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PRESS RELEASE - 13 December 2016 - New research will focus on how patients receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma UK to support University of Sheffield study aimed at improving diagnosis experience for patients, families and carers

A new research study has been funded to explore the diagnostic process for people with mesothelioma, the asbestos-related cancer. The study will help to inform decisions and practice regarding communicating a diagnosis of mesothelioma to help to improve the experience for patients and their family carers. 

The one-year study will be conducted by the University of Sheffield, funded by Mesothelioma UK - a national charity dedicated to this cancer. It will also be supported by the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses (NLCFN) and the British Thoracic Oncology Group (BTOG). 

The qualitative study includes three stages. The first of these is individual interviews with patients, family carers and staff, then group interviews with patients and carers, specialist nurses and with wider mesothelioma multi professional team representatives involved in communicating a diagnosis. Following this, a consultation exercise will then develop recommendations for best practice to be published as a ‘Mesothelioma UK Good Practice Guideline’. 

If you or someone in your family has recently received a diagnosis of mesothelioma in the last three to twelve months, you may be able to take part in this research. This will involve talking to one of the researchers, probably on the telephone. If you are interested in taking part, please contact the Mesothelioma Helpline on 0800 169 2409 or email mesothelioma.uk@uhl-tr.nhs.uk. They will discuss the project in more detail and pass your details on to the researchers. 

Professor Angela Mary Tod, Professor of Older People and Care in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Sheffield said: “Receiving a diagnosis of any new illness is tough. Receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma can be particularly challenging. There is so much information to take in about the disease, treatments and the future. We are delighted to be able to conduct this research that seeks to capture the experience of people with mesothelioma and their families. Through learning from their experiences we hope to work with Mesothelioma UK to improve the communication of mesothelioma diagnosis in the future.” 

Liz Darlison, Mesothelioma UK Director of Services and Consultant Nurse, added: “There is a lack of evidence focusing on the nursing contribution to breaking bad news or the unique challenges of communicating a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Consequently, improving the diagnostic experience of mesothelioma is a real priority. 

“This study will provide us with a strong foundation of evidence on which to base recommendations for delivering tailored information. This, in turn, will help to improve the difficult experience for patients receiving their diagnosis,” continued Liz Darlison. 

About Mesothelioma UK:

Mesothelioma UK is a national resource centre dedicated to providing specialist mesothelioma information, support and improved care and treatment for all UK mesothelioma patients, their carers and health care professionals. The centre promotes the development of Specialist Mesothelioma Nursing practice and funds 12 specialist nursing posts around the UK.  

Mesothelioma UK Charitable Trust is based at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester. Ourservices are free of charge and we rely entirely on donations, legacies, fundraising and sponsorship for financial support. For more information, visit www.mesothelioma.uk.com, email mesothelioma.uk@uhl-tr.nhs.uk or call the freephone helpline number on 0800 169 2409 (Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm).


For press enquiries, please contact:

Simon Gribbon, on behalf of Mesolthelioma UK

M: 07584 088353

E: simon@sandstarcomms.com