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
- Prof Kate Brain (PRIME, Cardiff University)
Co-investigators / research team
- Prof Adrian Edwards (PRIME, Cardiff University)
- Julie Hepburn (SEWTU/PRIME, Cardiff University)
- Prof Richard Neal (Leeds University),
- Prof Shantini Paranjothy (HWW, Cardiff University),
- Prof Michael Robling (SEWTU, Cardiff University),
- Dr Stephanie Smits (PRIME, Cardiff University),
- Julia Townson (SEWTU, Cardiff University),
- Prof Fiona Wood (PRIME, Cardiff University).
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.
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).
Health and Care Research Wales
Total grant value
How could this research potentially benefit patients?
The project could lead to improvements in cancer awareness in deprived communities.
- News: Improving the early diagnosis of cancer in disadvantaged communities, PRIME Centre Wales, 24 January 2017.
- News: Yorkshire Cancer Research announces £7M investment in lung cancer and early diagnosis, Yorkshire Cancer Research, 24 January 2017.
- Researchgate project log
Outputs generated (Reports / Publications )
- Smith P, Smits S, Owen S, Wood F, McCutchan G, Carter B, Edwards A, Robling M, Townson J, Brain K. Feasibility and acceptability of a cancer symptom awareness intervention for adults living in socioeconomically deprived communities. BMC Public Health 201818:695 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5606-3
- Richards B, Kinnersely P, Staffurth J, Brain K, Wood F. The use of mobile devices to help patients with cancer to meet their information needs in non-inpatient settings: A systematic review. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2018;6(12):e10026. DOI: 10.2196/10026
- Moriarty, Y., Lau, M., Sewell, B. et al. Randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation of a targeted cancer awareness intervention for adults living in deprived areas of the UK. Br J Cancer (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01524-5