis Butow sits on the Steering Committee of the Pratt Foundation/Peter Mac “Harnessing the Strength Within” program.

Sydney Melanoma Unit
CeMPED staff have had a series of collaborations with senior members of the Sydney Melanoma Unit, including Professor Alan Coates (recently retired CEO of the Australian Cancer Society), Professor William McCarthy and Professor John Thompson. This collaboration has resulted in research evaluating the relationship between stress and outcome in early and late stage melanoma, and interventions to promote better outcomes in melanoma patients.

Faculty of Nursing (Professor Kate White)
CeMPED has collaborated with Professor Kate White over many years on research into sexual outcomes in cancer patients and end of life care. This multi-disciplinary collaboration has been valuable in widening the perspectives of CeMPED research.

National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (Dr Julie Leask)
Several projects have been completed and are ongoing with Dr Julie Leask and Dr Julia Brotherton. These have mainly focussed on evidence-based decision-making regarding immunisation for HPV and MMR.

School of Psychology (A/Professor Louise Sharpe and Dr Margaret Charles)
CeMPED collaborates with staff within the School of Psychology with shared interests in Health Psychology on research in genetics, decision aids and health communication.

School of Public Health (Professor Les Irwig)
A range of projects have been carried out with staff from the School of Public Health, notably with Professor Les Irwig and the Screening and Diagnostic Test Evaluation Programme (STEP). These projects encompass books and interventions on patient involvement in decision making.

Other Universities

Bond University (Professor Chris Del Mar)
CeMPED staff have been collaborating with Professor Chris Del Mar over the past few years in the development of evidence-based tools to communicate evidence and facilitate patient decision-making.

Newcastle University (Professor Jill Cockburn, Professor Afaf Girgis, Professor Rob Sanson-Fisher)
CeMPED collaborates extensively with the Behavioural Sciences group at Newcastle University on projects in doctor-patient communication, cross cultural research and interventions to promote improved psychosocial outcomes.

Curtin University of Technology, WA Centre for Cancer & Palliative Care
CeMPED staff have an ongoing collaboration with the WA Centre for Cancer and Palliative Care, in the areas of dignity therapy for cancer patients, and a range of projects in end of life care.

Cancer bodies

Cancer Australia and the NSW Cancer Institute
CeMPED staff have worked closely with Cancer Australia and the NSW Cancer Institute. CeMPED staff and colleagues successfully obtained infrastructure funding from these two bodies to establish the Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG), a national organisation which aims to develop multi-centre, collaborative, clinically significant Psycho-Oncology research and to support Psycho-Oncology and quality of life research in Australia.

Cancer Council NSW
CeMPED has worked actively with the Cancer Council NSW, Prof Jane Ussher and Dr Gerry Wain and Ms Kim Hobbs over the past 10 years in studies exploring the measurement of QOL outcomes in gynaecological cancer patients, the efficacy of support groups for cancer patients, and interventions to better support carers and leaders of cancer support groups. This wonderful collaboration ensures that evidence is translated into practice through the CCNSW.

National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre (NBOCC)
CeMPED staff have worked closely with NBOCC over the past 10 years in the development of cancer guidelines and communication skills modules, and by sitting on NBOCC committees contributing to the overall direction of NBOCC.

ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group (ANZBCTG)
CeMPED is collaborating with the ANZBCTG in running communication skills training for trial recruiters, and in evaluating a decision aid to assist women deciding whether or not to join the latest breast cancer prevention trial, IBIS-2). Professor Phyllis Butow (co-Director, CeMPED) co-chairs the supportive care sub-group of ANZBCTG.

Australian Ovarian Cancer Study (AOCS)
CeMPED is collaborating with AOCS in conducting a large study evaluating the quality of life and unmet needs over 18 months in women participating in AOCS and their partners.


A/Professor Alex Barratt has collaborated extensively with Norman Swann and other media staff from the ABC in the production of programs about health and evidence-based medicine.

