Tag Archives: Programs

WWAGBP program

Grant recognises need to develop wellness program for Vietnamese women after giving birth

A team of researchers from VinUniversity in Vietnam and the University of Technology Sydney in Australia have been awarded a grant to develop a 12-week wellness program for Vietnamese women after giving birth. We spoke to Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, Assistant Professor, Senior Lecturer at College of Health Sciences, VinUniversity – Principal Investigator of this project, about what this program will mean for women in Vietnam.

Q. What was the impetus for developing a women’s wellness after giving birth program for Vietnamese women?

The transition to parenthood is a potentially vulnerable time for mothers’ mental health. Baby blues are expected to happen during the first couple of weeks. However, for approximately 20% of Vietnamese mothers, it goes beyond that, resulting in postpartum depression in the first year after birth. Complications of this condition involve both the mothers – lower life quality, or even suicidal/self-harming behaviours; and their children – impaired physical as well as mental development.

Vulnerable groups of women in less socio-economically developed areas with economic constraints, lack of family support, and/or insufficient access to information regarding mental wellness are less likely to seek mental health services and even if they do reach out, mothers tend to seek help from fortune-tellers or “word-of-mouth” medicine rather than modern and evidence-based methods.

Q. How will the Program be developed?

The VinUniversity women research team, in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney research team led by Professor Debra Anderson, aims to explore the current situation of mental wellness of Vietnamese women after birth and associated factors. After that, a Vietnamese version of the Women’s Wellness Program (WWP), named Women’s Wellness After Giving Birth Program (WWAGBP), with a package of booklets, a website, and delivery guidelines will be adapted and piloted to confirm the degree to which the package adequately reflects the Vietnamese cultural context and effectively promotes Vietnamese women’s wellness after giving birth.

Q. How long do you anticipate it will take to develop and launch the Program?

The Program is anticipated to take nine months to develop before being piloted. In this phase, a baseline survey will be conducted to explore the prevalence of postpartum depression among women after giving birth and associated factors. Then, the WWAGBP will be culturally adapted from the WWP and be confirmed on its validity and reliability by health experts in related areas and by key stakeholders.

We hope to launch the program to the first round of participants in mid-2023.

Q. What will the Program look like for Vietnamese women?

Women who have delivered their babies within one year (or even pregnant women willing to join) will be invited to participate in a 12-week wellness program that will help mothers handle the special changes or prepare them to be ready for women’s issues after giving birth. The topics that might be included in the wellness program include; nutrition, sleep, stress and relaxation and psychosocial support.

Two milestone evaluations will be set for weeks 1, 6 and 12 week and 12. A wrap-up workshop with experts from WWP international network (Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam) will be organised to review the outcomes of the WWAGBP in the pilot and develop an action plan for future implementation of the WWAGBP in a larger-scale project.

Q. What do you hope to achieve with the development of this Program?

We hope the WWAGBP will be an innovation that uniquely contributes to current efforts to support Vietnamese women after giving birth as a non-pharmacologically virtual support for women’s wellness, a culturally adapted WWP aligning with the Vietnamese context, and a pioneering and novel program for women after giving birth.

This program will contribute to the body of knowledge in Vietnam and the world about postpartum depression, mental wellness for women after giving birth, and effective coping strategies delivered with an e-health intervention package.

For more information about the Women’s Wellness after Giving Birth Program in Vietnam, please contact:

Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong – Principal Investigator
College of Health Sciences, VinUniversity, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
Email: huong.ntt@vinuni.edu.vn

Ms. Hoang Phuong Anh – Project Coordinator
College of Health Sciences, VinUniversity, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
Email: anh.hp@vinuni.edu.vn

Exploring the feasibility of a virtual wellness program for women after cancer

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, workplaces and communities have been using online platforms more than ever before in order to stay socially connected despite physical distance. So how can this work in a wellness setting where support and connection is so key to success? We asked Dr Janine Porter-Steele from the Wesley Choices Cancer Support Centre and Dr Sarah Balaam from the University of Queensland about the latest EMERALD study, which is exploring the feasibility of the Younger Women’s Wellness after Cancer Program in Australian women.

What is the EMERALD Study and what are you trying to achieve with this trial? 

A team of leading Australian and New Zealand health researchers have been working together to pilot a virtual lifestyle intervention, the Younger Women’s Wellness after Cancer Program. This program aims to improve quality of life for younger women who have been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. We aim to reduce treatment-related chronic disease risk for people taking part in the study and to determine whether this is feasible in the Australian context.

How did this Study come about? 

