Brookes lecturer wins nursing award for cancer research

Monday, 09 May 2016

Verna Lavender Photo credit: Barney Newman

The Royal College of Nursing held their RCNi Nurse Awards 2016 on Friday 6 May recognising and celebrating nurse innovators.

Research conducted by the Bone Cancer Research Trust Perceptions of Patients and Professionals about Participation in Clinical Trials (BCRT PoPP) study team won the Excellence in Cancer Research Award sponsored by Cancer Research UK.  

The study explored the perception and experiences of teenagers and young adults with bone cancer, and their health professionals, about participation in clinical trials, and was nurse-developed and led. The lead author of the published study was Verna Lavender, Senior Lecturer in Cancer Care at Oxford Brookes University.  

The BCRT PoPP team and I are delighted to have won this award and would like to thank the teenagers, young adults and health professionals that participated in and contributed to this research.

Verna Lavender, Senior Lecturer Cancer Care, Oxford Brookes University

She was presented with the award on behalf of the team by Anne Croudass, Lead Research Nurse at Cancer Research UK and comedienne Lucy Porter, at the glittering awards ceremony held in London at the Plaza Park Hotel, Westminster.  

Verna Lavender, Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University said: “The BCRT PoPP team and I are delighted to have won this award and would like to thank the teenagers, young adults and health professionals that participated in and contributed to this research.

"Our aim was to improve outcomes for young people with bone cancer, which we know are influenced by participation in clinical trials. We hope our findings, alongside further research, will contribute to strategies that increase enrolment of teenagers and young adults in clinical trials. By winning this award we hope to further raise the profile of this important field of research.”

Survival rates for bone cancer have seen less improvement compared with those for other cancers, remaining at 50 per cent to 60 per cent after five years following diagnosis. It has a peak incidence in teenagers and young adults, but previous studies struggled to recruit from this age group.

The team’s research has yielded potential strategies for increasing their enrolment in the future.

RCNi Nurse Awards 2016

They conducted semi-structured interviews using narrative inquiry with 21 young people aged 15 to 24 years and 18 health professionals. The study found factors that influence their participation, including the importance and design of the clinical trial, communicating with young people in an age-specific manner, using language young people are comfortable with, and ensuring support from family, peers and professionals. The study also found that the environment the teenager/young adult was being treated in was also important, as was the involvement of a clinical nurse specialist.

As well as Verna from Oxford Brookes, the Bone Cancer Research Trust PoPP study team includes Susie Pearce, Principal  Investigator, Alexandra Brownsdon, Dr Lorna Fern and Professor Jeremy Whelan from University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Professor Faith Gibson from University of Surrey and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

More information about the RCNi Nurse Awards and winners can be found on the website.

Oxford Brookes is celebrating 125 years of nurse education in Oxford this year with a number of events, open lectures, exhibitions and fundraising activities. For more information about upcoming events visit the  Department of Nursing’s webpages.

Image: Verna Lavender Photo credit: Barney Newman (from RCNi website)