A study to find out if writing can help people with breast cancer who have hair loss from chemotherapy

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Breast cancer

Status:

Closed

Phase:

Other

This study is to find out if expressive writing can help people with breast cancer who have hair loss from chemotherapy.

Doctors use chemotherapy to treat breast cancer. One of the side effects of chemotherapy can be hair loss.

In this study the researchers want to find out if writing about their thoughts and feelings can help people cope with hair loss from chemotherapy for breast cancer.  

Who can enter

You may be able to join this study if are going to the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre and all of the following apply. You

You cannot join this study if any of these apply. You

  • Are not able to speak and write in English
  • Are not able to write by hand or type with a keyboard for at least 20 minutes at a time
  • Are already taking part in another writing study
  • Have a mental health problem

Trial design

The researchers need 120 people who are going to the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre to join.

This is a randomised study. The people taking part are put into 1 of 2 groups by a computer. Neither you nor your doctor will be able to decide which group you are in.

People in group 1 will write about their thoughts and feelings about their hair loss. This is the expressive writing group.

People in group 2 will write about their home, neighbourhood or city, in a matter of fact way without writing about their thoughts or feelings. This is called the neutral writing group

12072 trial diagram

You will write by hand or type for 20 minutes a day for 4 days in a row. You do this at home. The researchers will ask you to send them what you write. You don’t have to send in your writing, you can still take part in the study. If you do send them what you write, the researchers will not show what you have written to anyone else.  

They will ask you to fill in a questionnaire

  • When you agree to take part
  • 2 weeks later
  • At 1 month
  • At 3 months

The questionnaire takes 20 minutes to fill in. It will ask about side effects and how you’ve been feeling. This is called a quality of life study.

The researchers will send the questionnaires to you with a stamped self addressed envelope for their return. If you prefer you may be able to do the questionnaire on line. You can talk to a member of the research team about this.

Hospital visits

There are no hospital visits if you decide to take part in this study.

Side effects

The research team do not expect there to be any side effects from taking part.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Melissa Pilkington

Supported by

Breast Cancer Campaign
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of the West of England

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 12072

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Harriet wanted to try new treatments

A picture of Harriet

“I was keen to go on a clinical trial. I wanted to try new cancer treatments and hopefully help future generations.”

Last reviewed:

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