Anna’s research was inspired by her best friend Molly, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. She was presented with her award on May 23 by Hon. Brad Hazzard, NSW Minister for Health and Prof. Anne Kelso, CEO NHMRC.

The EMPOWER-SMS Trial was published with Molly as a co-author .

Cancer patients often feel lonely, isolated, and unsure of where to get support during and after treatment. Anna’s clinical trial with 160 breast cancer survivors from Westmead Breast Cancer Institute (Sydney, Australia) found that many women were experiencing depression and anxiety even 1-2 years after diagnosis, and few were meeting guidelines for healthy eating and exercise. This study found that receiving supportive text messages improved endocrine therapy medication adherence and participants felt it was useful (91%) and motivating for managing health.

Anna also recently published the largest systematic review with meta-analysis on this topic in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. It included 4790 breast cancer patients from across the world (11 countries, 10 languages) – Anna found that everyday technologies like websites and mobile apps improved quality of life, mental health and physical health for patients during and after breast cancer treatment. She also makes recommendations for implementation/future intervention development.

Much of this work was carried out as part of Anna’s PhD which she was awarded in 2021.

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