Jane Cockle-Hearne

Dr Jane Cockle-Hearne

Research Fellow

Academic and research departments

School of Health Sciences.



Jane graduated from London University with a first-class honours degree in Psychology. Her research career began in consumer and health research in the marketing and advertising sectors where she worked as a senior strategic planner in a major global advertising agency and as a director in a qualitative market research company. Jane later moved into academic health research at the University of Surrey and has developed and published a range of cancer care and nurse training studies. Her interest has focused in part on cancer self-management, patients' engagement with e-health, and the provision of psychological support after cancer treatment, for which she obtained her PhD by Publication. Jane is a member of the British Psychological Society.

Research interests

Jane's main research aims to support and improve cancer patients' survivorship and rehabilitation experience by empowering them to cope with the difficult emotional and functional effects of disease and treatment. The emphasis of her research has been on the development of face-to-face and e-health self-management approaches utilising cognitive behavioural techniques and peer support. She has explored and developed ways to provide motivating peer support within e-health, in particular through film. Her research has included assessing the unmet supportive care needs of men with prostate cancer across Europe and developing and testing complex interventions for symptom management. She has worked extensively with quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods designs. In collaboration with NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Service (IAPT) she developed Getting  Down to Coping, a web-based, cognitive behavioural programme to reduce distress after diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer. Jane's current research includes exploring and developing support for young families when a parent is dying, and addressing the training needs of palliative and allied healthcare professionals to help patients communicate with their dependent children when a parent is dying from a life-limiting condition.

Departmental duties

  • Developing and writing grant proposals
  • Collaboration with partner and funding bodies
  • Literature reviews
  • Qualitative design, interviewing and analysis
  • Quantitative design, data collection and analysis
  • Clinical trial management and coordination
  • Writing for publication in peer-reviewed journals
  • Dissemination of research findings, report writing and conference presentations
  • Invited teaching on Advanced Research Methods


ObjectivesTo evaluate how the co-designed training programme ‘No conversation too tough’, can help cancer, palliative and wider healthcare professionals support patients to communicate with their dependent children when a parent is dying. We examined perceptions of learning provided by the training, its contribution to confidence in communicating with families when a parent is dying, and subjective experience of, and reactions to, the training. We also explored potential changes in practice behaviours.Design Pre-post, convergent, parallel, mixed-methods study. Motivations for practice change measured quantitatively, and qualitatively through semi-structured interviews. Non-parametric analysis was conducted for self-efficacy and outcome expectancy measures; descriptive statistics examined perceptions of usefulness. intentions to use learning in practice, and reactions to the training. Semi-structured interviews examined motivations and perceptions of learning in depth. A six-week, practice log recorded immediate practice effects and reflections. Setting One-day training delivered three times, total delegates 36: online December 2021, February 2022, face-to-face March 2022. Questionnaires delivered correspondingly in online or paper formats, semi-structured interviews online.Participants Pre-Post: palliative care professionals (n=14/12), acute cancer clinical nurse specialists (n=16/11), other healthcare professionals (n=5/5).ResultsPositive changes were observed in self-efficacy (17 of 19 dimensions p< 0.003) and outcome expectancies (3 of 14 beliefs p<0.036). Perceptions of usefulness and intentions to use learning in practice mean scores were 82-94 (scales 0=low-100=high). There was high affirmation for sharing learning and influencing change in the workplace and wider practice. Content, style, and delivery were positively endorsed. Further elements to be included in the training were identified. ConclusionsThe training programme has the potential to effect change in practice behaviours. A large-scale study will evaluate the rollout of the training delivered to individual professionals and whole teams across the UK. It will provide longer-term feedback to understand practice behaviour and mediators of change across professional roles.

Jane Cockle Hearne, Liz Reed, Jennifer Todd, Emma Ream (2020)The dying parent and dependent children: a nationwide survey of hospice and community palliative care support services, In: BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care BMJ Publishing Group

Background Annually, across the world a substantial number of dependent children experience the death of a parent through life-limiting illness. Without support, this has long-term implications for children’s emotional, social and physical well-being, impacting on health and social care services globally. Limited information exists on how service providers are meeting family needs when a parent with dependent children is dying. Aim To determine the bereavement support provided to families with dependent children by UK hospices before and after a parent’s death. Design A 23-item, cross-sectional, web-based survey of adult UK hospices. Closed and open-ended questions were asked about the features of support provided; open ended response was sought to a question about the challenges faced by hospices in delivering support. Descriptive and non-parametric statistics and framework analysis were used to analyse the data. Results 197 hospices were invited to participate. Response rate was 66% (130/197). More types of support were provided after, than before, parental death (mean 6.36/5.64, z = -5.767, p ˂0001). 22% of hospices reported no formal processes for asking or documenting the presence of dependent children. Volunteers were an under-used resource before parental death. Four themes characterised challenges in delivering support for families: emotional difficulties for families; practical and social difficulties for families; funding/resources; and staff training/numbers. Conclusions Family needs are not consistently being met when a parent is dying. Areas for development include: enhanced systems to record when patients have dependent children; flexible approaches to support vulnerable families; staff training to help communication with families and management of their own fears of making the situation worse. Effective educational interventions and service developments to better support staff, parents, and children are needed.