Partner trials of cultural-and language-adapted versions of EMERALD are currently underway in New Zealand and Hong Kong. The aim of this study is to test the feasibility of the Australian version of EMERALD in a similarly-aged, representative sample of women prior to a larger trial of the program across Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Ultimately, we would like to see the wellness program embedded in clinical and community settings, making it easily accessible to those requiring post cancer treatment support.

Who can participate and how can they get involved? 

We are looking for women aged between 18 and 50 years old, who have had treatment for breast cancer in the previous 24 months, with no metastatic disease and have access to a personal computer, tablet device or smartphone.

Please visit us here to find out more.

 

One program doesn’t suit all – translating the WWACP in New Zealand and Hong Kong

Following the success of the Women’s Wellness after Cancer Program (WWACP) trials in Australia, Professor Sandie McCarthy had the opportunity to take Women’s Wellness outside of Australia when she took up a position at the University of Auckland back in 2017. We talked to Professor McCarthy about why there was a need for Women’s Wellness programs overseas and how the programs have been translated to be culturally appropriate and successful in different countries and regions.

What was the impetus for translating the programs for different cultures?

In 2017 I took up the role as Head of the School of Nursing at the University of Auckland. Given my background as a chemotherapy nurse in Australia and many years in research developing the Women’s Wellness after Cancer Program, it soon became very clear that there was no cancer research happening in supportive care in New Zealand.

The system was similar in terms of acute cancer treatment but, like Australia, it lacked the aftercare that women were crying out for. And the more I embedded myself in the system and heard from clinicians and patients, the more I realised the critical need for a program like the Women’s Wellness after Cancer Program in New Zealand.

How did you adapt the program for New Zealand and, in particular, Māori women?

I started talking to Cancer Trials NZ, who traditionally dealt with acute treatment, but who were very interested in exploring the development of a supportive cancer recovery program for women in New Zealand. At the same time, we identified that Hong Kong women were also hungry for a program. We successfully secured a grant to support New Zealand and Hong Kong to work together to build up the Women’s Wellness after Cancer Programs to be culturally appropriate and address specific needs in each country.

We worked with community leaders, health practitioners and academics to tailor the programs. In New Zealand, the program we run looks very different to the one we run in Australia. For example, in New Zealand our sessions are run in a Māori cultural space in groups, rather than individual sessions, to recognise that illness is shared by the whole family rather than just tackled by the individual who is unwell.

In Hong Kong, where alcohol is not really a health concern, we stripped that out of the program and the approach we’ve taken is much more direct to suit the learning culture. The Hong Kong program also focuses mainly on gynecological cancer with a strong emphasis on sexuality.

And what’s next?

The trials in New Zealand and Hong Kong have been hugely successful and we’ve since secured two grants to develop Hong Kong and Cantonese versions of the program. We also secured a grant from the Health Research Council of New Zealand to develop a culturally appropriate program for younger women in New Zealand with breast cancer. This trial has just been completed and was a huge success, finishing 12 months earlier than expected, even though it started 9 months late.

We are also really excited to announce that we will be implementing our Women’s Wellness after Cancer Program across a major health service in Queensland and will start to train more than 200 clinicians across their public and private services.

For more information about the Women’s Wellness Programs, visit www.dawncomplete.org.au

Janine Porter-Steele

Janine is The Clinical Nurse Manager of the Wesley Hospital Choices Cancer Support Centre in Brisbane.  The centre offers support, sharing and information for women, men and their families affected by a diagnosis of cancer. For many years Janine has also been actively involved with the Women’s Wellness Research Programs as manager,  delivering the programs, supporting the development of resources, and co-writing a number of the journals.

Janine undertook much of her training in the UK as a registered nurse, midwife, health visitor and family planning nurse. She completed a Bachelor of Nursing at QUT, a Masters in Nursing Leadership at ACU and she is also Breast Care and Women’s Health Nurse. Janine believes very strongly in providing interdisciplinary and comprehensive support for people affected by a diagnosis and treatment of cancer and has a particular interest in younger, midlife and older women’s health. Janine completed her PhD studies in the area of cancer and sexuality linked with the Women’s Wellness after Cancer Program (WWACP). Her particular focus is in managing menopause, sexuality, body image and depression issues for women.

Lately, Janine has been working with Auckland University and the University of Queensland to deliver a program as part of a research trial providing a Women’s Wellness Program for young women in New Zealand  (NZ) diagnosed with breast cancer. She and the Women’s Wellness team have also been recipients of a grant from Wesley Medical Research. They are using this to replicate the NZ feasibility trial with young women diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia.

In her spare time Janine likes spending time with family and friends. She enjoys walking the local bush tracks in the area. Her favourite relaxation is wandering along the beach in Northern New South Wales and kayaking the rivers down there.