The Foundation in conjunction with the Velindre Hospital; Whitchurch Cardiff will launch its first project in February. Two nurse professionals with the requisite training will be employed on a part time basis to facilitate access for breast cancer patients to appropriate support and advice during the period of their illness. This will be advised by telephone and online access to the nurse professionals.
The trustees are pleased that the project will be linked to a longitudinal research study undertaken by Cardiff University entitled: “What are the information and preferences of receipt of young metastatic breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy?”
We will keep everyone posted regarding the project and also how it contributes to the long term study at the University. We are extremely grateful to Clare Boodier at the Velindre Hospital for her invaluable advice and support. She is the research nurse and team leader of the clinical trials unit at the Velindre Cancer Centre.
The Nurses carrying out the research at Velindre
The Foundation again in partnership with the Velindre Hospital launched its second project in August 2017.The Lowri Pugh Foundation nursing scholarship enables an assistant research nurse to undertake a specific research project to support the work of Rosie Roberts ( a chemotherapy specialist nurse) in the Arm ACHE study.
This study aims to identify if there are risk factors which can be used to predict which breast cancer patients experience problems with phlebitis following epirubicin chemotherapy.The phlebitis caused can result in a variety of symptoms and these have been reported as lasting for weeks and months following chemotherapy.The symptoms have an impact on the patient’s quality of life and their ability to perform normal daily activities.
The assistant research nurse will identify in more detail possible factors associated with the development of symptoms through treatment observation and data collection.
Literature search has identified little or no significant study undertaken in this area and therefore this particular project and its findings could be potentially beneficial to patients in the UK and internationally.
The research nurse is focusing on recording the speed of administration of epirubicin alongside the amount of saline used at various stages of the chemotherapy treatment.The nurse will also visit and observe treatments in other outreach areas as visited by the mobile Unit.
The next few months will see the collection and recording of data with the analysis undertaken seeking to identify any association between the administration method and the extent of the symptoms experienced.
In the context of the project it’s opportune that we reflect on the initial comments of Jo Wiltshire our scholarship nurse.
Jo says ‘ The scholarship opportunity has enhanced my main role as an outpatient nurse working primarily in breast clinics at Velindre Cancer Centre .I have gained a wealth of knowledge about the specific drug treatments ,the way in which it effects the patient both during and after treatment.My role as an observer within the treatment unit has given me an insight into what it is like to be a patient experiencing treatment and how they perceive it rather than from a nurse’s view.This I feel will greatly enhance the way I give information and support to patients and their relativesand in the way we prepare patients.Having recently completed a research module for my degree in Professional Practice the role provides the opportunity to put into practice theoretical knowledge such as gaining informal consent,recording data and the potential to make a difference to future patients. …………………..
These comments enable us to appreciate, to some degree, the benefits provided by the Foundation in supporting and funding projects of this nature.