Poster Presentation COSA-IPOS Joint Scientific Meeting 2012

“Where now?” – Pilot study of a course for people living beyond cancer (#443)

Lesley Howells 1 , Mandy MacMahan 1 , Ann-Louise Ward 1 , Malcolm Cook 1
  1. Maggie's Centres, London, UK, United Kingdom

“Where Now?” – Pilot Study Of A Course For People Living Beyond Cance


“Where now?” is a seven-week survivorship course devised by Maggie’s ( for people making the challenging transition between active treatments and building the life they want beyond cancer. Aims to provide the support needed to: -

·      Make lifestyle changes in exercise, nutrition and managing stress

·      Adjust to living with uncertainty and fears of cancer recurrence

·      Make effective post-treatment partnerships with medical teams

·      Take a fresh look at priorities in work and relationships.

Study aim is to evaluate the course’s effectiveness and feasibility of delivery.


Pilot courses held in 3 Maggie’s Centres. Thirty-two participants had a mean age of 52yrs (33yrs: 72yrs); were predominantly female (84%); educated to technical college level (74%); and within 24 months post treatment. Cancer diagnosis included breast (41%); colorectal (25%); ovarian (22%); cervical (3%); prostate (3%); NHL (3%); lung (3%). Standardised measures administered pre and post included: Impact of Cancer Scale, Distress Thermometer.


Significant reduction was observed on two Impact of Cancer subscales: Health Worries (including fears of recurrence) (f=24.642;n=31;p<0.000) and Negative Outlook (f=4.514;n=31;p=0.042); and the overall Negativity Scale (f=4.701;n=16;p=0.048) including worries about cancer’s long-term life interference. Distress reduced significantly (f=15.988;n=23;p=0.001). The five most important aspects of the course experience: “Getting Support and Encouragement”, “Learning my problems are not unique”, “Getting direct advice, suggestions or education”, Learning that I am responsible for how I cope with my life” and “Confronting difficult problems and fears”.


“Where Now?” is feasible to deliver, universally well received and pilot results suggest it enables important changes in a person’s psychological adaption to the challenges of survivorship. A controlled longitudinal trial is required to fully establish whether observed changes can be attributed to the course and are maintained over time.