Project summary 

This 2.5 year study funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit, aims to test the feasibility of conducting a study using Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) with people with advanced cancer attending hospice day care centres at three sites in London.

ACT is a psychological treatment which encourages acknowledgement and acceptance of mental experiences, increasing people's ability to work with problems that cannot be solved. ACT is effective in many areas of health such as chronic pain, but few studies have been carried out in people with advanced cancer. To address this, we are conducting a feasibility randomised control trial (RCT) comparing use of ACT with a talking control. We are also carrying out a small qualitative study to explore patients' views of taking part in the study and what they thought of the treatment, which is being led by our Research Nurse, Sarah Davis.

The main aims of this research are to learn if a study of this nature is possible, specifically looking at if we can deliver the treatment and whether patients are able to complete all our questionnaires (a variety of functional, psychological and quality of life measures). We shall learn what needs to be taken into account when designing a future larger study including likely sample size, and possible costs of delivering the intervention. Study progress: Patient recruitment started in November 2015 for one year, in which 42 participants have been recruited. We have now completed the final 6 month data collection for all participants in May 2017 and are currently analysing the data. Findings from this study should be available at the end of 2017.

For more information please contact Joe Low or Marc Serfaty