Researchers from the University of Liverpool are working with St Luke’s Hospice as part of two research studies to improve the support available for people with cancer and their carers.

The studies are being led by Professor Mari Lloyd-Williams from the Academic Palliative and Supportive Care Studies Group at the University of Liverpool and are part of a larger programme of research into supporting patients with cancer and their carers to cope better.

One study looks into the impact cancer has on a person’s mood and the other looks at the support which is available for carers who are looking after somebody at home with cancer.

Researcher Dr Cath Lunt from the University of Liverpool is visiting St Luke’s Day Hospice each week to speak with patients and carers.  She would also like to make contact with people who are looking after somebody living with cancer in the community.

Dr Lunt said: “Doctors and nurses know that being ill and having cancer can affect your mood and how you are feeling. In previous research studies, people have described how they are depressed or experience low mood and some of the things that help them feel better.

“St Luke’s Hospice has very kindly agreed to take part in both trials and we are speaking to as many people as we can. I regularly attend St Luke’s Day Hospice and chat with patients there. However, I am keen to speak with carers who are looking after a loved one with cancer.

“Once I have initially met with a carer either at the Hospice or in their own home, I then speak with them again on three more occasions to monitor any changes in their experience over that period – this can be either face to face or over the phone or with questionnaires by post. All information provided is confidential.

“The findings will be used to influence local health care in the future and will also be published in national and international journals and presented at research meetings so that as many people as possible can hear about and benefit from the research.”

Wendy Wilson, Director of Care at St Luke’s Hospice, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the University of Liverpool with this important research.

“Here at St Luke’s we recognise the importance of supporting patients’ psychological and emotional wellbeing as much as their physical needs. We have a range of services which patients and their carers can access for support.”

If you are caring for a person with cancer at home, or are suffering from cancer and low in mood and would like to find out more about this study please contact Dr Cath Lunt by emailing c.a.lunt@liverpool.ac.uk or by calling 07788 324 427.

If you would like more information about St Luke’s Hospice services which support people living with life limiting illnesses please call Clare Wolff in the Day Hospice on 01606 555 681. For a referral to St Luke’s Hospice please speak to a health care professional involved in your care.

The studies are being funded and supported by Liverpool CCG.