Clinical colleagues

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) and Concord Hospital
CeMPED has an enduring collaboration with its close clinical colleagues at RPAH and Concord Hospital. Much of CeMPED’s research has been conducted with RPAH and Concord Hospital patients, in collaboration with clinical colleagues including Professor Michael Boyer, A/Professor Stephen Clarke, Dr Phillip Beale, Dr George Hruby, Dr Sue Pendlebury, Professor Jonothan Carter, Dr Andrew Spillane and Mr Keith Cox.

Psycho-social Research Group, POW Hospital (Dr Kathy Tucker, A/Professor Bettina Meiser, Professor Michael Friedlander, Dr. Lesley Andrews)
A strong collaboration with the Psycho-social Research Group in the Department of Medical Oncology has resulted in a large body of work on psychological issues in familial breast, ovarian and bowel cancer.

Kathleen Cunningham Consortium for research into Familial Breast Cancer (kConFab)
kConFab, a national consortium which has established an epidemiological registry for people at high risk of developing breast cancer has been a long term collaborator with staff in CeMPED in particular on a study with men from high risk breast cancer families and a longitudinal study on the psychosocial predictors of breast/ovarian cancer.

Centre for Genetics Education, Royal North Shore Hospital
With Associate Professor Kris Barlow-Stewart, CeMPED staff have disseminated consumer education and support materials in cancer genetics,including a Risk Communication Aid in familial breast and ovarian cancer and contributed to in communication skills training for geneticists and genetic counsellors..

Dept of Medical Oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital
CeMPED has a long-standing collaboration with A/Professor David Goldstein, medical oncologist, Prince of Wales Hospital, together with Professor Maurice Eisenbruch, on cross-cultural research.

Townsville Hospital (Dr Guan Koh, Paediatrician)
A recent collaboration with Dr Guan Koh has seen an interesting expansion of our work conducted on audio-taping consultations in oncology, generalized to a paediatric intensive care unit setting. We also worked together on a Cochrane review of audiotape communication aids in paediatric medicine.

Centre for Palliative Care, Education and Research, University of Melbourne
In collaboration with A/Professor Peter Hudson and clinical partners at Braeside Palliative Care Unit in Sydney, Calvary Health Care in Melbourne and Murdoch Community Hospice in Perth, staff at CeMPED are evaluating a hospital based group education intervention to help family caregivers of palliative care patients manage their role.

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth
CeMPED staff have on-going collaborations with Dr. David Joske in the area of survivorship in haematology patients and in CAM studies through SolarisCare Cancer Support Centre (formerly Browns Dairy Cancer Support Centre).

Department of Palliative Care, Royal North Shore Hospital
CeMPED has a strong collaboration with Dr Josephine Clayton, Head of Department of Palliative Care, Royal North Shore Hospital regarding research into doctor/patient communication in palliative care settings and around end-of-life discussions in general medical settings.


University of Dundee (Professor Vikki Entwistle), Scotland
CeMPED has a strong collaboration with Professor Vikki Entwistle working on projects regarding shared decision making and communication of evidence. Professor Entwistle has spent several sabbaticals with our group.

University of Rochester (Prof Ronald Epstein), USA
We have a strong and enduring collaboration with Professor Ronald Epstein who is working with us on several projects regarding communicating evidence and improving communication with patients at the end of life. Three visits between CeMPED and the University of Rochester have already taken place with more planned.

Pittsburgh University (Prof Bob Arnold), USA
Following a sabbatical with our group, Prof. Robert Arnold, palliative care physician, Pittsburgh University, holder of the Leo H Criep Chair in Doctor-patient Relations, the only chair in USA focused on doctor-patient communication has formed an ongoing collaboration with us. We have co-published a series of papers on doctor-patient communication, particularly regarding prognosis and end of life issues, and are working with Professor Arnold and other colleagues on implementing training for palliative care registrars in Australia.

Virginia Commonwealth University (Professor Laura Siminoff), USA
Following a visit as a Visiting Fellow to the Centre for Bioethics, Oncology and Family Medicine in Cleveland USA in 2004 by Professor Phyllis Butow, the then Director, Dr Laura Siminoff, obtained a Fulbright Fellowship to visit our group in 2006 for 6 weeks to develop ongoing collaborations. Several projects are in the planning.

