A study of people’s experiences of radiotherapy for a head and neck cancer (H&NPRER-RAC)

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

Cancer type:

Head and neck cancers





This study is looking at the experiences of people who wear a mask during their radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.

This study is open to people who are having treatment at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

More about this trial

Some people with head and neck cancer might need to use a mask Open a glossary item during their radiotherapy. The mask is made to fit over your head. The reason for the mask is to:

  • keep your head still during radiotherapy
  • make sure the radiotherapy treats the exact area of cancer each time

Some people find the making the radiotherapy mask and wearing it uncomfortable. Others might have a fear of being closed in or in a confined place. This is claustrophobia.

At the moment the healthcare team have no way of knowing who might find wearing the mask a challenge, without asking them directly. In this study the team want to interview people to understand their experiences of having a mask made and wearing it during radiotherapy.

From the interviews the team hope that they might be able to develop a questionnaire. This could help the healthcare team identify people who might feel uncomfortable or claustrophobic before they start treatment.

The main aim of this study is to find out the experiences of people having the mask made and wearing it during radiotherapy.

Who can enter

The following bullet points are a summary of the entry conditions for this study. Talk to your doctor or the study team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you.

Who can take part

You may be able to join this study if all of the following apply. You:

  • have head and neck cancer
  • have had radiotherapy using a mask within 6 weeks of joining the study or you are having radiotherapy using a mask within 6 weeks of joining the study
  • are at least 18 years old

Who can’t take part

You cannot join this study if any of these apply. You are not able to:

  • understand, speak or write in English
  • give informed consent Open a glossary item

Trial design

There are 2 parts to this study.

In the 1st part the team need about 20 people to join. A member of the team interviews you about your experience of having:

  • the mask made
  • radiotherapy using the mask
  • scans Open a glossary item as part of your treatment

The team can do the interview either:

  • face to face at a clinic appointment
  • over the phone or
  • by a video call

You can choose one if you have a preference. The interview takes about an hour.

The team use these interviews to identify common themes mentioned by people when interviewed, about the mask and their experiences of wearing it.

For the 2nd part of the study the team will ask 5 people from the original 20, to take part in a second interview. These 5 will be contacted a few weeks or months after the first interview.

This is a either a face to face interview or a video call interview. The interview takes about an hour.

In this interview the team will be looking in more depth at the themes identified in the first interviews.

You don’t have to agree to take part in the 2nd interview.

The team tapes the interviews so they can listen to them later on. Everything you say and your identity are kept confidential. Open a glossary item

Hospital visits

There are no extra hospital visits if you take part in the study.

Side effects

The team don’t want you to feel upset or stressed when answering the questions. But talking and thinking about your cancer and treatment might cause some discomfort. If so let the team member know.

You don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to.

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 Jacqui Stringer

Supported by

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

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.

Last reviewed:

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