Supportive Cancer Care and Long-Term Conditions

About us

The Supportive Cancer Care and Long-Term Conditions Research Group conducts research to inform how services and support delivered to patients and their families/ carers can be improved. Our research is currently mainly focused on three conditions:

  • cancer
  • heart failure
  • diabetes.

The group is interdisciplinary and has strong links with clinical partners and other academic institutions.

Supportive care includes addressing the psychosocial, physical, information, and practical needs of patients (and family members/ carers) throughout their journey. Using both quantitative and qualitative research, we aim to describe the experiences and needs of patients, and to develop and test interventions to meet those needs.

Nurse talking to cancer patient

Research impact

Nurse putting patient in MRI scanner

As more people are diagnosed and live longer with cancer, the prevalence of cancer survivors is growing rapidly, and, in the UK, will reach 4 million by 2030. People living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis can experience wide-ranging impacts following diagnosis and treatment, and understanding how to maximise quality of life is increasingly important.

Our research has had a significant impact on improving the experiences, quality of life and health outcomes of cancer survivors. Through projects commissioned by cancer charities, we have provided robust and novel evidence of the physical, psychological and social consequences of diagnosis and treatment on patients and their families, highlighting important gaps in care and support. We have provided key evidence to guide cancer charities in developing strategy, and informed the development and delivery of supportive care services at both the local and national level.


Eila Watson

Professor Eila Watson

Professor in Supportive Cancer Care, and Deputy Director (interim) of OxINMAHR

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Name Role Email
Dr Obrey Alexis Reader in Adult Nursing
Professor Mary Boulton Professor Emerita of Health Sociology
Dr Jo Brett Reader
Dr Dan Butcher Senior Lecturer - Course Lead Professional Doctorate in Nursing
Professor Paul Carding Director of OxINMAHR (Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research)
Dr Zoe Davey Research Fellow
Mr Paul Dawson Research Fellow
Dr Kathleen Greenway Senior Lecturer
Dr Catherine Henshall Reader in Nursing Research
Katie Hodson Research Trial Administrator
Mrs Liz Jestico Senior Lecturer in Children's Nursing
Dr Olga Kozlowska Senior Lecturer in Research and Knowledge Exchange
Professor Mary Malone Researcher
Dr Lauren Matheson Research Fellow
Mrs Fiona Matley Post-Graduate Research Assistant
Dr Lucy McGeagh Senior Research Fellow
Dr Clair Merriman Reader in Nursing, Midwifery and AHP Clinical Research-OxInAHR and Divisional Research Lead for NMAHPPS- Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust
Mr Prasundcoomar Ramluggun Senior Lecturer in Nursing
Dr Sue Schutz Senior Lecturer
Dr Louise Stayt Senior Lecturer
Dr Marion Waite Principal Lecturer - Student Experience


Name Thesis Title Supervisors Completed
Hilary Brown Optimising the care and support for people with inoperable pancreatic cancer and their family-carers Professor Eila Watson, Dr Lucy McGeagh 2023
Angela Bygrave Griffiths Does a raised body mass index affect patient’s quality of life, symptoms and experiences following catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation? Professor Eila Watson


Julie Cooke Academic nurse educators’ experiences of preparing and supporting nursing students for clinical placements in nursing homes: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Dr Kathleen Greenway, Dr Sue Schutz 2022
Melanie Diggle Bereaved caregivers' experiences of end of life care for people with Advanced Heart Failure: An interpretative phenomenological analysis Dr Dan Butcher, Dr Sue Schutz


Kirsty Hammett The role of self-management practices in patients with a haematological malignancy: a mixed methods study


Sara Matthews The psychosocial experiences and needs of oropharyngeal (HPV+ve) cancer patients and their primary informal caregivers following radical (chemo)radiotherapy Professor Eila Watson, Dr Jo Brett, Mr Prasundcoomar Ramluggun



Active projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

Patient Empowerment Through Predictive Personalised Decision Support

PEPPER (Patient Empowerment through Predictive PERsonalised decision support) is an EU-funded research project which aimed to improve self-management of T1D through the development of a novel decision support system (DSS).  PEPPER comprises an artificial intelligence (AI) insulin bolus recommender, coupled with a safety system. A personalised case-based reasoning (CBR) algorithm makes insulin dosing recommendations and model-based reasoning  predicts adverse events and detects faults in the system.
Dr Marion Waite Horizon 2020 From: September 2019
Until: March 2022

Supporting Women with Breast Cancer with AdhErence to Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy (SWEET)

This research programme is developing and trialling a patient-centred, tailored intervention to reduce poor adherence to AET and improve quality of life and, in the longer-term, reduce recurrence, in women with hormone-receptor positive breast cancer.

