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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.

Health Medicine & Life Sciences
Health Literacy Medicine & Life Sciences
Health Behavior Medicine & Life Sciences
Language Medicine & Life Sciences
Weights and Measures Medicine & Life Sciences
Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences
South Australia Medicine & Life Sciences
New South Wales Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2018 2020

Research Output 2007 2019

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., 30 Apr 2019, In : Patient Education and Counseling.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Evaluation of an Australian Health Literacy Program Delivered in Adult Education Settings

McCaffery, K., Morony, S., Muscat, D. M., Hayen, A., Smith, S. K., Shepherd, H., Dhillon, H., Cvejic, E., Wedyan Meshreky, W., Luxford, K. & Nutbeam, D., 4 Oct 2019, In : HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice. 3, 3, p. 42-57 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Genomics and pregnancy decision aid - choosing between extended and targeted prenatal information

Halliday, J. L., Muller, C., Meiser, B., Lewis, S., Smith, S. K., Charles, T., Norris, F., Kennedy, J., Donath, S., Stark, Z., McGillivray, G., Menezes, M., Forster, D., Walker, S., Pertile, M. & Amor, D., 2019

Research output: Other contribution

Low literacy prenatal screening decision aid - Making decisions about screening for Down syndrome in pregnancy

Smith, S. K., Cai, A., Wong, M., Sousa, M. S., Peate, M., Welsh, A., Meiser, B., Lewis, S., Trevena, L., Halliday, J. L., Barclay, M. & Barlow-Stewart, K., 2019

Research output: Other contribution