Aim: Response to the substantial and long-term impacts that a cancer diagnosis and treatment has on the growing population of cancer survivors, requires priority-driven, impactful research. This study aimed to map Australian cancer survivorship research activities to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement and compare activities against identified survivorship research priorities.
Methods: An online survey was completed by Australian researchers regarding their cancer survivorship research, and the barriers they identified to conducting such research. Current research activity was compared to recently established Australian survivorship research priorities.
Results: Overall, 178 participants completed the online survey. The majority of the research undertaken utilized survey or qualitative designs and focused on breast cancer, adult populations, and those in early survivorship (<5 years post-treatment). Barriers to conducting survivorship research included funding, collaboration and networking, mentoring, and time constraints. There was moderate alignment with existing research priorities. Investigating models of care and health service delivery were the most frequently researched priorities. Research priorities that were less commonly investigated included patient navigation, patient-reported outcomes, multimorbidity, fear of cancer recurrence, and economic issues.
Conclusion: This study provides the first snapshot of Australian survivorship research activity. Comparison to established priorities demonstrates health services research is receiving attention and highlights areas for potential pursuits, such as rare cancers or multimorbidity. Findings indicate the need for improved funding and infrastructure to support researchers in advancing the survivorship research agenda.
- Australian survivorship research
- cancer research
- cancer survivorship