Professor Eila Watson NIHR From: May 2020
Until: May 2026


PET-CT guided, symptom-based, patient-driven surveillance versus clinical follow-up in head neck cancer (PET NECK 2). People with head and neck cancer who are low risk of recurrence following a PET CT scan at one year post treatment will be randomised into patient initiated follow-up with an urgent two week referral into the clinic if they identify worrying symptoms or usual clinical follow-up with appointments every 3-6 months for five years.
Dr Jo Brett, Professor Hisham Mehanna, Dr Paul Nankivell NIHR From: December 2020
Until: December 2026

Cancer Life Affirming Support in Primary Care (CLASP)

This research programme has developed and trialled an online intervention to support healthy lifestyles and psychological wellbeing in breast, colorectal and prostate cancer survivors.
Professor Paul Little, Professor Eila Watson NIHR From: September 2015
Until: September 2021

Mesothelioma patient experiences of follow-up

This study explored mesothelioma patients’ experiences of follow-up care in three NHS trusts: Oxford University Hospitals (OUH), Buckinghamshire Healthcare (BHT) and the Royal Berkshire (RBH). The study involved a documentary analysis (phase 1), interviews (phase 2) and consultation meetings (phase 3).
Dr Catherine Henshall Mesothelioma UK

Emotional and Psychological Support for Patients with Blood Cancer

This study is using an online survey with health care professionals, and interviews with patients and key stakeholders to describe current provision of emotional and psychological support for patients with haematological cancers.
Professor Eila Watson Blood Cancer UK From: September 2020
Until: August 2021

Smoking cessation and the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid

Community and hospital pharmacists’ views and current practice on smoking cessation and the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid. This study is an online survey with community and hospital pharmacists. It follow on from the work also funded by Cancer Research UK exploring the knowledge, attitudes and current practice of health professionals regarding the use of e-cigarettes and other smoking cessation interventions in cancer survivors.

Dr Jo Brett CRUK From: September 2019
Until: August 2021

Increasing bowel cancer screening in South Asian men and women in Oxford

The study aims to identify barriers and enablers of bowel cancer screening uptake, and approaches that could increase uptake in South Asians living in a diverse area of Oxford, and co-develop a community-based intervention to increase uptake in this population group.
Dr Jo Brett, Dr Catherine Henshall, Professor Lesley Smith, Professor Eila Watson Bowel Cancer UK From: September 2018
Until: August 2021

Understanding patient choice in the multimodality treatment of rectal cancer

This study explores patients’ wellbeing, experiences and needs following the diagnosis and treatment of rectal cancer with different modalities. Results of the study will be used to develop aids for patients and clinicians which will assist decision-making and improve our understanding of the impact of these different modalities of treatment to provide a patient-centred approach to counselling.

Professor Chris Cunningham, Professor Eila Watson OCCTOPUS From: September 2019
Until: August 2021

Caregivers and Heart Failure

This project comprises a 3 stage study that has explored caregivers’ support and education needs when caring for someone with Heart Failure (HF). Two phases are completed: semi-structured interviews with 17 caregivers and the design of a support intervention with HF specialist nurses and input from PPI group and caregivers. The third stage is to implement a support and education intervention which will be progressed once face to face contact is allowed.
Dr Sue Schutz From: June 2018

Incorporating the Diabetes Distress Scale into routine nursing diabetes care

A feasibility and acceptability project.
Dr Olga Kozlowska From: January 2021

Diabetes mellitus and mental health conditions in secondary mental health services

Integrated approach to diagnosis and management of diabetes mellitus and mental health conditions in secondary mental health services - a feasibility study using the Clinical Records Interactive Search system.
Dr Olga Kozlowska From: January 2021

Management of diabetes in adults with psychiatric disorders in inpatient settings

Clinicians' perceptions of their role.
Dr Olga Kozlowska From: September 2021
Until: March 2022

The development of a Patient Reported Experience Measure (PREM) for inpatients with diabetes

Dr Olga Kozlowska From: January 2019

Completed projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

Life After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

UK-wide PROMS study with qualitative sub-study, involving over 35,000 men, and seeking to describe quality of life beyond diagnosis and treatment.
Professor Anna Gavin, Professor Adam Glaser, Professor Eila Watson Prostate Cancer UK From: September 2017
Until: August 2020

Image credit:

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash