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Dr Natasha Campling PhD, BSc (Hons), RN (Adult)

Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow

Dr Natasha Campling's photo

Dr Natasha Campling started her career as a cancer and palliative nurse at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London before becoming an academic researcher in 2000.  She has worked on an extensive range of studies, leading to a broad range of publications.  Over the last five years she focused entirely on palliative and end-of-life research, working on SMART (Self-Management of Analgesia and Related Treatments at the end of life) funded by the Health Technology Assessment programme of the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).  The study focused on the development and feasibility testing of an educational intervention to improve the supported self-management of opioids and the related side-effects of nausea, constipation and drowsiness.  She guided the qualitative components of the study, including design, data collection and analysis.  Following SMART, Natasha combined work in two end-of-life specific areas.  Firstly, Supporting Family Caregivers at End of Life, funded by the NIHR’s School for Social Care Research.  The study implemented evidence about how to support family caregivers in the transition between hospital and home for end of life care.  Natasha led the implementation via palliative and end-of-life care teams within 12 NHS hospitals across England.  Secondly, she collaborated on a programme of work focused on treatment decisions in the face of patient deterioration in hospital: development and implementation of treatment escalation plans, funded by NIHR CLAHRC (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care) Wessex.  Natasha directed a complex retrospective case note review and in-depth analysis examining escalation related decision-making in acute deterioration at the end-of-life.  Natasha most recently worked on ActMed (Accessing Medicines at end-of-life), a multi-stakeholder, mixed method evaluation of service provision funded by the Health Services and Delivery Research programme of the NIHR, for which she was a co-investigator.  She led a programme of work that examined the supply of medicines into community pharmacy. 

Understanding the experiences of patients and their families at the end of life through research is vital to enhancing care and delivering service improvements

In August 2020 she was appointed to the role of lecturer within the pre-registration nursing team, responsible for the module leadership of palliative and end of life care in the BSc curriculum. 

Research interests

Methodological expertise:

  • Applied clinical research involving mixed methods
  • Qualitative methods including grounded theory
  • Co-production of interventions
  • Feasibility testing and trialling
  • Implementation studies

Specific research interests include:

  • Self-management at end of life
  • Medicines management, particularly in relation to the use of strong opioids and the associated management of common side-effects
  • Access to medicines and devices, in relation to supply chain processes of medicines into community pharmacy; and supply chain processes of medical devices, to patients and their carers whilst living at home<
  • Transitions at end of life, particularly between hospital and home
  • Goals of care at end of life

PhD supervision

  • la Ab Latiff: (completed) ‘Organ donation behaviour: understanding the factors stimulating the decision to register as a potential organ donor in Malaysia’ (Other supervisor: Dr Tracy Long-Sutehall)
  • Erika Lipscombe: ‘Preferred place of death for palliative care patients’ (Other supervisors: Dr Richard Wagland; Dr Tracy Long-Sutehall)

Research group

Cancer and Life Limiting Conditions

Research theme(s)

Health Needs

Fundamental Care

Affiliate research group(s)

  • Cancer and Life-Limiting Conditions (CALC)
  • Founding member of Wessex Research Active hospice development Group (WRAhdG) and current deputy academic Chair (2017-to date)

Research project(s)

Self-Management of analgesia and related treatments at the end of life (SMARTE)

Despite there being a good understanding of patient and carer concerns regarding opioid analgesia and related side effects, much less is known about the best ways of addressing these concerns. We aim to develop a support tool to improve the management of medications for pain relief, nausea constipation and drowsiness in patients with significant pain approaching the end of life within a theoretically informed behaviour change framework. The expected benefits of the Self-management Support Tool for patients will be improvements in symptom relief and increased confidence in managing medicines and related side effects by themselves, or jointly with their informal carer.

Supporting family caregivers in the transition between hospital and their relative’s preferred place for end of life care

This study is an implementation study of best evidence, from previously conducted studies including reviews of randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses, about supporting family caregivers of individuals at the end of life.

NIHR Wessex Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (Wessex CLAHRC) - Theme 6: Complexity, Patient Experience, Organizational Behaviour

Wessex CLAHRC is partnership of providers, commissioners, patients, public, clinicians and researchers. It aims to put into practice what we learn from undertaking research. The focus is on improving the health of the people of Wessex and the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Through increasing engagement of stakeholders, Wessex CLAHRC aims to bring about a stepped change in integration of pathways of care for people with long-term conditions and reducing hospital admissions through more appropriate use of health care. The complexity theme focuses on improving the experience of patients, families and professionals by looking at ways of minimising complexity and maximising improvement in experience of for those affected by long term, life-limiting conditions.

Accessing medicines at end-of-life: a mixed method evaluation of service provision

This study aims to evaluate patient and carer access to medicines for symptom control at end-of-life, to help us identify areas for service intervention and workforce development. We expect that our findings will stimulate and inform changes to healthcare policy, clinical commissioning, service organisation, practice delivery, education and training.  

  • Senate Member (2018-20)
  • Personal Academic Tutor (2019-to date)
  • Section Editor for Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care (2017-to date)
  • Journal reviewer: Age and Ageing, International Journal of Nursing Studies, Palliative Medicine, Supportive Care in Cancer
  • Grant reviewer: NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research; Tenovus Cancer Care
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Dr Natasha Campling
Health Sciences Student Office University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 67/4053

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