ANZ-LCNF Research and Education Update 

Dr Vanessa BrunelliChair, ANZ-LCNF Research and Education 

In January 2020, in our inaugural newsletter, I provided an overview of the research- and education-related activities that the ANZ-LCNF research and education team had been engaged with in 2019. I also outlined our plans for 2020. I suspect it is reasonable to say that none of us envisaged that less than two months later, our daily work practices would be changing dramatically and rapidly in view of COVID-19. While the onset of COVID-19 has made a dent in our research and education activities planned for 2020, not all have been lost. Indeed, behind the scenes we have been working hard to re-imagine which activities can be delivered online and which would be best postponed.  

Research  

Research enquiry 

It is pleasing that, in the current COVID-19 environment, research-related enquiries continue to be received. Enquired topics have included role evaluation, systematic reviews, how to formulate a research question, and understanding the difference between research and quality improvement.  

Of the enquiries, the topic of how to conduct a systematic review has been most popular. To address this learning need, the ANZ-LCNF research and education team gained stakeholder support in partnering with the Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group and Lung Foundation Australia to deliver a series of four, 60-minute online workshops aimed at developing the skills of thoracic oncology nurses to conduct systematic reviews. The workshops, facilitated by A/Prof Haryana Dhillon and Dr Vanessa Brunelli, will be held each Wednesday evening in August from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, starting Wednesday 5 August. For more information and to register your expression of interest, visit: https://altg.com.au/event/conducting-systematic-reviews-a-short-course-for-thoracic-oncology-nurses/ 

Research feature 

Each newsletter, we will feature a research (or education) project being undertaken by one of our ANZ-LCNF members, to showcase the good work being conducted around our nation that aims to improve the experiences of those in our communities living with thoracic malignancies. A feasibility study conducted by Kirsten Mooney, CNC Thoracic Oncology, WA Cancer & Palliative Care Network is our featured research this newsletter. Kirsten’s study is testing the feasibility of prehabilitation in non-surgical candidates, focusing on exercise, nutrition and smoking cessation. The study aims to understand the benefits of prehabilitation on outcomes such as peripheral muscle function, functional capacity and quality of life. The study was developed when  Kirsten noticed that patients were increasingly asking what they could do to optimise their health between being informed of diagnosis and commencing treatment. Participants are identified in the lung cancer clinic, at diagnosis, and offered referral to the prehabilitation physiotherapist, dietician for malnutrition assessment and intervention, and nurse-led clinic for smoking cessation education. Baseline data are collected on functional status, nutritional status and smoking statusThe outcomes of this study are expected to inform the need for a larger-scale study to confirm the benefits of prehabilitation for newly diagnosed lung cancer patients over time.   

Education 

Education enquiry 

Similar to research-related enquiries received, this quarter has also seen a range of education-related enquiries received by the ANZ-LCNF research and education team. Enquiries regarding advice on post-graduate enrolment and support with post-graduate coursework subjects continue to be popular and welcomed. In April, the team also received its first carer enquiry regarding an education concept that aims to support thoracic oncology nurses in palliative care related communication. The concept is currently being developed – watch this  space for future updates. Please do not hesitate to contact the team for support with your education endeavours. 

One-day education workshops 

The series of one-day education workshops mentioned in our January newsletter are being considered for online delivery due to COVID-19. Though planning for the majority of these workshops will proceed with face-to-face delivery, some members have expressed a desire for online delivery. We are currently engaged with those members in planning the online delivery of the workshops at their sites. Irrespective of delivery, the philosophy of the one-day education workshops is the inclusion of core contemporary topics and topics contextual to meet the needs of each site. It is also an aim that nurses local to the sites will enjoy the opportunity, with support, to host a workshop. If you are interested in hosting a workshop at your site, please contact the ANZLCNF research and education team. 

ANZ-LCNF & Australian Lung Cancer Conference 2020  

In February, we held the ANZ-LCNF Workshop at ALCC in Melbourne. We would like say a huge thank you to everyone involved in developing the program, to those who presented and to those attendedA special thank you to Professor Mei Krishnasamy who accepted our very lastminute request to present on behalf of Professor Angela Tod, who unfortunately was unable to travel to Australia. We would also like to highlight our successful ANZ-LCNF ALCC 2020 Travel Grant recipients: 

  1. Cassandra Dickens, CNC Thoracic Malignancies, Oncology/Haematology Day Treatment Unit & Outpatient Clinics, Sunshine University Hospital, Queensland  
  1. Melanie Hollan, Lung Lesion Diagnostic Nurse, Thoracic Department/Heart Lung Institute, The Prince Charles Hospital, Queensland 
  1. Korinna Selga, Lung Cancer Coordinator, St John of God Midland Public & Private Hospitals, Midland, Western Australia 
  1. Susanne Chaffey, Study Coordinator, Respiratory, Infectious Disease & Oncology (Thoracic) Research, Mater Hospital, Queensland (Sue was awarded an ALTG travel grant to attend the ANZ-LCNF Workshop and ALCC) 

We encourage our members to keep an eye out for travel grants and scholarships available for various events throughout the year. 

Mary Duffy (L), Cassandra Dickens (C), Vanessa Brunelli (R)  

ANZ-LCNF Strategic Plan 2020 – 2023 

Finally, we would like to promote our ANZ-LCNF Strategic Plan 2020 – 2023, which can be viewed here. The Plan was ratified by Lung Foundation Australia’s Board in March 2020. We are excited to be developing activities that align with and achieve the aims as outlined in the Plan. We encourage you to take the time to read the Plan. If there is an idea or activity that you have in mind that you believe aligns with an aim of the Plan, please do not hesitate to contact the team for support with developing your idea/activity.  

On behalf of the ANZLCNF research and education team; VanessaRenae, Helen and Kirsten, we look forward to continuing to support you in 2020!