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Research project: Getting your life back after cancer: a feasibility study of life coaching - Dormant - Dormant

Currently Active: 

Life coaching potentially offers an effective way to help address the most important emotional, practical and social challenges cancer survivors' experience. Coaching works by building on the natural resources of individuals to decide for themselves how to manage their own lives and cope with difficulties. Recent studies have shown coaching to be an effective supportive care intervention to address problems such as pain control, altering dietary patterns and combatting fatigue, but very little research has involved participants selecting their own goals.


to explore the acceptability, feasibility and potential impact of a life coaching intervention to support cancer survivors' transition to life after cancer treatment. Aspects of the study design will also be tested in preparation for conducting an exploratory randomised controlled trial (RCT) if the findings proved to be promising.

Specific objectives:

  1. Determine the acceptability, feasibility and practicality of implementing life coaching as an intervention for cancer survivors;
  2. Explore the mechanisms by which coaching brings about personal benefits for individuals, and how it facilitates them to positively address and self-manage problems associated with survivorship and to achieve self-defined goals;
  3. Explore the acceptability of the data collection process and to evaluate any potential costs for participants associated with the intervention;


A pre-test post-test study design will be used with a small cohort.

Participants will be recruited from the community from local support groups, Macmillan Information & Support Centres at three hospitals and the patient information centre at a fourth. NHS staff are not going to be involved in the process of recruitment.

The intervention will be directed at those who:

  • Have completed a course of ‘curative' treatment; (Surgery/radiotherapy/ chemotherapy) for any tumour type within the last 12 months;
  • Are over 18 years.
  • Have no metastatic disease or self-reported history of mental illness

Data collection

A mixed methods approach will be adopted, including: questionnaires incorporating seven validated outcome measures; a Goal Attainment Scale (GAS), records maintained by both researchers and coaches; and participant interviews conducted within one month of their completion of the intervention.

Main Outcomes

  • Determine acceptability and potential of the life-coaching intervention
  • Explore mechanisms of effective life-coaching
  • Determine recruitment, attrition & adherence rates
  • Determine acceptability of data collection processes

Project Team

Professor Alison Richardson
Dr Deborah Fenlon
Dr Richard Wagland

Related research groups

Complex Healthcare Processes

Conferences and events associated with this project:

British Psycho-Oncology Society (BPO) abstract for poster presentation

CSCCN conference abstract for oral presentation

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