Welcome to the first in our new blog series from the Sheffield Hallam, Allied Health Professions (AHP) Cancer Research group. Our group of researchers have combined roles as educators and researchers, we combine teaching of under-graduate and post-graduate students with the running of research projects under the cancer (or oncology) theme. In this first blog I’d like to summarise the AHP cancer research group aims and vision, introduce you to the steering group, tell you about our current research projects and highlight what topics and discussions to expect in the coming months on the blog.
Of those people born after 1960 in the UK one in two will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, forty-two percent of cancer cases are preventable(1). In the 1970’s less than a quarter of all cancer patients survived their cancer. Today fifty percent of those diagnosed will survive(2). Of those diagnosed with cancer half will receive radiotherapy, sixty percent of these for curative intent. Radiotherapy is considered one of the most effective cures for cancer, with over 90,000 patients receiving radiotherapy in the UK each year(3).
Dignified, evidence based, cancer care delivered by highly skilled AHP professionals.
To deliver high quality research to improve:
- the accuracy and delivery of radiotherapy,
- the patient experience,
- patient engagement in treatment decision-making and self care and
- public knowledge of how to reduce the risk of cancer development.
The Sheffield Hallam AHP Cancer Theme Steering Group
Professor Heidi Probst PhD, FCR, MA, BSc(Hons), DCR(T)
I am the research group lead my main research interests are in breast cancer and the oncology workforce. My research fits with the Allied Health Professions (AHP) cross cutting themes of innovation and technology in healthcare, and improving the patient experience.
I am the chief investigator of the SuPPORT 4 All project; developing a support bra for women undergoing breast irradiation following a diagnosis of breast cancer. I have completed research investigating burnout and resilience in the cancer workforce and developed an intraprenurial pedagogy (through the 2INSPIRE project) to enhance the development of capabilities for service improvement. I am currently supervising 5 doctoral research students (3 projects are linked to breast cancer and two are workforce development studies).
Let me introduce you to the rest of the team:
Keeley Rosbottom MSc, BSc(Hons), PG(Cert)
Keeley is a Senior Lecturer in Radiotherapy and Oncology and undertaking a PhD, her areas of research interest include 3D Stereophotogrammetry as a tool for evaluating the accuracy and reproducibility of new radiotherapy immobilisation devices, and methods to evaluate patient comfort and dignity within radiotherapy.
Cath Holborn MSc, BSc (Hons), PG (Cert).
Cath is a Senior Lecturer in Radiotherapy & Oncology and also Course Leader for the MSc Prostate Cancer Care, at Sheffield Hallam University. Cath’s primary area of interest is the management of prostate cancer and she has a particular interest in the lived experiences of those affected by the disease and the care they have received. Other areas of interest include the role of education, particularly in the post-registration and advanced/specialist practice setting, for individuals working in this field. Cath has recently undertaken a project on behalf of Prostate Cancer UK, exploring the impact of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and CME (Continuous Medical Education) on patient care and patient reported outcomes.
Laura Pattinson MSc, BSc, PG(Cert)
Laura is a senior lecturer in Radiotherapy and Oncology and course leader for the BSc in Radiotherapy and Oncology at Sheffield Hallam. Laura’s areas of interest are in public health and the role of AHPs. Specifically Laura has had involvement in projects on the impact of lifestyle choices on chronic disease, the role of the Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in the delivery of public health messages, barriers and facilitators to the delivery of public health messages within radiotherapy and the future AHP workforce, smoking cessation strategies in radiotherapy practice and the impact on service users. A new area of interest Laura is developing (through her PhD) is the experience of service users with severe mental health conditions during diagnosis and treatment for cancer.
Gemma Burke MSc, BSc(Hons), PG (Cert).
Gemma is a senior lecturer and the course leader for the PG Diploma (pre-registration) course in Radiotherapy and Oncology at Sheffield Hallam. Gemma’s research interests are Brachytherapy, specifically technical developments, patient care and the management of long-term side effects, and the management of radiotherapy skin reactions, click here for the Society and College of Radiographers guidelines on skin care during radiotherapy for health professionals (Gemma supported the development of these through a systematic review of the available evidence).
The next blog in this series will be available next month and is titled “Breast lymphoedema; why we need more research on this side effect of breast cancer treatment”. You can subscribe to our blog below to make sure you don’t miss out on any future posts. Watch out for our guest blog from Dr David Bottomley from the Leeds Cancer Centre on current developments in prostate cancer.
If you are a health professional or a healthcare student please also look out for our free research seminar series. If you are local to Sheffield feel free to join us in person, seminars run on the first Friday of every month (except where there are Bank Holidays) and take place in the Robert Winston Building at Sheffield Hallam University. We meet at 8.30am for coffee and cake with the seminars starting at 9am (sessions finish at 10am). Attendance is free but you must register to attend as places are limited, details of how to register can be found here. If you are remote to Sheffield look out for the recording of these seminars, the link will be posted here on the blog. Our first seminar in October will be delivered by Mark Collins and Amy Taylor who will present the rationale for their doctoral research and what it is like to be a doctoral student and the career opportunities it offers.
You can also join our free webinars, look out for these they will also be advertised here on the blog along with our ‘Hot Topics podcasts’ on cancer related research.
- UK CR. Cancer Survival Statistics 2015 [Available from: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/survival/.
- UK CR. Beating Cancer Sooner Our Strategy Highlights. 2014.
- (NCRI). NCRI. CTRad: National leadership in radiotherapy research. . 2014.