Supportive Care Research Group

Supportive Care Research Group

(Lead: Professor Eila Watson)

The supportive care group is committed to improving the supportive care services delivered to  patients and their families through high quality research and the transfer of research findings into practice.   Supportive care encompasses the provision of services designed to meet the psychosocial, physical, information, and practical needs of patients throughout their patient journey.   Using both quantitative and qualitative research methods we aim to clearly identify the experiences and needs of differing groups of patients at differing time points in their journey, and to develop and test interventions to meet those needs.

The group has three main themes: 


Supportive Cancer Care  

Research team:

Professor Eila Watson

Professor Mary Boulton

Dr Obrey Alexis

Dr Jo Brett

Dr Cathy Henshall

Dr Lauren Matheson

Current and recent projects include:

The supportive care needs of people affected by Pancreatic Cancer: a patient survey.   Pancreatic Cancer UK, 2016/17

Knowledge, attitudes and current practice of health professionals regarding the use of e-cigarettes and other smoking cessation interventions in cancer survivors.  Cancer Research UK, 2016-17

Life After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: a national PROMS study.  Prostate Cancer UK/Movember, 2014-2017

Cancer Life Affirming Support in Primary Care (CLASP).  NIH Programme Grants for Applied Research, 2015-2020

Understanding adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy following treatment for breast cancer.  Oxford Brookes University.  2015-2017

Development and evaluation of an app to support women with adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy.  Oxford Brookes University,  2016

Knowledge, attitudes and current practice of health professionals regarding the use of e-cigarettes and other smoking cessation interventions in cancer survivors.  Cancer Research UK, 2016-17:

Quality of life and follow-up care for men with prostate cancer: a questionnaire survey and pilot randomised controlled trial of a nurse-led psycho-educational intervention delivered in primary care (PROSPECTIV).   Prostate Cancer UK,  2014-2016  

Feasibility Study: Improving care-giver confidence in their ability to look after patients using focused, one-to-one training in the home.  Oxfordshire Health Services Research. 

Care for chronic heart failure 

Research Team:

Dr Helen Walthall

Dr Sue Schutz

Current projects:

Development of a Patient Reported Outcome Measure (PROM) for fatigue and  breathlessness in chronic heart failure

Development of an intervention for carers of patients with CHF. 

Exploration of Mild Cognitive impairment in Chronic Heart Failure

Diabetes Care

Research team:

Marion Waite

Current projects:


Patient Empowerment through Predictive Personalised Decision Support (PEPPER)

Current PhD Students

Nicole Collaco

The experiences and needs of younger men with prostate cancer and their partners: a qualitative study.

Supervisors : Eila Watson (DoS); Richard Wagland (University Southampton);  Obrey Alexis

Date of enrolment: February 2016

Michael Mawhinney

Optimising the care of patients receiving oral systemic anti-cancer treatments: a mixed methods study

Supervisors:  Verna Lavender  and Eila Watson (Co-DoS); Sue Schutz

Date of Enrolment: April 2015

Lyndel Moore

Optimising breast cancer follow-up: a mixed methods study

Supervisors: Eila Watson (DoS); Verna Lavender; Jo Brett

Date of enrolment: April 2016

Georgios Saltauras

Nutrition and pelvic cancer patients: a mixed-method study to explore dietary habits, nutritional awareness and patient experiences

Supervisors: Eila Watson and Helen Lightowler (Co-DoS); Shelly Coe

Date of enrolment: Sep 2016

John Curtin

Fatigue in advanced progressive disease : why is it under-reported and poorly managed?

Supervisors:  Helen Walthall (DoS); Eila Watson; Bee Wee

Carolina Casanas I Comabello

Caring at a distance for patients near the end of life.

Supervisors: Mary Boulton and Eila Watson (Co-DoS); Bee Wee

Previous PhD Students

Lauren Matheson

Post-doctoral researcher , Supportive Cancer Care Research Group, Oxford Brookes University

Marta Wanat

Post-doctoral researcher, Psychological Medicine Research Group, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.