A study looking at developing ways to help people looking after someone with breathlessness (Learning about Breathlessness (LaB) study)

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

Cancer type:

All cancer types





This study is looking at developing ways of giving information to help friends and family learn how they can help and support people living with breathlessness.

Breathlessness is common in people who have cancer that has spread (advanced cancer Open a glossary item) and lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD Open a glossary item).

People living with breathlessness caused by cancer and people with breathlessness caused by COPD have different needs. And the information that friends and family need may be different too.

In this study, the researchers would like to know what friends and family members want to learn about breathlessness caused by the different conditions. And the way in which they would like to learn.

The researchers will use the results of the study to develop better ways of helping family members and friends learn more about supporting somebody living with breathlessness.

Who can enter

You may be able to enter this study if you

  • Have a diagnosis of advanced cancer Open a glossary item or advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD Open a glossary item)
  • Are troubled by breathlessness
  • Are at least 18 years old

The study will also involve friends and family members providing help and support to someone with breathlessness.

Trial design

There are 2 parts of this study that will recruit people. In the first stage, the researchers will interview about 24 people who have breathlessness and a family member or friend who helps them.

If you are the person with breathlessness, the researchers will ask how you manage your breathlessness and how your family and friends help you.

If you are the family member or friend, they will ask you how you have learnt about breathlessness, what you would like to know more about, and how you would like to learn more.

The interview will take the form of a conversation. With your permission, the researchers will make an audio recording of the interview.

Later on in the study, the researchers will organise 2 workshops with a new group of about 8 friends or family members in each.

The aim of the workshops is to develop a learning resource based on what family members and friends have told the researchers they want to learn about, and how they might prefer to do it. During the workshop you will discuss the findings from the first part of the study and talk about some different ways to help family members and friends learn more about breathlessness. The researchers will make an audio recording of the workshop.

Hospital visits

You will not need to go to hospital to take part in this study.

If you take part in an interview, this can be in your home, or at another place of your choice. It will be at a time that is convenient for you and it will last about an hour.

If you are a family member or friend who helps someone with breathlessness and you take part in a workshop, it will last about 4 hours. The workshop will take place somewhere convenient with easy access and parking.

Reasonable travel costs to and from the workshop will be paid and respite care can be arranged if required.

Side effects

You should not have any side effects as a result of taking part in this study, but talking about living with difficult symptoms can sometimes be upsetting.

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

Dr Morag Farquhar

Supported by

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Dimbleby Cancer Care
NIHR Primary Care Research Network
University of Cambridge

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 11730

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

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

No votes yet
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page