Public Seminars

Global Disability Research Group Seminar Series

focusing on cross-disciplinary global disability research.
To join the mailing list for this seminar series please e-mail your details to Ellie Cole.

Global Health (IGH) Symposia

Members of the department contribute to IGH public meetings which bring together expertise on global health issues from all faculties within UCL.
Contact: Sarah Ball, Tel: (internal x82 72 2352)

2012 Seminar Series

Title: ‘Using ‘gist-based’ information to reduce inequalities and improve cancer screening uptake’

Speaker: Mr Sam  Smith

Date & Time: Thursday 4th October 1pm-2pm

Venue: G37 & G38


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers. Survival is strongly associated with stage of diagnosis, with 5-year relative survival ranging between 93.2%-6.6% in the earliest (Dukes A) to latest (Dukes B) stages. Increasing the number of CRCs detected at early stages may therefore increase survival.

Screening for CRC is one way of achieving this aim. The English NHS Bowel Cancer Screening invites individuals aged 60-69 (currently extending to age 74) to complete a biennial Faecal Occult Blood test (FOBt). Routinely collected data indicate that 54% of individuals returned an adequate FOBt in the first round of invitations. Importantly, uptake of screening followed a social gradient, ranging between 35-61% in the most to least deprived areas respectively. 

The health communication materials supplied to the public are the primary way in which people are informed about the aims, advantages and disadvantages of the screening programme. It is therefore important that individuals with less education are not disadvantaged by the provision of information and that communication inequalities do not occur. 

This PhD will describe a study assessing the comprehensibility of the current materials (study 1). This is followed by a description of the design and user-testing of a theory-based information leaflet (study 2). Future work outlined involves a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) in a community based setting (study 3), and a large cluster RCT that will test the behavioural impact of adding the intervention leaflet to the current NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme  information materials (study 4).

Sam Smith graduated in 2008 with a First Class Honours in Psychology from City University. He was then awarded an MRC studentship to study for an MSc in Health Psychology (2008-2009) and a further MRC studentship for his doctoral studies (2010-2013). During the first year of his PhD, Sam was awarded a Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center fellowship to study in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Northwestern University (Chicago, IL). Here, he worked on several research papers with the Health Literacy and Learning Program in collaboration with colleagues from the Health Behaviour Research Centre. He is supervised by Professor Jane Wardle, Dr. Christian von Wagner and Mr Austin Obichere.

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