Profiling our Men’s Health Summer Vacation Research Scholars: Ms Christianna Digenis

Christianna Digenis is a student of Psychology & International Studies at the University of Adelaide  who undertook a 2013-14 Summer Vacation Research Scholarship project with the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health. Christianna was supervised by Dr Amy Duncan and Professor Deborah Turnbull, and her project examined men’s satisfaction with prior faecal occult blood testing (FOBT) and its impact on second and subsequent round uptake.  She also investigated how satisfaction with FOBT and other cancer screening is measured.  Screening is recommended every 2 years and continued adherence with FOBT screening is essential.

During her vacation project, Christianna developed important literature review and data analysis techniques. Her analysis of Australian FOBT screening data found that men who reported dissatisfaction with a previous FOBT (embarrassing, unpleasant, delay in receiving results) were less likely to complete the next round of screening.

This data formed the basis of a NHMRC grant application on tis topic, demonstrating the important contribution that summer scholarship students can make to the research endeavour and the positive and fulfilling experience gained. Christianna gave an outstanding presentation at the Men’s Health Monthly seminar in January.

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