GO! Development of an online education resource to improve nursing care of older people with cancer

Sixty percent of people who have cancer or who are cancer survivors are aged 65 years or older [1]. As people age cancer becomes more prevalent, more costly to treat, and the physical and psychosocial impacts more complicated to manage. In Australia, the incidence of cancer is projected to increase by almost 40% between 2007 to 2020, largely as a consequence of the ageing population [2]. Despite this landscape, there is a paucity of educational preparation of the oncology workforce to provide excellent care for older adults with cancer.

There is a gap in the provision of evidence-based, geriatric specific training materials for nurses who work with cancer patients in acute care settings. This study will develop an Australian first geriatric oncology training resource for nurses working in diverse oncology settings.

Study participants

The study, led by nurse-researchers and educators from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is a collaboration between a national consumer group, Western Health, The Royal Women’s Hospital and The Royal Melbourne Hospital in Victoria, and educational expertise from Queensland University of Technology. The Cancer Nurses Society of Australia has provided expert feedback on the module content and resource functionality.

Online modules

Four online education modules have been developed, covering:

  1. Changes associated with ageing (including definitions of ageing and assessment)
  2. Impact of cancer and treatment on older people
  3. Communicating with older people about cancer and treatment
  4. Professional issues associated with caring for older people with cancer.

The resource will be made freely available as a national resource via eviQ [3]. Find out more about GO.


  1. http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/older-adults/aging-and-cancer
  2. http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737421461&tab
  3. https://www.eviq.org.au


Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre


WCMICS - Western & Central Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service

The Frances & Harold Abbott Foundation, administered by Sandhurst Trustees Limited

Principal Investigator/s

Prof Mei Krishnasamy

Contact details

Prof Mei Krishnasamy

Chair in Cancer Nursing I Department of Nursing

University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research

VCCC Research and Education Lead - Cancer Nursing

Email: [email protected]


We extend our thanks to Ms Rose Kamateros, Project Manager of Go!

    Publications & presentations

    We will be publishing the results of this project soon. Please check back with us for more details.