Dr Sian Smith

Honorary Research Fellow
Public Health, School of Public Health

Telephone +61 2 9351 7186
Fax +61 2 9351 5049

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Research interests

My research interests include: health literacy, health/risk communication, patient-provider communication, decision-making, and psychology in the clinical areas of cancer screening and oncology, with a particular focus on improving the quality of health communication and decision support for low education and literacy populations. My work incorporates both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. My PhD focused on the development and evaluation of a bowel cancer screening decision aid for adults with low literacy. More recent work examines the impact of low literacy skills on the communication and decision-making process between patients andtheir radiotherapy cancer team,and identifying ways to support couples make informed choices about prenatal screening and diagnostic testing. I hold an honorary research position at the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney.

I lead an international health literacy research collaboration, through the Worldwide Universities Network linking Universities of Alberta, Auckland, Bristol, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Leeds, Sheffield, Southampton, Sydney, and Washington. http://www.wun.ac.uk/research/wun-global-health-literacy-network

Broad Research Areas: Health literacy,Doctor-patient communication, Decision-making, Health inequalities, Psychology, Cancer screening, Prenatal screening,Oncology, Radiotherapy,Preventive Medicine

Selected grants

2013

  • Development and evaluation of an Australian adult health literacy program for socially disadvantaged adults attending TAFE; McCaffery K, Smith S, Dhillon H, Hayen A, Shepherd H, Comings J, Luxford K, Nutbeam D, Wright C, Wedyan M; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).

2012

  • WUN Global Health Literacy Network: the role of health literacy in addressing the social determiniants of NCDs; Smith S, McCaffery K, Nutbeam D, Dixon R, Fuller S, Coetzee M, Adebajo A, Bhalotra S, Springett J, Johnson O; Worldwide Universities Network/Research Support.
  • WUN Health Literacy Collaboration: the role of health literacy in addressing the social determinants of non-communicable disease.; McCaffery K, Hickson W, Coetzee M, Nutbeam D, Adams J, Dixon R, Roderick P, Fuller S, Johnson O, Awakame J, Smith S; DVC International/IPDF Grant.

2011

  • CRC, CMC & Oth Rsch Ctre; Smith S; World Universities Network/Research Support.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Smith, S., Petrak, L., Dhillon, H., Taylor, J., Milross, C. (2014). Are radiation oncologists aware of health literacy among people with cancer treated with radiotherapy? European Journal of Cancer Care, 23(1), 111-120. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Kearney, P., Trevena, L., Barratt, A., Nutbeam, D., McCaffery, K. (2014). Informed choice in bowel cancer screening: A qualitative study to explore how adults with lower education use decision aids. Health Expectations, 17(4), 551-522. [More Information]
  • Wyld, L., Smith, S., Hawkins, N., Long, J., Ward, R. (2014). Introducing research initiatives into healthcare: what do doctors think? Biopreservation and Biobanking, 12(2), 91-98. [More Information]
  • McCaffery, K., Holmes-Rovner, M., Smith, S., Rovner, D., Nutbeam, D., Clayman, M., Kelly-Blake, K., Wolf, M., Sheridan, S. (2013). Addressing health literacy in patient decision aids. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 13(Suppl. 2), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Nutbeam, D., McCaffery, K. (2013). Insights into the concept and measurement of health literacy from a study of shared decision-making in a low literacy population. Journal of Health Psychology, 18(8), 1011-1022. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Zhu, Y., Dhillon, H., Milross, C., Taylor, J., Halkett, G., Zilliacus, E. (2013). Supporting patients with low health literacy: what role do radiation therapists play? Supportive Care in Cancer, 21(11), 3051-3061. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Barratt, A., Trevena, L., Simpson, J., Jansen, J., McCaffery, K. (2012). A theoretical framework for measuring knowledge in screening decision aid trials. Patient Education and Counseling, 89(2), 330-336. [More Information]
  • McCaffery, K., Dixon, A., Hayen, A., Jansen, J., Smith, S., Simpson, J. (2012). The Influence of Graphic Display Format on the Interpretations of Quantitative Risk Information among Adults with Lower Education and Literacy: A Randomized Experimental Study. Medical Decision Making: an international journal, 32(4), 532-544. [More Information]
  • McCaffery, K., Smith, S., Shepherd, H., Sze, M., Dhillon, H., Jansen, J., Juraskova, I., Butow, P., Trevena, L., Carey, K., Tattersall, M., Barratt, A. (2011). Shared decision making in Australia in 2011. German Journal for Evidence and Quality in Health Care (Zeitschrift fuer Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualitaet im Gesundheitswesen), 105(4), 234-239. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Trevena, L., Simpson, J., Barratt, A., Nutbeam, D., McCaffery, K. (2010). A decision aid to support informed choices about bowel cancer screening among adults with low education: randomised controlled trial. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 341(2010), 1-13. [More Information]
  • McCaffery, K., Smith, S., Wolf, M. (2010). The Challenge of Shared Decision Making Among Patients With Lower Literacy: A Framework for Research and Development. Medical Decision Making: an international journal, 30(1), 35-44. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Trevena, L., Barratt, A., Dixon, A., Nutbeam, D., Simpson, J., McCaffery, K. (2009). Development and preliminary evaluation of a bowel cancer screening decision aid for adults with lower literacy. Patient Education and Counseling, 75(3), 358-367. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Dixon, A., Trevena, L., Nutbeam, D., McCaffery, K. (2009). Exploring patient involvement in healthcare decision making across different education and functional health literacy groups. Social Science and Medicine, 69(12), 1805-1812. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Trevena, L., Nutbeam, D., Barratt, A., McCaffery, K. (2008). Information needs and preferences of low and high literacy consumers for decisions about colorectal cancer screening: utilizing a linguistic model. Health Expectations, 11(2), 123-136. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., McCaffery, K., Trevena, L. (2007). Using decision aids to facilitate informed health care decision making among adults with low literacy: The case of bowel cancer screening. Health Issues, (92), 28-32.

