There are a total of 7 PhD students at MCPCRD, or affiliated with it.

Areas of study:

Decision making in principle and practice for teenagers with haematological cancers

Emma Day

Primary supervisor Myra Bluebond-Langner, secondary L. Jones) Successfully upgraded from MPhil to PhD March 2014. Due to begin main phase data collection in Dec 2015, completing Sept 2016. Funded through MCCC by Lebedev and Raisa Gorbachev Foundation.

This prospective, participant-observation project seeks to understand how  teenagers, families and health care professionals' experience participation in decision making regarding care and treatment. It focuses on young people aged 13-19 years, diagnosed with leukaemia, receiving their care and treatment in the UK.

This research sets out to identify how health care professionals and parents incorporate principles of involvement of young people in decision making, into practice. Secondly, it will identify how young people themselves understand their involvement in both principle and practice. By focusing on interactions in real time we intend to highlight how involvement is enacted between the young person, the health care team and the parents. Analysis will then provide evidence¬-based recommendations to inform the development of guidance for how these three parties make decisions regarding care and treatment of a teenage patient.

Assessment of the potential and implications of analysing multiple outcomes collected in clinical trials simultaneously using multivariate modelling

Victoria Vickerstaff

The PhD examines the benefits of analyzing clinical trials data with multiple outcomes using multivariate modelling compared to standard methods. The research will also explore the interpretation and implications of the multivariate modelling on sample size calculations.Victoria is supervised by Prof. Rumana Omar and Dr Gareth Ambler, who are based in the Department of Statistical Science, UCL. The PhD commenced in 2013 and is funded by UCL.

"Choice" for people with primary brain tumours: How it is constructed, interpreted, and enacted in the practices of healthcare

Henry LLewellyn

"Choice" is a major discourse guiding the organisation of healthcare in the NHS. While welcomed by many as empowering patients with rights over care decisions, it is far from straightforward. Some argue that decisions remain much more likely to be made by clinicians, while others characterise choice as an ideal that destabilises the practices designed to guarantee "good care". A key concern is what constitutes a meaningful and informed choice. Here, the capacity of the chooser has become a major focal point, perhaps most salient in the care of people with neurological conditions. This PhD explores the meaning and character of choice in this context through an ethnographic study of the care of people with brain tumours.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in advanced cancer patients: an in depth examination of therapeutic process

Sarah Davis

Sarah is undertaking a qualitative PhD in the patients' experience of illness in advanced cancer as part of a feasibility randomised control trial examining the use of a psychological intervention called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) compared to Talking Control (TC) in which people can talk about their concerns. Negative thoughts and feelings are common in cancer and patients attempt to struggle to avoid them (experiential avoidance) may be counterproductive. ACT helps people tolerate uncomfortable feelings and behave in a healthier way. Qualitative analysis of recorded interviews will help to identify the main ways in which patients think and behave and see how changes may occur with ACT and the TC.

Primary supervisor is Dr Anne Lanceley, a senior lecturer in cancer nursing, UCL. Secondary supervisor is Dr Marc Serfaty, a clinical reader in psychiatry, UCL Division of Psychiatry.

The PhD is funded by Marie Curie Cancer Care

Clinical predictions of survival in palliative care patients

Nicola White

The purpose of this doctorate is to identify whether some clinicians are more expert than others at predicting survival times in patients who are approaching the ends of their lives. The research will also investigate the heuristics that expert prognosticators use to inform their judgements. The studentship was originally funded by the St George's University of London Graduate School and is now funded by Marie Curie Cancer Care. The PhD is due to be completed in April 2018.

'Pain in patients with dementia'

Francesca La Frenais

 A prospective study exploring medication use in residents with dementia in UK care homes. The primary objective investigates whether taking a higher dose of analgesic medication means that a resident will receive more or less psychotropic medication. The PhD commenced in October 2014 and is in collaboration with the UCL MARQUE Project (led by Professor Gill Livingston).

'How do Adolescents With Cancer Use the Internet in Gaining and Giving Support? Lessons for Professionals from Service Users'

Johanna Kempe

The purpose of this doctorate is to examine the way in which young people with cancer use the internet in relation to their care and to consider the implications for clinical and research practice and policy. The studentship of Johanna Kempe (primary supervisor Myra Bluebond-Langner, secondary L. Jones) is funded by Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation for 4 years and starts on 1st October 2014.