Support interventions for children and young people diagnosed with cancer and their families during and after treatment: A theory-driven, realist-informed evaluation

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be worrying for many children and their families. The time during and after treatment can be challenging and routines, relationships, and finances can all be disrupted. Research funding often focuses on treatment, and a focus on support for children and families is overlooked and inconsistent. This study was developed to address two of the top ten research priorities for childhood cancer, launched in November 2022, around health literacy and the support needed for children and their families ‘to thrive and not just survive’.

This participatory, realist-informed project will identify what support interventions work for whom, how, and why, and co-develop a set of family-focussed outcomes for future practice and research. Through research and continuous collaboration with our established Family Advisory Board (FAB), as well as an expert steering group we will create a clear guide to help families thrive during and after cancer treatment.   

This multi-sector collaborative project has been awarded funding by North West Cancer Research Fund.

Who are we?

Dr Kate Knighting, Dr Julie Feather, Professor Lucy Bray and Dr Holly Saron from the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine are the core research team based at Edge Hill University.

Dr Kate Knighting

Reader in Palliative & Supportive Care
Dr Julie Feather. Image for decorative purposes only.

Dr Julie Feather

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Professor Lucy Bray. Image for decorative purposes only

Professor Lucy Bray

Professor in Child Health Literacy
Dr Holly Saron from Edge Hill University. Image for decorative purposes only

Dr Holly Saron

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

What will we be doing?

Seven books with colourful covers stacked on top of each other. Image for decorative purposes only.
Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

Realist informed scoping review

Young child with yellow bow, in white vest with paint on face and neck. Image for decorative purposes only.
Photo by Senjuti Kundu on Unsplash

Data collection using creative methods, interviews and online surveys

Participatory decision-making workshops with children, young people families and professionals

Who are we working with?
A banner showing the logos of all collaborators
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust; The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

We are proud to be working with Richard Driffield and Danielle Percival from The Joshua Tree, a charity that supports families with childhood cancer, Dr James Hayden and Chelsea Harvell from Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Dr John Archer, Professor Ed Smith and Sally Falk from The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Catherine Hardiman who is a parent grant holder.

This page will be updated as the study progresses, please check back soon to keep up-to date with the THRIVE study.