Awareness and Beliefs About Cancer (ABACus) Phase 3: randomised controlled trial of the health check intervention to improve cancer symptom awareness and help seeking among people living in socioeconomically deprived communities.

Principal / Lead investigator
Co-investigators / research team
Type of study

Randomised controlled trial


Cancer outcomes tend to be worse in areas of high deprivation. The reasons behind this include higher levels of unhealthy behaviours, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, poor knowledge and awareness of symptoms, and barriers in access to healthcare. 

These factors often lead to diagnosis through emergency routes, such as A&E or emergency GP referral. Patients diagnosed with cancer through an emergency route are more likely to be diagnosed at a late stage, which can mean that treatment options are limited and chances of survival are lower. 

Dr Kate Brain and team will test a new online health questionnaire in deprived communities in Yorkshire, which will be carried out by trained advisors. 

A traffic light system will be used to determine whether further medical advice should be sought. The project could lead to improvements in cancer awareness in deprived communities which contribute significantly to the poor outcomes in Yorkshire.

Lay involvement

During the initial set up phase, we will co-produce a formal training package with the three lay advisors located in Yorkshire and Wales to support them in delivering the health check. We envisage that this will involve a face-to-face training session and manual (including technical aspects and practical interactive activities to help lay advisors understand and apply the behaviour change concepts underpinning the health check), with ongoing supervision and support throughout the trial. Lay advisors will be located with their respective charity (Yorkshire Cancer Research or Tenovus Cancer Care) and partnered with a relevant local support network (eg UKCRN).

Sudy sponsor

Cardiff University


Health and Care Research Wales

Total grant value


Start date


End date


How could this research potentially benefit patients?

The project could lead to improvements in cancer awareness in deprived communities.

Further information
Outputs generated (Reports / Publications )

To follow