A new resource has been launched by a team of psychologists at the University of Bath aiming to help young people living with cancer-related fatigue (CRF).

The three-minute animation, created with young people receiving cancer care at the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC), was produced with the Knowle West Media Centre in Bristol. The work was funded by ‘Friends of BHOC’.

CRF in teenage and young adult patients and survivors is a significant, and under-reported problem. There is limited evidence regarding how best to support young people with their fatigue.

Through prior research and consultations carried out by a team in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, young people living with CRF, their parents and health professionals highlighted how CRF could be particularly isolating.

The young people who were part of the project said they wanted access to multi-media examples of stories from real young people experiencing this problem and giving them ideas for support.

Dr Cara Davis, Senior Lecturer in Psychology from the University of Bath led the work. She said: “The majority of young people affected by cancer will also have experienced cancer-related fatigue at some point. We know this can be particularly distressing and challenging and that helpful resources targeted particularly at young people can be hard to come by.

“With this animation we want to kick start a new conversation about CRF which we know affects so many young people across the UK. This means de-stigmatizing the experience, building a community among those affected, and pushing for greater support from funders and policymakers, as well as new research.”

One of the young people involved in the project, Kamui Oshino (who provides the voice-over for the animation), said: “Cancer-related fatigue is a condition affecting many people during and beyond cancer. As a young person who was diagnosed with cancer at 20, and still lives with fatigue beyond treatment, this is a topic important to me.

“I wanted to work with the University of Bath to show how fatigue affects a person getting back into family life, work, education, and how people can support us. This animation is a really authentic piece of work that hopefully the rest of the cancer community can relate to and feel safe and happy to share with the wider population.”