Jane Cockle Hearne, Deborah Cooke, Sara Faithfull (2015)Developing peer support in film for cancer self-management: what do men want other men to know?, In: Support Care Cancer Springer-Verlag

Purpose: This study reports an innovative theory-driven approach for developing filmed peer support for cancer self-management. Peer support conventionally includes empathetic interaction between people with shared experiences. This unique study considers how to authentically communicate peer empathy in a one-way film narrative. Methods: We co-created a film based on phenomenological interviews with seven men who had volunteered to support other men by sharing their experiences of coping with prostate cancer. The film contributed to successful engagement with self-management. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the interview data was conducted to explore the components of experiential empathy that the men had communicated. Results: Four themes were identified illustrating what men wanted other men to know about coping with prostate cancer: Going into the unknown, it was difficult but I got through highlighted trauma and the importance of having a determined attitude; Only you can do it illustrated the triumph of their journey and of regaining control; I haven’t changed massively reflected the importance of a constant self; and Stay involved represented the overriding need to remain part of pre-cancer social environments. Conclusions: We propose a construct framework of experiential empathy for men with prostate cancer: Resilience, Regaining Control, Continuity-of-Self and Social Connectedness. Filmed peer support that communicates these constructs will offer wide-ranging benefit to meet the needs of this group of men in both e-health and face-to-face self-management contexts. Further research could develop this theory-driven approach to filmed peer support for other cancer groups.

Jane Cockle Hearne, D Barnett, J Hicks, M Simpson, I White, Sara Faithfull (2018)A Web-Based Intervention to Reduce Distress After Prostate Cancer Treatment: Development and Feasibility of the Getting Down to Coping Program in Two Different Clinical Settings, In: JMIR Cancer4(1)e8 JMIR Publications

Background: Distress after prostate cancer treatment is a substantial burden for up to one-third of men diagnosed. Physical and emotional symptoms and health service use can intensify, yet men are reticent to accept support. To provide accessible support that can be cost effectively integrated into care pathways, we developed a unique, Web-based, self-guided, cognitive-behavior program incorporating filmed and interactive peer support. Objective: To assess feasibility of the intervention among men experiencing distress after prostate cancer treatment. Demand, acceptability, change in distress and self-efficacy, and challenges for implementation in clinical practice were measured. Methods: A pre-post, within-participant comparison, mixed-methods research design was followed. Phase I and II were conducted in primary care psychological service and secondary care cancer service, respectively. Men received clinician-generated postal invitations: phase I, 432 men diagnosed

JANE COCKLE HEARNE, SUSIE KATHRYN ALDISS, FAITH GIBSON, SJ Milne, J Todd, EMMA REAM (2021)Support interventions provided during palliative care to families with dependent children when a parent has terminal illness, In: JBI Evidence Synthesis19(11)pp. 3163-3173 Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Objective: The objective of this scoping review is to identify and map support interventions provided during palliative care to families with dependent children when a parent has a terminal illness. Introduction: For dependent children, losing a parent through terminal illness can be one of the most traumatic experiences they will face. Without age-appropriate information and support, parental death can lead to unresolved grief, post-traumatic stress, and longer-term negative social, emotional, educational, and behavioral consequences. Support from health care professionals is provided, but challenges within hospice and community palliative care mean the needs of dependent children may not be addressed. Greater emphasis is often placed on children's and families’ bereavement needs as opposed to their pre-bereavement needs. The status of pre-bereavement support in palliative care for these families has not been documented. Inclusion criteria: We will include studies of support interventions provided to families with dependent children when a parent has a terminal illness that are delivered during palliative care and in settings including, but not limited to, hospices, hospitals, and the community (including family and care homes). Empirical, peer-reviewed studies based on qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods data, and gray literature, reporting any stage of intervention development will be included. Methods: This review will follow the JBI approach for scoping reviews. Multiple database searches will be conducted. Two authors will independently review full-text articles and extract data. Interventions will be mapped in terms of characteristics, evaluation methods, and implementation challenges. Data will be presented in tables, diagrammatic form, and narrative summary.

J Cockle Hearne, F Charnay-Sonnek, L Denis, D Kelly, B Thoft, S Faithfull (2017)Supportive Care Needs of Men with Prostate Cancer