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Investigating factors affecting the impact of interventions to improve referral of colorectal cancer patients with a high likelihood risk of Lynch Syndrome


Lynch syndrome (LS) is an inherited cancer syndrome which significantly increases a carrier's lifetime risk of several cancers, most notably colorectal cancer (CRC).  Recent Australian data has shown that up to 54% of CRC patients with suspicious LS phenotypes were not referred for genetic testing.  Evidence indicates that hospitals and patients face a plethora of infrastructure, psychosocial and environmental barriers to detecting LS patients.

Currently, a national project is underway to test the impact of theory-based interventions within the health service on improving referral behaviours for colorectal cancer patients with a high likelihood risk of LS. 

Understanding how change has happened, through the identification of mechanisms of action and the assessment of intervention fidelity, so that effective components of interventions can be scaled up, and translated across different clinical problems, contexts, and population groups, is essential.


Associate Professor Natalie Taylor.

Research location

Health Sciences - Generic

Program type



Through a range of mix-method theory based process evaluations, mediation analyses, and sub-study designs, this PhD will aim to identify and understand the mediating mechanisms underpinning interventions aimed at optimising the identification of LS patients in Australia. 

This work will also aim to enhance understanding of the range of processes and pathways that are used to identify LS patients across Australian states and Local Health Districts.

Additional information

The host unit for this research opportunity is Cancer Council NSW.

Applicants should have an academic background in epidemiology, public or population health, health sciences, psychology, behavioural science, health economics, or a related discipline.  A bachelor's degree with first-class honours (including a research component equating to one full time semester of study), or equivalent research experience, with publications in refereed journals is highly desirable.

A PhD stipend of AU $30,000 per year, tax free, is currently available for three years from Semester 1, 2018.  An additional $2,500 funding to support research activities will be available each year.  Candidates must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand. The research will be carried out at Cancer Council NSW.   The successful candidate must also fulfil the entry requirements for admission to candidature for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the University of Sydney.

Please see for details on how to apply or contact Dr Natalie Taylor -

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2325

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