Centre for Death & Society

Exploring the transition to survivorship in breast and bowel cancer patients and their partners


Dr Paula Smith, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Bath and CDAS member
Dr Julie Turner-Cobb, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Bath
Dr Mike Osborn, Consultant Macmillan Clinical Psychologist, Royal United Hospital, Bath

Funder: Royal United Hospital (RUH), Bath, Research and Development
Amount: £10,783
Dates: May 2009 - April 2010


Project rationale and aims

This study is a pilot exploratory study that seeks to investigate the patient and partner experience of ending adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy for primary breast or colorectal cancer.

Ending adjuvant chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy treatment for cancer can be fraught with health anxieties including; uncertainty for the future, a sense of isolation from medical services and concerns relating to one’s ability to return to previous roles, responsibilities and identities. It is estimated that 30-50% of cancer survivors are at high risk of experiencing problems adjusting to survivorship.  Relatively little is known about the extent of these difficulties or the reciprocal effect of diagnosis and treatment on partners of patients during transition. This study seeks to identify issues of most relevance to successful adaptation over the first year following completion of treatment.

The study will provide a record of the experience and challenges facing breast and colon/bowel cancer patients and their partners during the transition phase following end of adjuvant treatment in Bath. This will be used for educational and training purposes of health care professionals. In addition it is anticipated that the study data will help to identify potential individualized training or supportive information packages for use with patients and their partners following discharge of active adjuvant treatment.

Project outputs and impacts

The study will provide pilot data for a larger scale external funding application, which may include the development of future intervention strategies, service development and professional education relating to emergent issues of concern for patients and their partners. 

Find out more about this project

Name: Dr Paula Smith
Title: Senior Lecturer
Department: Dept of Psychology
Location: 10 West 3.18
E-mail: pcs21@bath.ac.uk
Phone: work+44 (0) 1225 384844