Friday 30th September 2016
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Autumn 2016
A major new Macmillan-funded study aims to understand the impact of cancer and its treatment on everyday life
The Macmillan Survivorship Research Group (MSRG) at Southampton University has launched HORIZONS: a major new study to understand the impact of a cancer diagnosis and treatment on everyday life.
This is the largest research programme of its type in the world and has the potential to transform the treatment, support and care delivered to people living with cancer.
What is HORIZONS?
HORIZONS is investigating the physical and emotional effects of cancer among people with:
HORIZONS is aiming to recruit 3,000 people from across the UK and will follow them regularly. This research is building on the positive work delivered by CREW (Colorectal Wellbeing), an MSRG study that has been following a cohort of almost 1,000 people with colorectal cancer since 2010. CREW has helped to shed light on the role that social support, confidence to manage illness-related problems and other non-medical factors play in cancer recovery. For example, it has shown that self-reported depression before cancer treatment predicts quality of life and health status during treatment and up to two years later.
Why is Macmillan funding this research?
HORIZONS will provide unprecedented insight into the lives and experiences of people living with cancer, by carefully gathering evidence about cancer survivors’ experiences from a variety of angles, over an extended period of time. By giving us a more nuanced understanding of the consequences of cancer and its treatment, HORIZONS will help us support people living with cancer in the right way, at the right time.
The study will deliver robust and comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data. Macmillan will be able to use this to educate the patient, clinical, and policy communities about the importance of effective care and support after cancer treatment.
Who can participate?
The MSRG team has been working to recruit the first study sites since spring this year, with a target of recruiting up to 50 hospitals. Hospitals that are interested in taking part, particularly those in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, are invited to contact the team directly via email@example.com to discuss opportunities. Research nurses at participating hospitals will invite all patients who have been diagnosed with one of the target cancer types to take part in HORIZONS, subject to certain eligibility criteria. Participants will be asked to complete questionnaires at regular periods and might also be invited to take part in conversations to explore aspects of their experience in more detail.
There has been very positive feedback from the CREW study with large numbers of participants continuing to complete questionnaires and share their insights five years after initial recruitment. We hope and expect that HORIZONS will prove to be an equally positive experience, both for the individuals who take part and, over the long term, for the wider cancer community.
For more information, please contact Hannah Pimperton (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Laura McDiarmid (email@example.com) in Macmillan’s Evidence Department or the Macmillan Survivorship Research Group (firstname.lastname@example.org). Findings from CREW can be accessed at tinyurl.com/msrg-crew1