The cancer communication and screening research group is part of Cancer Research UK's Health Behaviour Research Centre (HBRC) based in
the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL. Our research is focused on enhancing the public's understanding of cancer and
promoting public engagement with cancer screening, and other forms of early detection, through increasing the effectiveness of cancer
communications. The goals are to use health psychology and decision-making theory to increase public awareness of cancer risk factors,
how cancer develops and the potential for cancer prevention, and to maximise screening participation across all socio-economic status
and ethnic groups. In addition we aim to advance theory and methodology in cancer communications research. The main research contexts
are colorectal cancer screening, human papillomavirus testing and vaccination, and early diagnosis of gynaecological cancers with a mixed
programme of laboratory and community studies.
The Cancer and Lay Models (CALM) project is currently examining expert and lay causal models of cancer, and has developed and validated
a measure of cancer knowledge (the Cancer Awareness Measure),
as well as site-specific versions for a range of cancers. Through examining
discrepancies between expert and lay models of cancer, we hope to develop improved methods of communicating with the public about cancer,
with an emphasis on the preventability of cancer.
Our project on Promoting Action in Screening Participation (PRO-ACT) aims to determine the factors that prevent people from taking part
in screening, despite expressing interest in participation (a group referred to as 'inclined abstainers'). We are currently examining factors
that influence action rather than just intention to act, and we are developing and evaluating interventions to promote intention-translation
with the goal of increasing participation rates for colorectal cancer screening.
We are continuing to research public knowledge and attitudes to HPV testing and vaccination following the introduction of HPV vaccination
for adolescent girls in 2008, as well as barriers to participation in conventional cervical cytology screening.
With funding from the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (NAEDI),
we are developing and evaluating a primary-care based
intervention to promote early presentation among women with possible gynaecological cancer symptoms. This strand of research is being
further developed by a post-doctoral fellowship to explore symptom interpretation as a means of understanding time to help-seeking.
Professor Jane Wardle, lab head, is also deputy director of the Department of Health's Policy Research Unit on cancer awareness, screening and
early diagnosis, a collaboration with Queen Mary's University London,
King's College London,
the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,
as well colleagues in the Epidemiology and Public Health and
Primary Care and Population Health departments at UCL.
Lab head: Professor Jane Wardle
Senior Research Associates: Dr Christian von Wagner, Dr Jo Waller
Post-doctoral research associates: Dr Siu Hing Lo, Dr Ana Macedo, Dr Laura Marlow,
Dr Lesley McGregor, Dr Kathryn Robb,
Dr Gemma Vart, Dr Katriina Whitaker, Charlotte Vrinten
Research assistants: Harriet Bowyer
Postgraduate students: Elaine Douglas, Alex Ghanouni, Lindsay Kobayashi, Emma Low, Sam Smith, Kate Williams
Honorary Research Staff: Dr Ruth Evans, Dr Saskia Sanderson,
Dr Kirsten McCaffery, Dr Emily Power
Statistician: David Boniface
This page last modified 9 Oct, 2012 by Mark Livermore