Society for Medical Decision Making: International Patient Decision Aids Standards (IPDAS) (Prof Annette O’Connor), Canada
CeMPED staff were members of the IPDAS collaboration which produced consensus based standards for the development of decision aids, published in the BMJ in 2006. Our staff remain actively involved in the Society for Medical Decision Making, sitting on conference committees. A/Professor Alex Barratt (co-director (CeMPED) collaborated with Professor Annette O-Connor, a founding member of the Society, in the development of decision tools.

Hamilton Cancer Centre (Prof Tim Whelan and A/Professor Peter Ellis), Canada
Following a sabbatical with our group, radiation oncologist Tim Whelan has formed an ongoing collaboration with us, together with A/Professor Peter Ellis, medical Oncologist, who completed his PhD with our group. We are working together on decision aids for rectal cancer patients and research into communication of prognosis.

Medical Psychology Group Academic Medical Centre (Prof Hanneke de Haas and Dr Ellen de Smed), Canada University of Amsterdam
Prof Phyllis Butow is a visiting professor at this centre. There is a regular exchange of staff and students, with several shared projects in the planning phase.

Princess Margaret Hospital Toronto (Professor Ian Tannock and Dr Natasha Leighl), Canada
Members of CeMPED have a long-standing collaboration with Professor Ian Tannock in conducting research into the effects of chemotherapy on cognitive functioning. After completing a Fellowship with our group, Dr Natasha Leighl (medical oncologist) has continued to collaborate with CeMPED on decision aid research.

Rochester Centre to Improve Communication in Health Care (Prof Ron Epstein), University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
CeMPED has a strong collaboration with Dr Ron Epstein, who has visited us twice in 2007-2008. We have several joint grants using standardised patients to audit doctor-patient communication, and an NHMRC grant evaluating interventions to promote communication about prognosis and end of life issues.

University of Manitoba (Professor Harvey Chochinov, Canada
A/Professor Elizabeth Lobb has an ongoing collaboration with Professor Harvey Chochinov in evaluating the use of dignity therapy with patients with advanced cancer and in end of life care.

International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG), Switzerland
CeMPED has several ongoing projects with the International Breast Cancer Study Group – IBCSG (2 funded). These include a protocol evaluating a communication skills training intervention for oncologists, which was funded here by the National Breast Cancer Foundation and in Switzerland by the Swiss Cancer League. This project has involved some 50 oncologists and 1,000 patients

Cardiff University A/Professor Paul Kinnersley, Wales
After spending a sabbatical at the University of Sydney, A/Professor Paul Kinnersely (academic GP) initiated a collaboration to undertake a Cochrane review of interventions designed to increase patient question asking which was completed in 2007. We have also co-published an article reviewing the use of question prompt sheets in cancer care and are working together on another communication skills training project.

Verona Network on Sequence Analysis Group, Italy
CeMPED has been collaborating with an Italian-based group convened by Professor Christa Zimmerman, in the development of a consensus-based interaction analysis system for coding patient cues and health professional responses.

Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL), Holland
An ongoing collaboration between NIVEL and CeMPED is underway with exchange of students and staff. One paper has been published in collaboration.

University of Edinburgh, Public Health Sciences
A/Professor Elizabeth Lobb has an on-going collaboration with Dr. Nina Hallowell in the area of psycho-social issues and ethical challenges in cancer genetics.

University of Leeds, School of Psychology
Dr Trevena has an ongoing collaboration with Dr Catherine Jackson on decision-making regarding HPV and MMR vaccination. This partnership is facilitated by Dr Julie Leask at the University of Sydney’s National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS).

University of Oxford, Department of Primary Care
Dr Trevena & Dr McCaffery have ongoing collaborations in screening & HPV decision-making.

University of North Carolina, Department of Medicine
Dr Trevena has an ongoing collaboration with Professor Michael Pignone and Dr Carmen Lewis regarding colorectal cancer screening.