PhD fellow (2017-2020) and voluntary researcher (2021) - Ghent Univeristy - Radiotherapy/Urology and member of the Health Promotion Research Group
PI: prof. Valerie Fonteyne (MD, PhD) & prof. Ann Van Hecke (PhD)
Postdoctoral researcher (2021) - King's College London - Translational Oncology and Urology Research (TOUR) TEAM
PI: prof. Mieke Van Hemelrijck (MD, PhD)
During my PhD I focused on exercise and psychosocial care in bladder cancer patients. Our team developed a behaviour change intervention to increase exercise behaviour before and after bladder cancer surgery (home-based intervention) and we assessed the supportive care needs of bladder cancer patients.
My research now at King's College London mainly focuses on the development of quality of life measurements for different groups of cancer patients.
I’m also very interested in prehabilitation. Together with an international research group we are developing a Core Outcome Set for prehabilitation outcomes in intra-abdominal cancer patients. (https://osf.io/4cyk6/)
I’m also working on an update of the POLARIS study (http://www.polaris-study.org/ ) to include prehabilitation trials in the POLARIS database and conduct meta-analyses to assess the impact of prehabilitation on cancer outcomes.
Our team at UGent also recently received a grant from Kom Op Tegen Kanker to build a prediction model for symptom clusters in breast, lung and prostate cancer patients. Based on these results, we will develop a stepped care self-management program to tackle those symptom clusters.
Besides my main research topics described above, I'm also involved in other national and international research projects which are all topics related to quality of life and cancer survivorship.
CURRENT INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT:
- Project coördinator of the update and validation of the EORTC quality of life questionnaires for bladder cancer
- Lead of mentorship programme - the EORTC Quality of Life Group
- Lead of the Research Collaboration group of the International Society of of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA)
- Active member and collaborator in projects (e.g. surveys, systematic reviews) of ISOQOL, MASCC and the Global Project on Self-management (GPS).
- Peer reviewer for BJUI, BMJ open, Disability and Rehabilitation, Frontiers in Oncology, European Urology Oncology
- EORTC Quality of life group (€103,086). “The need for validated Bladder Cancer Modules: Update and potential merging of the existing MIBC and NMIBC modules – including an assessment focused on metastatic bladder cancer.”
--> post-doctoral researcher
- Kom op Tegen kanker (€258 500). “Self-management of symptom clusters in (survivors of) breast, prostate and lung cancer patients treated with radiotherapy: development of a stepped care pathway.”
--> post-doctoral researcher
- ISBNPA – Funding for research collaboration (£1200). “Prehabilitation outcomes for intra-abdominal cancer patients: protocol for the development of a core outcome set (COS).”
--> Principal investigator
cancer survivorship - quality of life - intervention development - exercise)-oncology - behaviour change
Experience & expertise:
Throughout my research, I have gained expertise in several domains, including the development of behavior change interventions (e.g., exercise program), the development and use of PROMS (Patient Reported Outcome Measures) in clinical trials, the study of quality of life aspects, the use and writing of systematic reviews, …
Current & future plans:
COSMOS project (ongoing): development of a stepped and patient-centered care path to support self-management of symptom clusters (oncology context). Development is done in co-creation with patients.
The POPEYE study (ongoing): development of an exercise program in the home setting of patients with bladder cancer. This is developed based on a cyclic process whereby patients participate, evaluate the program, and researchers modify the program based on the feedback of the patients. This process will continue until no further adjustments are needed according to the patients.
In addition, I was involved in some qualitative and quantitative studies aimed at improving the care of patients with bladder cancer by mapping their care needs and determinants of physical activity. Ideally, a new project should now be initiated to address the care needs of this patient group.
Relevant stakeholder connections:
Direct contact with patient association 'NEOVIDA'/Connections with international research groups with expertise in quality of life, movement and self management (EORTC QL group, ISOQOL, ISBNPA, MASCC, Global project on self-management in cancer)
- 'The Use of Theory to Develop Physical Activity Interventions in Urological Cancer Survivors: A Narrative Review'. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 2021. (PMID: 33516584)
- 'Development of a pre- and postoperative physical activity promotion program integrated in the electronic health system of patients with bladder cancer (The POPEYE study): An intervention mapping approach'. European Journal of Cancer Care, 2020. (PMID: 33205552)
- 'Health-related quality of life overview after different curative treatment options in muscle-invasive bladder cancer: an umbrella review'. Quality of Life Research, 2020. (PMID: 32504291)
- 'Management of cancer and health after the clinic visit: A call to action for self-management in cancer care'. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2020. (PMID: 32525530)
- 'Understanding physical activity behavior in patients with bladder cancer before and after radical cystectomy: a qualitative interview study'. Clinical Rehabilitation, 2019. (PMID: 30514109)
- 'Barriers and facilitators to physical activity in men with prostate cancer: A qualitative and quantitative systematic review'. Psychooncology, 2019. (PMID: 31617635)
- 'Patient- versus physician-reported outcomes in prostate cancer patients receiving hypofractionated radiotherapy within a randomized controlled trial'. Strahlentherapy in Onkology, 2018. (PMID: 30406289)
- 'A systematic review of exercise and psychosocial rehabilitation interventions to improve health-related outcomes in patients with bladder cancer undergoing radical cystectomy'. Clinical rehabilitation, 2018. (PMID: 29231044)
- 'Clinical pathway improves implementation of evidence-based strategies for the management of androgen deprivation therapy-induced side effects in men with prostate cancer'. BJU International, 2018. (PMID: 29194928)
- 'Rehabilitation interventions to improve patient-reported outcomes and physical fitness in survivors of muscle invasive bladder cancer: a systematic review protocol'. BMJ Open, 2017. (PMID: 28592583)