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Finding My Way UK

 

     

 

14% of UK cancer diagnoses are made in North West England [1], and mortality rates in Merseyside and Cheshire are 76% higher than European averages. Our pilot work in the North West shows that 54% of haematological cancer patients report five or more unmet needs [2] and 46% of colorectal cancer patients report at least one specific psychological need [3]. There is a lack of evidence about how effectively to treat this in an affordable way.

Online interventions offer clinically and cost-effective methods of reducing distress with maximised reach to large populations. ‘Finding My Way’ is one such intervention. Developed for Australian cancer survivors, it reduces distress and healthcare use [4,5]. Our study will adapt this intervention, and undertake a replication randomised controlled trial of efficacy with embedded qualitative interviews on intervention acceptability. We will recruit 294 patients recently diagnosed with potentially curative cancer from the North West, randomising them to receive ‘Finding My Way’, a six-week online support programme, or treatment-as-usual wait-list control. Participants complete questionnaires assessing distress, quality of life and healthcare utilization at baseline, post-intervention and three- and six-month follow-up.

Based on Australian data, we predict reduced distress and decreased healthcare utilization in the intervention group, demonstrating cost-savings for the NHS. If ‘Finding My Way’ can be adapted for the UK, we will seek funding for a Phase IV implementation study. Our study addresses important research priorities priorities to improve cancer outcomes through better treatment and improve the patient experience of living with and beyond cancer.

The Finding My Way UK trial is funded by North West Cancer Research, and will run from 2020 to 2023.

 

For more information, please contact the Principal Investigator, Prof Nick Hulbert-Williams at n.hulbertwilliams@chester.ac.uk.

 

[1] Public Health England. Briefing on ONS cancer registration statistics 2015. Downloaded on 6 June 2019 from www.ncin.org.uk/view?rid=3442.

[2] Swash B, Bramwell R & Hulbert-Williams N. Unmet psychosocial needs and their psychological impact in haematological cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology, 2015; 24(Supp1): 1-15.

[3] Sutton PA, Bourdon-Pierre R, Smith C, Appleton N, Lightfoot T, Gabriel C, Richards B, Mohamed S, Mason-Whitehead E, Hulbert-Williams NJ & Vimalchandran D. Evaluating unmet needs in patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer: A patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) study. Colorectal Disease, in press.

[4] Beatty L, Koczwara B & Wade T. Evaluating the efficacy of a self-guided web-based CBT intervention for reducing cancer-distress: a randomised controlled trial. Supportive Care in Cancer, 2016; 24(3): 1043-1051.

[5] Beatty L, Kemp E, Coll JR, Turner J, Butow P, Milne D, Yates P, Lambert S, Wooton A, Yip D & Koczwara B. Finding My Way: results of a multicentre RCT evaluating a web-based self-guided psychosocial intervention for newly diagnosed cancer survivors. Supportive Care in Cancer, 2019; 27(7): 2533-2544.