2014

  • Smith, S., Petrak, L., Dhillon, H., Taylor, J., Milross, C. (2014). Are radiation oncologists aware of health literacy among people with cancer treated with radiotherapy? European Journal of Cancer Care, 23(1), 111-120. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Kearney, P., Trevena, L., Barratt, A., Nutbeam, D., McCaffery, K. (2014). Informed choice in bowel cancer screening: A qualitative study to explore how adults with lower education use decision aids. Health Expectations, 17(4), 551-522. [More Information]
  • Wyld, L., Smith, S., Hawkins, N., Long, J., Ward, R. (2014). Introducing research initiatives into healthcare: what do doctors think? Biopreservation and Biobanking, 12(2), 91-98. [More Information]

2013

  • McCaffery, K., Holmes-Rovner, M., Smith, S., Rovner, D., Nutbeam, D., Clayman, M., Kelly-Blake, K., Wolf, M., Sheridan, S. (2013). Addressing health literacy in patient decision aids. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 13(Suppl. 2), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Nutbeam, D., McCaffery, K. (2013). Insights into the concept and measurement of health literacy from a study of shared decision-making in a low literacy population. Journal of Health Psychology, 18(8), 1011-1022. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Zhu, Y., Dhillon, H., Milross, C., Taylor, J., Halkett, G., Zilliacus, E. (2013). Supporting patients with low health literacy: what role do radiation therapists play? Supportive Care in Cancer, 21(11), 3051-3061. [More Information]

2012

  • Smith, S., Barratt, A., Trevena, L., Simpson, J., Jansen, J., McCaffery, K. (2012). A theoretical framework for measuring knowledge in screening decision aid trials. Patient Education and Counseling, 89(2), 330-336. [More Information]
  • McCaffery, K., Dixon, A., Hayen, A., Jansen, J., Smith, S., Simpson, J. (2012). The Influence of Graphic Display Format on the Interpretations of Quantitative Risk Information among Adults with Lower Education and Literacy: A Randomized Experimental Study. Medical Decision Making: an international journal, 32(4), 532-544. [More Information]

2011

  • McCaffery, K., Smith, S., Shepherd, H., Sze, M., Dhillon, H., Jansen, J., Juraskova, I., Butow, P., Trevena, L., Carey, K., Tattersall, M., Barratt, A. (2011). Shared decision making in Australia in 2011. German Journal for Evidence and Quality in Health Care (Zeitschrift fuer Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualitaet im Gesundheitswesen), 105(4), 234-239. [More Information]

2010

  • Smith, S., Trevena, L., Simpson, J., Barratt, A., Nutbeam, D., McCaffery, K. (2010). A decision aid to support informed choices about bowel cancer screening among adults with low education: randomised controlled trial. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 341(2010), 1-13. [More Information]
  • McCaffery, K., Smith, S., Wolf, M. (2010). The Challenge of Shared Decision Making Among Patients With Lower Literacy: A Framework for Research and Development. Medical Decision Making: an international journal, 30(1), 35-44. [More Information]

2009

  • Smith, S., Trevena, L., Barratt, A., Dixon, A., Nutbeam, D., Simpson, J., McCaffery, K. (2009). Development and preliminary evaluation of a bowel cancer screening decision aid for adults with lower literacy. Patient Education and Counseling, 75(3), 358-367. [More Information]
  • Smith, S., Dixon, A., Trevena, L., Nutbeam, D., McCaffery, K. (2009). Exploring patient involvement in healthcare decision making across different education and functional health literacy groups. Social Science and Medicine, 69(12), 1805-1812. [More Information]

2008

  • Smith, S., Trevena, L., Nutbeam, D., Barratt, A., McCaffery, K. (2008). Information needs and preferences of low and high literacy consumers for decisions about colorectal cancer screening: utilizing a linguistic model. Health Expectations, 11(2), 123-136. [More Information]

2007

  • Smith, S., McCaffery, K., Trevena, L. (2007). Using decision aids to facilitate informed health care decision making among adults with low literacy: The case of bowel cancer screening. Health Issues, (92), 28-32.

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