The Psychosocial Health and Wellbeing Research (emPoWeR) Unit

Researcher

Research Overview

The Psychosocial Health and Wellbeing Research (emPoWeR) Unit is part of the the Gynaecology Research Centre, situated at the Royal Women’s Hospital. The Gynaecology Research Centre is the first centre in Australia to bring together clinical and laboratory expertise to investigate a wide range of common gynaecological issues and provide greater understanding to improve prevention, diagnosis and management of conditions.

The emPoWeR Unit conducts research with a focus on the psychological, emotional and social aspects of reproductive health. The unit has a particular focus  on the overall wellbeing of people impacted by gynaecological issues and infertilty, and the quality of life factors that arise as a consequence of these conditions. The goal of the unit is to develop tools that can help improve the experience of people facing these sorts of challenges.

Specific research areas include:

  • Family planning and fertility preservation for women with breast cancer
  • Family planning and fertility preservation for children with cancer
  • Age-related infertility and egg freezing for women
  • Sexual dysfunction in cancer survivors
  • Decision-making support tools for infertile couples

Staff

Collaborators

We have current collaborations with Harvard University, The Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Harvard), the Oncofertility Consortium (Northwestern University), UNSW, University of Sydney, Monash, Melbourne IVF, IVF Australia, Genea, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Swinburne University, Breast Cancer Network Australia, Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority, Edinburgh University, and others.

Funding

  • National Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Victorian Cancer Agency

Research Outcomes

Pockett R, Peate M, Dzidowska M, Hobbs K, Baylock B, Bell M, Epstein I. The characteristics of oncology social work in Australia: Implications for workforce planning in integrated cancer care. Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology (Accepted 13/01/2016).

Hickey M, Peate M, Anderson. Letter:  Should cryopreservation of oocytes be discussed with all women in their 30’s? New England Journal of Medicine 2016; 374:287-288.

Peate M, Watts K, Wakefield C. The ‘value’ of values clarification in cancer-related decision aids. Patient Education & Counseling 2013; 90(2): 281-283.

Juraskova I, Jarvis S, Friedlander M, et al. The Acceptability, Feasibility, and Efficacy (Phase I/II Study) of the OVERcome (Olive Oil, Vaginal Exercise, and MoisturizeR) Intervention to Improve Dyspareunia and Alleviate Sexual Problems in Women with Breast Cancer. Journal Of Sexual Medicine 2013;(10):2549-2559

Peate M, Friedlander M. Using decision aids for improving treatment-choices for women with breast cancer. Breast Cancer Management (2013) 2(1): 23-31. Invited perspective.

Peate M, Meiser B, Friedlander M, et al. Making hard choices easier: a prospective, multicentre study to assess the efficacy of a fertility-related decision aid in young women with early-stage breast cancer. British Journal Of Cancer 2012;106(6):1053-1061

Peate M, Saunders C, Gregson J, Thewes B, D’Abrew N, Meiser B, White K Hickey M. Development and evaluation of an information booklet about breast cancer and early menopause. The Breast Journal (2012) 18 (1): 95-96.

Sansom-Daly U, Peate M, Wakefield C, Bryant RA, Cohn RJ. A Systematic Review of Psychological Interventions for Adolescents and Young Adults Living with Chronic Illness Health Psychology (2012). 31(3):380-93.

Wakefield CE, McLoone JK, Fleming CAK, Peate M, Thomas E, Sansom-Daly U, Butow P, Cohn R. Adolescent cancer and health-related decision-making: A multi-perspective family analysis. Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (2012). 1(4):173-180.

Peate M, Meiser B, Hickey M, et al. It's Now or Never: Fertility-Related Knowledge, Decision-Making Preferences, and Treatment Intentions in Young Women With Breast Cancer--An Australian Fertility Decision Aid Collaborative Group Study. Journal Of Clinical Oncology  2011;29(13):1670-1677

Peate M, Meiser B, Hickey M, et al. Development and Pilot Testing of a Fertility Decision Aid for Young Women Diagnosed with Early Breast Cancer. Breast Journal 2011;17(1):112-114.

Hickey M, Peate M, Saunders C, Friedlander M. Breast cancer in young women and its impact on reproductive function. Human Reproduction Update  2009;15(3):323-339

Peate M, Meiser B, Hickey M, Friedlander M. The fertility-related concerns, needs and preferences of younger women with breast cancer: a systematic review. Breast Cancer Research And Treatment 2009;(1):215-224

Research Publications

Peate M, Meiser B, Hickey M, et al. It's Now or Never: Fertility-Related Knowledge, Decision-Making Preferences, and Treatment Intentions in Young Women With Breast Cancer--An Australian Fertility Decision Aid Collaborative Group Study. Journal Of Clinical Oncology  2011;29(13):1670-1677

Peate M, Meiser B, Friedlander M, et al. Making hard choices easier: a prospective, multicentre study to assess the efficacy of a fertility-related decision aid in young women with early-stage breast cancer. British Journal Of Cancer 2012;106(6):1053-1061-

uraskova I, Jarvis S, Friedlander M, et al. The Acceptability, Feasibility, and Efficacy (Phase I/II Study) of the OVERcome (Olive Oil, Vaginal Exercise, and MoisturizeR) Intervention to Improve Dyspareunia and Alleviate Sexual Problems in Women with Breast Cancer. Journal Of Sexual Medicine 2013;(10):2549-2559

Hickey M, Peate M, Anderson. Letter:  Should cryopreservation of oocytes be discussed with all women in their 30’s? New England Journal of Medicine 2016; 374:287-288.