Prof Sara Faithfull
Sara Faithfull trained as a cancer nurse in 1986 at the Royal Marsden Hospital (UK) and worked within Oncology in several fields: radiotherapy supportive care and urology. She was the recipient of the Smith and Nephew Nursing fellowship in 1991 and a Cancer Rearch UK Nursing Research Fellowship in 1994. Her PhD study was completed in 2000 at the Institute of Cancer Research in Academic Radiotherapy. As a board member of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONs) from 2003-2011 she was president from 2008-10.
Sara continues to support health sciences through work with national, European and International partners. Sara Faithfull is an expert member for the cardiac guidance for GPs for cancer patients as part Macmillan Cancer Support. She is a congress faculty member of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) and is member of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS). As a member of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) she is proud to support nursing innovation and new roles. In 2010 an edition of Cancer World featured Faithfull's work on health assessment in a feature and in 2011 she was awarded the Bob Tiffany Annual lecture for cancer research and education at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
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Sara Faithfull's current programme of research is in clinical innovation, addressing challenges in early diagnosis and consequences of cancer treatment. Funded research is in cancer survivorship, functional health assessment and lifestyle interventions for men with prostate cancer. Studies test new approaches to side effect and multi- morbidity management as a consequence of cancer treatment as well as developing novel approaches to improving patient outcomes. Research expertise is in mixed methods, complex intervention development and clinical trials. Key drivers of her work are to introduce and test complex interventions in practice with the aim to improve speed with which innovations can be adopted in patient care pathways.
The objective of her work is to improve the health of those with cancer, empower them in taking control of their illness by using new technologies to inform those affected by cancer develop self management skills to support needs and prevent long-term problems. Alongside this she is developing health professional's competencies in managing long-term effects of cancer treatment with the use of clinical tools to support and inform health services. This research provides a strong interdisciplinary approach to health science and applied research.
A strand of her research is in relation to the development of the methodology for Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) in radiotherapy and how assessment through PROs can guide clinical decision making and provide triage for different levels of service and support after cancer treatment. Innovative work with the Faculty of Engineering has allowed the development of an innovative dynamic mathematical modelling technique using the concept of symptom clusters for patient reported outcome measures.
Teaching within the University programmes is on clinical innovation and multi morbidity with the chronic illness and cancer chemotherapy modules. I have an interest on experiential teaching techniques such as immersive simulation and work is ongoing to develop this pedagogical approach to learning.