The Health4Her Project builds momentum
Health4hHer is an evidence-based health promotion program that helps women attending breast screening services protect themselves from the harm caused by alcohol.
The project is seeking funding to expand into multiple breast screening clinics around Victoria before rolling out nationally.
While alcohol consumption overall in Australia has been decreasing, the level of risky drinking among women over the age of 40 has been increasing. This is consistent with the project’s results, which found that 1 in 5 women were drinking above the 2020 national guidelines.
With 1 in 15 breast cancer cases and 1 in 5 breast cancer deaths in Australia linked to drinking alcohol, the potential of the Health4Her Project to reduce the incidence of breast cancer cases in Australia and save lives is considerable.
Results from previous phases of the project are already promising, with awareness of the link between alcohol and breast cancer significantly increasing among participants.
As one study participant said: “You don’t think breast cancer is something that happens because you might drink too much.”
“I moved from three alcohol-free days to five consecutive alcohol-free days. I felt good about that,” said another participant.
Alcohol literacy, such as knowing the number of standard drinks in an average restaurant serving of red wine, and the recommended maximum number of standard drinks per week, also significantly increased among the project’s participants.
The following clip is an example of the approach to increasing alcohol literacy in the intervention:
Now in phase III, the project is building momentum as it develops an automated version of the interactive program that will enable women attending the breast screening clinic to self-complete the intervention without requiring additional time from staff of these busy healthcare services.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the Health4Her Project is also running an awareness campaign to inform the community about the link between alcohol and breast cancer.
Opportunities to partner or get involved
If the necessary funding is achieved, the project aims to expand into multiple breast screening clinics around Victoria before expanding nationally. However, further research is needed to maximise the intervention's effectiveness and scalability.
This includes completing research into the accessibility of the program for women from all cultural and linguistic backgrounds. To complete this research, the project is currently seeking funding from interested organisations.
The project organisers are also seeking to partner with other breast screening clinics to better understand the barriers and facilitators they may face when running the program within their service.
If you would like to discuss opportunities to partner or get involved, or would like to support the program by donating, please contact: [email protected].
- Watch a presentation about the Health4Her research.
- A PhD Scholarship is also being offered to conduct research as part of the project supporting the implementation-effectiveness trial. Apply now to start in 2024.
- Contact Health4Her: [email protected]
The Health4Her Project is a collaboration between Turning Point, Monash University, Eastern Health, BreastScreen Victoria, VicHealth, Lifepool, the Eastern Health Foundation, and Shades of Pink.