A research grant of £8,000 has been awarded to clinical nurse specialist, Karen Lord, to study the realities of living well with cancer.
Karen Lord, based in Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, will research the realities of life for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the mesothelium or a thin membrane.
“It is so important to understand how people affected by mesothelioma can ‘live well’”
This grant was awarded by Mesothelioma UK, a charity that seeks to improve care for mesothelioma patients across the UK, and the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses.
The importance of this study was expressed by the Mesothelioma UK head of services, Liz Darlison, who highlighted that improving life with long-term conditions like cancer was a government priority.
However, she noted that “little research” currently existed to help us understand what ‘living well’ means to people with mesothelioma and their families.
Other studies on patients with long-term conditions had shown that they often identify with a desire for self-esteem and adequate support from peers and professionals, she said.
The lack of research on quality of life specifically for mesothelioma patients forms the base of Ms Lord’s study, which focuses on whether they also identify with the need for living well expressed by those with other long-term conditions.
“It is so important to understand how people affected by mesothelioma can ‘live well’ and to share those findings with others in a similar position,” stated Ms Lord.
“This study will provide very useful clinical evidence to influence care and services”
The first phase of her study consists of interviewing patients diagnosed with mesothelioma and their family to determine the characteristics of living well with it compared to other conditions. Meanwhile, the second phase will entail enlisting two focus groups to discuss her research.
Her findings will culminate in a guide on how to live well with mesothelioma for patients, carers, and healthcare professionals, hopefully alleviating some of the current need for information.
Liz Darlison, of Mesothelioma UK, said: “This study will provide very useful clinical evidence to influence care and services, and help patients.
“We wish Karen every success and look forward to helping to evaluate and disseminate findings in due course,” she added.