Cancer

The Cancer Care Research Group (CCRG) is a dynamic group of cancer care researchers at Ulster University, who seek to make a positive impact on the lives of people affected by cancer.


We work in partnership with numerous stakeholders, across a range of healthcare settings, voluntary organisations and academic institutions; locally, nationally and globally.

The aims of the CCRG are to:

  • Advance the understanding of the complex recovery and care experiences of people affected by cancer
  • Inform the development and delivery of evidence-based interventions for people affected by cancer
  • Develop and evaluate training and educational resources for health and social care professionals (HPs), to facilitate communication and provision of support surrounding complex issues such as sexual wellbeing and parental cancer.

The CCRG provides a supportive, caring and engaging learning environment for our researchers to help them flourish, including a forum to prepare PhD students for assessments and viva.  Other elements include facilitation of international academic travel scholarships and organising of events such as workshops, conferences, social events and fundraising for cancer charities.

The programmes of research within the CCRG are wide ranging and include:

  • Maximizing sexual wellbeing for patients living with cancer

    The main focus of this programme of work, is to ensure all patients living with cancer receive (at least) a ‘minimally accepted sexual wellbeing service’, and that support for their psychosexual needs will be available at relevant points throughout their cancer journey.

    A key part of this work has been developing and evaluating training programmes for healthcare professionals; addressing attitudes, knowledge and practice in relation to the provision of psychosexual care for people following a diagnosis of cancer and their partners.

    Evidenced-based resources have been developed, delivered and evaluated for healthcare professionals, patients and partners and are currently being integrated within routine clinical practice.  Maximising Sexual Wellbeing (MSW) is a global partnership with resources developed for global usage.  Current work is expanding MSW interventions to other populations, including those living with chronic illness and older people.

    Download TrueNTH information poster

    For further information contact: em.mccaughan@ulster.ac.uk

  • Family-centred cancer care – supporting families when a parent has cancer

    This programme of work is specifically aimed at promoting positive coping for families impact by parental cancer, across the cancer trajectory from diagnosis to end of life, including the immediate bereavement period.

    A culmination of findings from our earlier studies has resulted in the development of an interactive, evidence-based e-learning resource which is freely available online to educate and equip Healthcare Professionals to support parents when communicating their cancer diagnosis and treatment with dependent children.

    We are currently collaborating with researchers from Kings College London to develop ‘Top Tips’ for professionals on supporting families when a parent of dependent children is at end of life.  This resource will be informed by our teams recently published systematic review, and finding from empirical studies with bereaved parents, HPs and funeral directors.

    For further information contact: cherith.semple@setrust.hscni.net

  • Improving post-treatment support for patients with head and neck cancer

    This programme of work aims to explore the post-treatment experience of people with head and neck cancer and to develop interventions to enhance their quality of life.   Funded studies, with international collaboration, to include a Cochrane review has not only provided a greater understanding of issues confronted by patients but with the translation of these findings and integration of innovations, patient care has been transformed.

    A key example is the development of a holistic surgical follow-up clinic for head and neck cancer patients, using touchscreen technology.   We are currently planning to develop and test an intervention on how to improve the experience of social eating for this patient group.

    For further information contact: cherith.semple@setrust.hscni.net

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