Lindsey Lodge Advanced Care Practitioner Sarah Hodge has started her research doctorate at Hull University/Hull and York Medical School
The overall aim of her research is to embed exercise and activity into cancer chemo-radiotherapy pathways at a national level, as exercise brings numerous proven health benefits to people living with and beyond cancer. She is the first occupational therapist ever to take part in this kind of research.
Sarah said: "This is not only exciting for me, but also for Lindsey Lodge, as the site will become part of this research!"
“Recently, pre-clinical and clinical studies have shown that exercise during chemo-radiotherapy treatment cycles has the potential to improve a person’s response to treatment, as well as helping to reduce (and often eradicate) the toxic side effects associated with such treatments.
“The information from these trials were actually one of the main drivers for us developing our own enablement gym at the Hospice.”
Sarah's PhD involves working with a number of professionals (clinical, exercise science and biochemistry professionals) to develop an exercise and activity model that can be initially embedded within the oesophagogastric and colorectal cancer pathways and prove that this model will potentially improve a person’s response to chemo-radiotherapy treatments.
One of the specific aspects Sarah is exploring, which her final thesis will cover, is around the barriers and levers to embedding exercises within cancer care pathways and to inform what is best practice and to subsequently develop best practice implementation guidelines.
Sarah said: "The PhD will take five years as I will be completing it part-time and it will be fully funded via the scholarship I have been awarded.
"As well as the core PhD subject, I will also receive a formal qualification in research, which means I will be able to complete independent research for the rest of my career.
“I hope this will open up many opportunities for Lindsey Lodge as an organisation, in terms of being a hub of education and having its name to a number of initiatives and potentially pioneering research, that will have a significant impact for patients and their families for years to come."