Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

As a health psychologist, my research focuses on developing and evaluating psychosocial and health behaviour interventions (e.g. decision aids, question prompt lists, patient education leaflets, and community health programmes) to support people to be involved in decisions about their health and improve their health behaviours. I am particularly interested in understanding the role of health literacy in health, and the role of health care professionals in identifying and addressing the difficulties faced by patients with lower health literacy.


I have published widely in a number of areas, including, cancer prevention (bowel and breast cancer screening), psycho-oncology (radiation therapy, cancer genetics, cancer and reproductive health), and maternal and infant health (e.g. prenatal genetic testing, pre-conception counselling, post-partum health).


I previously held an Early Career Research Fellowship from the Australian Health and Medical Research Council (2012-2016) at the University of New South Wales, Australia. I relocated back to the UK in 2016, but continue my Australian and European collaborations through adjunct appointments at the University of Sydney and UNSW Sydney, Australia.

Education/Academic qualification

Public Health/ Health Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sydney


Psychology, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Surrey


External positions

Adjunct Lecturer, University of New South Wales

1 Jun 2016 → …

Honorary Research Fellow, University of Sydney

5 Jan 2012 → …


  • health literacy
  • health communication
  • health services
  • qualitative research
  • Health
  • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
  • cancer
  • BF Psychology
  • decision making
  • qualitative
  • H Social Sciences (General)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Sian Smith-Lickess is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Output

Bowel cancer screening decision aid - Should you have a test to screen for bowel cancer? Making decisions: choices for men and women aged 55- 64 years

Smith, S. K., McCaffery, K., Trevena, L., Nutbeam, D., Barratt, A. & Simpson, J. M., 2019, University of Sydney.

Research output: Other contribution

Development and pilot-testing of a colorectal cancer screening decision aid for individuals with varying health literacy levels

Woudstra, A., Smets, E., Dekker, E., Broens, T., Penning, J., Smith, S. K., McCaffery, K. & Fransen, M., 1 Oct 2019, In : Patient Education and Counseling. 102, 10, p. 1847-1858 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
2 Downloads (Pure)

Development and pilot testing of a leaflet informing women with breast cancer about genomic testing for polygenic risk

Kaur, R., Meiser, B., Yanes, T., Young, M-A., Barlow-Stewart, K., Roscioli, T., Smith, S. & James, P. A., 1 Apr 2019, In : Familial Cancer. 18, 2, p. 147-152 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Development and pilot testing of a low-literacy decision aid about reproductive choices for younger women with breast cancer. Winner of Best of the Best Oral Presentation Award.

Peate, M., Ratnayake Gamage, N., Hucker, A., Smith, S. K., Stern, C., Stafford, L., Chin-Lenn, L., Shanahan, K., Braat, S. & Hickey, M., 14 Nov 2019, Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology . p. 9173-9173 1 p. 9

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution