Anna Arber

Dr Anne Arber

Senior Lecturer in Cancer and Palliative Care
+44 (0)1483 686768
20 DK 04



Anne Arber has a clinical background in cancer nursing. Her research focuses on supportive care for patients with cancer and their carers; including support for family members and symptom support using e-health. She is an experienced PhD supervisor and combines research and teaching as part of her role.

She has research expertise in discourse analysis, ethnography and mixed methods research. She is a trainer in Advanced Communication Skills and has been invited to run workshops in advanced communication in the UK and in Europe.

Research interests

  • Supportive care of patients with advanced cancer
  • Carers, and family members affected by cancer
  • Communication and breaking bad news

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Peer support for carers of people with advanced cancer. University of Surrey Research Support Fund. April 2016
  • Real time symptom assessment for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Funded by British Lung Foundation September 2016-2018
  • A Delphi study on the research priorities of UK oncology nurses and patients. Co-researcher with Professor Emma Ream 2015. Funded by United Kingdom Oncology Nursing Society.

Research Projects

  • Think family project (November 2013 - August 2014) A project related to pre bereavement support for children who have a parent with cancer in collaboration with Frimley Park NHS Trust. Principal Investigator. Funded by Macmillan Cancer Support.
  • A study on fostering empathy between students and older people - a practical approach (AFRESH). Co-researcher funded by Averil Osborne Fund March 2012-October 2012.
  • Nurses' Decision-Making Practices at the End of Life in the Intensive Care Unit: A cross-cultural exploration. Co - researcher with Brazil, Germany and Ireland (2012-2013).
  • Carers in the 21st Century. Economic and Social Research Council Seminar Series (October 2012-September 2013).
  • Information giving and patients receiving oral chemotherapy for Multiple Myeloma (January 09-June 11 Awarded by Myeloma UK).
  • A project to examine the patient's experience of their care pathway following a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Awarded by Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire Cancer Network (April 2008-June 2009).
  • A project to explore the needs of carers of patients with a malignant brain tumour (April 2006-August 2007).


Module Leader

  • Research design and methodology (Master's Level NURM141)
  • Advanced Communication Skills (Master's/Degree Level NURM105/NUR3206)
  • Challenges in Pain Management (Master's Level/Degree Level NURM108/NUR3310)

Current doctoral students

  • Isaac Badu Appiah: Traditional herbalists and cancer in Ghana.
  • Michelle King-Okoye: Men and their partners' experiences of prostate cancer in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Evangelos Latzourakis: Cypriot nurses' perceptions on role and preparation in caring for patients with chronic kidney disease.
  • Jackie McBride: Patient experience and meaning of using a remote monitoring tool within the context of cancer treatment
  • Emma Wadey: An exploration of the mental health and well-being of those bereaved by suicide

Doctoral Students who have completed

  • Nicola Ayers: An ethnography of the palliative care and dying at home in Ethiopia.
  • Nicola Beech: Restoring a sense of wellness following colorectal cancer: a grounded theory
  • Elizabeth Dunn: The lived experience of returning home following allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
  • Diane Laverty: Respite care for people with neuro-degenerative diseases
  • Sebastian Probst: Malignant fungating wounds- experiences of living in and with an unbounded body

Departmental duties

  • Chair of Faculty Research Ethics Committee
  • Chair Service Users and Carers Group
  • Member of the NCRI sub group for Quality of Life
  • Member of the steering group Jigsaw South East, Pre Bereavement Project Group
  • Member of the Race Equality Group

Conference presentations

Arber A, Greenwood N (2013) Invited speakers ESRC seminar series: Supporting carers of people at the end of life. University of York 11th September 2013

Arber A (2012) How do carer's talk about 'illness work' and 'caring'? 29th Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference. Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's Campus, Canada June 20-22nd 2012

Beech N, Arber A, Faithfull S (2011) Restoring a sense of wellness following colorectal cancer: a grounded theory. BSA Medical Sociology Group 43rd Annual Conference University of Chester 14th-16th September 2011

Arber A (2010) Invited Key Note Speaker: First three months following a diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma. Manchester Lung Cancer Group November 2010. The Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK

Invited speaker - Masterclass in Advanced Communication Skills- ESO-ESMO Masterclass in Clinical Oncology Zurich, Switzerland 2012-2015

My publications


Gregg N., Arber A., Ashkan K., Brazil L., Costello A et al (2014) Behavioural and personality changes following brain tumour: patients and relatives perspectives. Supportive Care Cancer (In press)

Gamlen E., Arber A. (2013) First assessments by specialist cancer nurses in the community: an ethnography. European Journal of Oncology Nursing 17,6, 797-801

Laverty D, Faithfull S. Arber A (2013) Respite care at an inner London hospice. European Journal of Palliative Care. 20,2 72-76

Arber A, Hutson N, de Vries K, Guerrero D, (2013) Finding the right kind of support: A study of carers of those with a primary malignant brain tumour. European Journal of Oncology Nursing 17,1 52-58

Probst S, Arber A, Faithfull S. (2013) Malignant fungating wounds- the meaning of living in an unbounded body. European Journal of Oncology Nursing 17,1 38-35

Arber A., Spencer L (2013) 'It's all bad news': the first 3 months following a diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Psycho Oncology Published online DOI 10.1002/pon.3162

Probst S, Arber A, Trojan A, Faithfull S. (2012) Caring for a loved one with a malignant fungating wound. Supportive Care Cancer 20,12 3065-3070

Beech N, Arber A, Faithfull S. (2012) Restoring a sense of wellness following colorectal cancer: a grounded theory. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68,5: 1134-1144

Arber A, Hutson N, Guerrero D, Wilson S, Lucas C (2010) Carers, of patients with a primary malignant brain tumour. Are their information needs being met? British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 6,7:329-334

Arber A, Faithfull S, Plastoka M, Lucas C, de Vries K (2010) A study of patients with a primary malignant brain tumour and their carers: Experience of symptoms and access to services. International Journal of Palliative Nursing 16,1 24-30.

Gallagher A, Arber A, Quirk A and Chaplin R (2009) Service users' experience of receiving bad news about their mental health, Journal of Mental Health (In press)

Probst S, Arber A and Faithfull S (2009) Malignant fungating wounds: a survey of nurses' clinical practice in Switzerland, European Journal of Oncology Nursing 13, 295-298

Arber A, Gallagher A (2009) Generosity and the moral imagination in the practice of teamwork, Nursing Ethics, 16 (6)

Arber A (2008) Team meetings in specialist palliative care, Qualitative Health Research, 18, 1323-1335

Hughes N and Arber A (2008) The lived experience of patients with pleural mesothelioma., International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 14,2, 66-71

Arber A (2007) "Pain talk" in hospice and palliative care team meetings, International Journal of Nursing Studies, 44, 916-926

Arber A (2006) Reflexivity. A challenge for the researcher as practitioner. Journal of Research in Nursing, 11(2)147-157

Li S and Arber A (2006) The construction of "troubled" and "credible" patients: a study of "emotion talk" in palliative care settings, Qualitative Health Research, 16(1)27-46

Arber A (2004) Is Pain What the Patient Says It Is? Interpreting an account of pain, International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 10, 491-496