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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Dr Lucy A Brindle BA, PhD

Associate Professor in Early Diagnosis Research

Dr Lucy A Brindle's photo

Dr Lucy Brindle is Associate Professor in Early Diagnosis Research at the University of Southampton, and Deputy Programme Lead for the MRES in Clinical & Health Research. Lucy's research combines epidemiology and social sciences to develop complex interventions for improving earlier diagnosis and patient decision support.

The integration of medical and social sciences provides new ways of understanding current challenges in health care, making possible the identification and development of innovative health care solutions.

Lucy Brindle, an epidemiologist and social scientist, is currently developing a programme of improving earlier diagnosis research that integrates epidemiology and health communication research to develop complex interventions for primary care.



Responsibilities in current post:

Research interests

  • Risk, epidemiology and medical sociology: Improving the calculation, presentation and communication of risk; understanding the uptake and implications of risk-based health technologies; surveillance of ‘at-risk' groups and early cancers
  • The innovative integration of medical and social sciences to develop and evaluate complex interventions in healthcare settings
  • Improving earlier cancer diagnosis
  • Symptom epidemiology and interpretation of early symptoms
  • Discourse and conversation analysis: health communication research

Previous research:

  • Early diagnosis of prostate cancer
  • Clinician-patient communication and decision-making about cancer and treatment
  • Relationship between urinary symptoms and psychosocial impact of PSA testing
  • Referral to secondary care
  • Improving recruitment to trials
  • The construction of risk in pre-symptomatic diagnostic and predictive testing
  • Family communication about genetic disorders and risks to health

PhD supervision

  • Weiqi Liao - Exploring the relationship between socioeconomic status, risk factors and typical pathways to late cancer diagnosis
  • Isabel Madechangu - Validation of lung cancer risk indicators and development of a triage system for Chest Clinic referrals suspicious for lung cancer
  • Mary Milne - Breast Cancer Suvivorship
  • Wanicha Pungchompoo - Development of a VOICES questionnaire for ESRD (Thai version)
  • Ruth Reeve - Surveillance of pancreatic cystic lesions
  • Simon Stewart - Partner involvement in prostate cancer consultations
  • Nor Azura Azmi - Impact of training on Malaysian respiratory physiotherapists ability to detect velcro crackles from pre-recorded lung sounds
  • Amelia Abbott - Adult children’s perceptions of risk for their parents with dementia: a narrative analysis
  • Mary Milne
  • Wanicha Pungchompoo.

Masters supervision

  • Amanda Durrant - Active surveillance of pulmonary nodules

Research group

Complex Healthcare Processes

Research project(s)

Catric Study: Identifying optimal patient-GP communication about safety-netting, direct access tests, and referral for investigation of possible cancer (CI: Brindle)

The Catric Study is investigating how GP-patient communication might be optimised to effectively convey information about diagnostic tests, cancer risk, and implications of test results, whilst being responsive to patients’ preferences for information and concerns about cancer.

Mapping and understanding the scope and role of specialist cancer helplines in the UK and the barriers and enablers to maximizing their effectiveness

This project aims to map cancer helplines in the UK and understand the communication processes used by callers and helpline agents.

Symptom prevalence and help seeking in patients at risk of lung cancer: exploratory feasibility study in primary care (CI: Corner)

NAEDI funded study exploring the help-seeking behaviour of patients with symptoms that might indicate early stages of lung cancer, and the factors that might inhibit or promote such help seeking.

CANDID (Clinical prediction rules for colorectal/lung cancer) CI: Paul Little

Prospective primary care study using IPCARD to obtain predictive values for potential lung cancer symptoms (CANDID CI: Paul Little; IPCARD lead - Brindle)

SPUTNIK (IPCARD sub-study) CI: Steve George

Investigation of the use of IPCARD to distinguish between malignant and benign pulmonary nodules in the SPUTNIK trial.

IPCARD Chest Clinic Study (CI: Brindle)

Prospective study using IPCARD to identify lung cancer symptoms in a population with high rates of respiratory disease (PhD studentship - J. Shim); identify differences between symptoms of operable and inoperable LC; and identify symptoms in a population without COPD.

Using a participant-completed questionnaire to identify symptoms that predict lung cancer: A feasibility study (Current CI: Brindle)

An NIHR NSPCR funded study to evaluate and refine the IPCARD questionnaire in a GP-referred population. (Oct. 2010 - April 2013)

True Nth UK Decision Support: Understanding consequences of prostate cancer treatments

TrueNTH Decision Support: This is part of a global TrueNTH project to develop and evaluate a complex treatment decision support intervention 'decision aid' for men with low or -to-intermediate risk prostate cancer (CI: Brindle).

Improving earlier lung cancer diagnosis (Research councils UK Postdoctoral Fellowship 2005 – 2011)

Dr Brindle's fellowship developed a symptoms, risks and co-morbidities questionnaire (IPCARD) for use in future prospective studies to obtain predictive values of symptoms for lung cancer.  A second strand of research explored communication about early symptoms to develop symptom elicitation interventions for integration into decision support aids, and to explore help-seeking.

Health Sciences' ESRC Doctoral Training Centre Lead
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MRES in Clinical & Health Research Deputy Programme Lead

MRES Developing Research Skills Module Lead

MRES Applied Qualitative Research Methods Module Lead

ESRC Social Science Methods for Health Research Pathway Lead

Individual session teaching: Diagnostic Epidemiology & discourse analysis

Dr Lucy A Brindle
University of Southampton, Health Sciences, Building 67, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ
Tel: 02380 598526

Room Number: 67/4005

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