Psycho-oncology research

Psycho-oncology research studies the psychological, social and behavioural aspects of cancer, to improve the quality of life of cancer patients.

The Psycho-Oncology Research Unit

Our unit is a collaboration with La Trobe University. Our goal is to find evidence on how best to improve the quality of life of people with cancer and their supporters. This supportive care research aims to ensure we offer the best care, enhance your experience during treatment, and support you through survivorship or end-of-life care.

Our research aims to:

  • Improve your experience of care
  • Improve your quality of life following treatment for cancer
  • Find out which personal characteristics, or aspects of your disease, treatment and supportive care impact your sense of wellness
  • Consider the diverse needs of minority groups and communities
  • Develop and test improvements to supportive care to optimise your sense of wellness

What we research

Our work examines a broad range of issues affecting cancer patients and their families, including:

  • Returning to work after cancer
  • Dealing with the cognitive impacts of cancer and treatment
  • The impact of supportive care programs on patient well-being
  • The use of supportive care by patients of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • The impact of social support on well-being and coping
  • Interventions to improve the quality of life and wellness of cancer survivors
  • Development of a model of carer support and empowerment

Our research also examines staff well-being and how nurses cope with confronting experiences at work.

Contact us

Carlene Wilson

Professor of Psycho-Oncology

+ 61 3 9496 9967




Dr Gemma Skaczkowski (University of South Australia)

Dr Eva Yuen (Deakin University)



Assoc Prof Reema Harrison (University of NSW)

Prof Trish Livingston (Deakin University)

Prof Sheina Orbell (Essex University)

Dr Kerryn Pike (La Trobe University)

Dr Evelien Spelten (La Trobe University)

Prof Vicki White (Deakin University)

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