The SEA-CHANGE study: a pilot randomised controlled trial of the SElf-management After Cancer of the Head And Neck Group intErvention

Head and neck cancer (HNC) and its treatment are associated with specific challenges such as facial disfigurement and impairments in speech, breathing and swallowing, which can have a negative impact on wellbeing. Despite these burdens, there is a lack of psychosocial interventions to help HNC survivors live well with and beyond cancer. Self-management interventions provide people with skills to deal with health-related problems, maintain life roles, and manage negative emotions, and have been found to increase confidence, improve quality of life, and reduce health service use across a range of chronic conditions. The absence of a self-management intervention to help HNC survivors in dealing with the challenges they encounter following the completion of primary treatment is notable given the evidence supporting this approach and its widespread application in other chronic diseases. Developing a self-management intervention for HNC survivors may help them to overcome the unique challenges associated with this disease. The aim of this research is to pilot a self-management intervention designed to promote participation and quality of life and reduce distress in people who have completed primary treatment for HNC. The research builds on existing research conducted by the team and will include: (1) a pilot randomised study to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention and its related procedures; (2) a qualitative process evaluation of the intervention; and (3) a systematic decision-making process regarding progression to a definitive trial. The expected outcome is a self-management intervention that is feasible and acceptable to HNC survivors and has the potential to realise both health benefits and economic gains. This is a timely study that will address priority areas identified in national and international policy.


Award Date
24 February 2017
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Pamela Gallagher
Host Institution
Dublin City University
DIFA 2017