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1.  By invitation only – the case for breast cancer screening reminders for women over 69 years 
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women in Australia. Early detection provides the best chance of reducing mortality and morbidity from the disease. Mammographic screening is a population health strategy for the early detection of breast cancer in Australia. Recruitment strategies such as regular advertising and biannual screening invitations are exclusively targeted at women aged 50 – 69 years. Even though they can participate, women 70 years or over are not invited or actively encouraged to undertake screening. Research has found that a routine letter of invitation increases the number of women participating in breast cancer screening.
Cancer data analysis and a literature and policy review was conducted to assess age specific breast cancer mortality rates and the legitimacy of rationale used to limit invitations for breast cancer screening to women younger than 70 years.
The proportion of women over 69 years participating in the BreastScreen program is significantly less than rate of screening in the target age range (50–69 years). Evidence and data indicate that common justifications for limiting screening reminders to the target age range including life expectancy, comorbidities, effectiveness, treatment and cost are, for many women, unreasonable.
There is now sufficient data to support a change in the targeted upper age range for breast cancer screening to improve the existing suboptimal surveillance in women aged over 69 years.
PMCID: PMC2612671  PMID: 18990199
2.  Operationalising a model framework for consumer and community participation in health and medical research 
The Consumers' Health Forum of Australia and the National Health and Medical Research Council has recently developed a Model Framework for Consumer and Community Participation in Health and Medical Research in order to better align health and medical research with community need, and improve the impact of research. Model frameworks may have little impact on what goes on in practice unless relevant organisations actively make use of them. Philanthropic and government bodies have reported involving consumers in more meaningful or collaborative ways of late. This paper describes how a large charity organisation, which funds a significant proportion of Australian cancer research, operationalised the model framework using a unique approach demonstrating that it is both possible and reasonable for research to be considerate of public values.
PMCID: PMC1913530  PMID: 17592651

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