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DMU partnership with Macmillan leads to research into under-represented areas of cancer care

A team from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is carrying out a series of research studies which could reveal new insights into an under-represented area of cancer care.

Macmillan research team MAIN

The studies are being undertaken by senior Health and Life Sciences lecturers Dr Iain Williamson and Dr Diane Wildbur, and research assistant Katie Bell.

The project is linked to the university’s collaboration with the Macmillan Cancer Support charity and will include around 30 in-depth interviews with people who informally care for those with cancer from groups who have up until now been largely overlooked in the academic research literature.

There are three studies within the project,  and the researchers are looking to speak with those who are currently,  or have recently supported a partner with cancer and identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) or are from a South Asian background or are over the age of 60.

Katie, who is based at DMU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, is carrying out the confidential interviews and is inviting anyone who falls into any of these groups to get in touch. The first interviews took place in November and Miss Bell is willing to travel around the UK, with some interviews having already taken place in Blackpool and Worcestershire.

The studies follow on from previous domains of research carried out by Dr Williamson and Dr Wildbur.

Dr Williamson, who is the Programme Co-ordinator of DMU’s MSc Health Psychology course, has previously published research about health inequalities in marginalised communities including  lesbian and gay people’s health and well-being.

He said: “The analysis of these interviews will help us to understand more about peoples’ experiences as carers.

“We are hoping to find out about any day-to-day challenges they face, what support they are being offered and how they access support.”

Dr Wildbur, the university’s Programme Co-ordinator for the MSc Psychological Well-being programme, has a research interest in the mental health and wellness of older people.

She said: “We are aiming for the results to be impactful and useful to cancer caregiving charities and organisations as well as to carers themselves.”

The team hopes its findings will be presented at conferences and published in academic journals by the second-half of this year.

If you are interested in taking part in the research, please contact Miss Bell by emailing:

People can also learn more about the studies or get in touch with the team via its Twitter account: @DMUMacResearch.

Posted on Thursday 12th January 2017

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