Research project

Lucy Brindle: Identifying optimal communication about direct access tests and referral for cancer investigation

Project overview

CI: Dr Lucy Brindle
Background: Revisions to NICE 2015 cancer referral guidelines reduced the risk level for urgent investigation of symptoms or signs that may indicate cancer, to 3%, and introduced new recommendations for direct-access-tests and safety-netting in primary care. Although most patients offered direct-access-tests or referred to a specialist following presentation with potential cancer symptoms will not have cancer, being offered investigation(s) may cause patients concern. Little is known about how patients interpret and respond to recommendations for investigation of suspected cancer, or the implications of these discussions for patients’ intentions to attend for tests. 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.
By linking our analyses of video-recordings with what patients say in interviews we are developing recommendations for GP-patient communication about referral, and investigation of suspected cancer.

The Catric Study is linked to an ESRC IAA Grant (CI Brindle) which is funding the development of recommendations into a training module for GPs, to promote best communication practices.
Funder: EDAG (Early Diagnosis Advisory Group); CRUK


Lead researcher

Dr Lucy Brindle

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Improving Early Cancer Diagnosis
  • Risk communication in health care
  • Health care encounters
Connect with Lucy
Other researchers

Professor Geraldine Leydon

Prof of Medicine, Sociology & Healthcare

Research interests

  • Healthcare communication
  • Qualitative methods in health reesarch 
  • Optimising the patient experience
Connect with Geraldine

Professor Paul Little

Professor in Primary Care Research
Connect with Paul

Research outputs