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Research project: National Cancer Survivorship Initiative: supporting self management of cancer survivors: summary of the evidence - Dormant - Dormant

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Cancer for some is a chronic condition with more people surviving many years beyond diagnosis. Research commissioned by Macmillan estimates that the number of people living with or beyond cancer in the UK currently stands at two million and is rising by more than 3% a year[1]. There is significant impact on the lives of people who have had cancer e.g. as a consequence of the treatments they have had. There is evidence that people want to know how to manage these consequences for themselves and that there could be considerable health benefits for them if they were supported in doing this. Currently there is very little support for people who have completed treatment for cancer. Most have no long term follow up and for those that have it, follow up is based on assessing recurrence rather than on the health and support needs of the individual. There is increasing evidence to suggest that people who are engaged and informed about how to manage their own health needs may achieve the best health and quality of life.

A review of research evidence for self management support in cancer was commissioned to assist the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative self management work stream. This is a working document and this first phase addresses evidence of self management support in cancer, some of which is informed by self management support for long-term conditions which is more established in research terms. This report provides an overview of the research evidence for self management interventions and strategies used in cancer care, and identifies gaps in the research with specific recommendations for areas where further work needs to be undertaken.

The report focuses specifically on supported self management, which is the interaction between health professionals and people with cancer to help people to manage problems associated with cancer and its treatment for themselves. A broad definition of supported self management is used which covers a wide range of activities. In order to take a wide ranging look at the available research, this report was not a systematic review of the research literature and any research based on this report should undertake a comprehensive review of the literature in the area under investigation.

Project team

Claire Foster, Debbie Fenlon

Project funder

Macmillan Cancer Support for National Cancer Survivorship Initiative


Associated research themes

Cancer survivors
Self management

Related research groups

Complex Healthcare Processes
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