Professor Afaf Girgis is Director of the Psycho-oncology Research Group and a Chief Investigator in the Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation (CONCERT), Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, South Western Sydney Clinical School, UNSW. She also holds a number of Conjoint Professor appointments (University of Western Sydney, University of Queensland, Griffith University and the BC Cancer Agency Socio-behavioural Research Centre).
Afaf is an internationally renowned behavioural scientist with over 25 years of experience in cancer control and psycho-oncology research. In 2012, Prof Girgis was the recipient of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) Inaugural Psycho-oncology Award and in 2015 received the Lady Mary Fairfax Distinguished Researcher Award. She is highly published and her research has been cited 6000+ times. Prof Girgis has an H-index of 43, has been awarded more than Au$45 million in collaborative research funding, receives numerous invitations to speak at national and international meetings and is on key committees relating to her fields of expertise. She has extensively researched and published in areas including the prevention and early detection of cancer; development and psychometric testing of measures to assess cancer patients’, caregivers’ and health care professionals’ unmet needs; strategies for improving psychosocial outcomes in clinical practice using rigorous research designs; and communication skills training for the oncology workforce. Afaf has a demonstrated track record of effective engagement with service providers, end-users of research and the community to ensure the relevance and acceptability of interventions aimed at improving cancer care and outcomes. Afaf also has a strong commitment to student supervision and mentoring junior researchers.
Broad research interests include:
1) Measurement of health related behaviours, especially in relation to well-being and supportive care of cancer patients and caregivers.
2) Modification of the psychosocial outcomes of people affected by cancer, including survivors and their families and caregivers.
3) Modification of the behaviour of health care providers, including through communication skills training.
4) Evaluation of the quality of medical care, including efficient systems to support adoption of evidence based practice.
5) Translation of research into policy and practice.