USQ PhD student Arlen Rowe wants to help regional cancer patients.
USQ PhD student Arlen Rowe wants to help regional cancer patients. Contributed

Country girl at heart's plight to help regional cancer sufferers

ARMED with a passion for human behaviour and a desire to improve quality of life, University of Southern Queensland PhD student Arlen Rowe is striving to help regional cancer patients.

After a childhood on her grandparent's 16ha property in Bondoola, she is a country girl at heart.

Her research focuses on factors influencing health behaviours and outcomes.

Ms Rowe is examining the experiences of regional Queenslanders after diagnosis and treatment for cancer, with the aim of improving the lives of individuals through positive preventative and treatment measures.

"Despite substantial advancements in medical treatments, statistics show people in remote and rural areas of Queensland are up to 31% more likely to die within five years of being diagnosed with cancer than those who live in urban areas,” she said.

"The reasons for this disparity are very complex, which doesn't come down to health service access alone.

"My PhD research aims to uncover what those factors are and identify the unique combination of these factors that inhibit positive recovery for regional Queenslanders following cancer treatment.

"Identifying and understanding these factors could allow us to develop innovative solutions to improve outcomes for cancer patients in regional areas.”

Ms Rowe spent 17 years working as an acrobatic gymnastics coach before enrolling at USQ to study psychology.

She entered her PhD after completing a 1st Class Honours degree in psychology last year and was a recipient of the 2017-2020 USQ Postgraduate Research Scholarship and 2017 Advance Queensland PhD Scholarship.

"I am grateful for the incredible opportunities I've had to learn and gain experiences in my chosen field, especially through USQ's unique Work Integrated Learning program,” Ms Rowe said.

"I am a strong believer in lifelong learning, so for me this work represents only part of my educational journey and I'm looking forward to the road ahead.”



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