student profile: Mr Mark Liu


Thesis work

Thesis title: Patient-led goal setting: a novel approach to increase physical activity participation in women with metastatic breast cancer.

Supervisors: Jasmine YEE , Jane BEITH , Sharon KILBREATH , Glen DAVIS

Thesis abstract:

Background: Much attention has been placed on how physical activity improves symptoms for early breast cancer survivors. This is contrasted by the limited focus on women living with metastatic breast cancer. Despite advances in treatments improving life expectancy, there is little research on how women can best adjust their lifestyle to improve their function and health-related quality of life.

The patient-led goal setting model of healthcare delivery encourages patients to be the director of the goal setting and decision-making process when managing their condition. This removes the possibility of clinicians prescribing and insisting on treatments or lifestyle changes without an understanding of the patients’ personal concerns or needs. Instead, the clinician is encouraged to facilitate the patient-led process by strategizing with patients on the best pathways to attain their goals and informing on effective intervention options that the patient might considers themselves inclined towards. Patient-led goal setting, and the resultant decision-making process, is considered to improve outcomes by cultivating patient engagement with their intervention and the likelihood of long-term adherence. This has been proven to be effective in the treatment of other chronic diseases including cardiac disease, diabetes and asthma.

The aim of this research program is to determine whether patient-led goal setting for increased physical activity will lead to improved goal attainment and adherence to lifestyle changes for women with metastatic breast cancer.

Methods: The following projects are currently being undertake – a systematic review of existing literature around behavioural change theories used to increase physical activity in women with breast cancer; a cross-sectional survey investigating current physical activity levels and variables associated with behaviour change; cross-sectional interviews investigating current attitudes towards physical health, physical activity goals, barriers and preferences. These projects will inform the future and primary project: a randomised control trial investigating the effectiveness of a patient-led goal setting physical activity intervention on physical activity levels, attitudes and self-efficacy towards exercise and physical fitness and function.

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.