A study exploring the influence of social networks and relationships for cancer survivors

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

Cancer type:

Blood cancers
Bowel (colorectal) cancer
Breast cancer
Colon cancer
High grade lymphoma
Hodgkin lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Prostate cancer
Rectal cancer





This study is exploring how social networks and relationships influence the way people look after themselves following treatment for cancer.

The study is open to people who have finished their treatment for

  • Breast cancer
  • Bowel (colorectal) cancer
  • High grade non Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Prostate cancer

More about this trial

After completing cancer treatment some people may still need help with their health. Self management is a way for people with health issues to be able to look after their needs. Self management can develop from, and be influenced by, the social networks and relationships people have.

Social networks and relationships can include

  • Social media such as Facebook or Twitter
  • Support from healthcare staff or carers
  • Using the computer to find information
  • Talking to friends, family and work colleagues
  • Going to a hobby club, gym or other clubs

In this study the team will invite you to fill in a few questionnaires about your recovery after treatment and how you have been coping. From those people who completed the questionnaires, they will ask some to talk about their experiences in more depth.

The aims of this study are to

  • Describe the social networks and relationships people have following cancer treatment
  • Explore how these social networks and relationships influence their self management of health needs after treatment

Who can enter

You may be able to join this study if you had had treatment for

  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Bowel (colorectal) cancer
  • High grade non Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Hodgkin lymphoma

At one of the following hospitals or cancer centres

  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust
  • Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth
  • Royal Hospital Bournemouth
  • Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • Salisbury District Hospital

And all of the following apply

  • You have completed your treatment at least 2 months ago apart from hormone therapy, maintenance immunotherapy Open a glossary item or any reconstructive surgery Open a glossary item
  • There is no sign of your cancer
  • You are able to complete the questionnaires by yourself or with the help of one of the researchers over the phone
  • You are at least 18 years old

You cannot join this study if any of these apply

  • You finished treatment more than 2 years ago
  • Your cancer is still growing or hasn’t completely gone
  • Your cancer has spread to another part of your body

Trial design

The study team will invite 600 people to take part. You will either get information about the study in the post. Or a research nurse will talk to you about the study when you go for a routine clinic appointment.

For the study you need to fill in a few questionnaires. The questionnaires will ask about how you are and how you have been coping since treatment. You can complete the questionnaires while you are at the clinic and hand them back to the nurse. Or you can take them home and return them completed in the pre paid addressed envelope.

If you received the questionnaires in the post there will be a pre paid addressed envelope to return them in.

You can contact a member of the study team if you need help to fill in the questionnaires. A contact number will be included in the pack or the nurse will give it to you.

From those who completed the questionnaires, the team will invite 30 people to talk about their experiences of recovering from treatment and how social networks may have helped. This will take about an hour. With your permission the interview will be audio taped.

Hospital visits

The researcher will arrange the interview at a time and place suitable to you.

Side effects

Filling out the questionnaires and talking about your experiences may trigger thoughts or feelings that are distressing or uncomfortable. If this happens the researcher can give you guidance about who to contact.

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

Gillian Howard-Jones

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


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

Over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials in the UK last year.

Last reviewed:

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