Our current research projects

Physical activity in palliative and neurological care: Clinical practice recommendations

Sponsor – University of Leeds

The aim of this qualitative, focus group/individual interview study is to explore the views and opinions on physical activity in palliative and neurological care within Sue Ryder from the perspective of both service users and health providers.

Eleven Sue Ryder services will recruit participants for interviews that will explore current levels of physical activity, preferences, needs, barriers and facilitators to physical activity uptake. The information derived will potentially inform the development of new physical activity programmes at Sue Ryder.


Developing an outcome measure for dry mouth in patients with advanced disease

Sponsor – University of Leeds

Sue Ryder has worked collaboratively with research colleagues at the University of Leeds and St Gemma’s Hospice to recruit participants to this study from two of our hospices in the north of England. The project is a prospective questionnaire-based study of dry mouth incidence and symptoms in patients with advanced illness.

The primary aim of the study is to understand the relationship between the severity of the symptom of dry mouth and the impact of a dry mouth on a patient’s day-to-day activities. The secondary objective is to develop a dry mouth measurement tool that incorporates severity and impact with the level of ability of the patient using a performance status tool.


Dropping Pebbles Into A Pond

Sponsor – University of Bradford

Delivered by a Sue Ryder Clinical Psychologist and a volunteer researcher holding an Honorary University of Bradford contract, this qualitative study explored the impact of psychological support for healthcare professionals working in palliative care teams and the indirect impact of having a clinical psychologist within the palliative care team.


Cancer Studies – Yorkshire (CS-Y)

Sponsor – University of Hull

This study is part of a five-year Yorkshire Cancer Research-funded programme of research at Hull York Medical School. It aims to understand and then reduce social inequalities in healthcare for people with cancer in Yorkshire.

The study will investigate access to specialist palliative care services in the region to find out if socioeconomic status influences access to hospice services in the region, and whether access to hospice services influences place of death. The project will link hospice data with cancer registration data from hospices held by Public Health England Northern and Yorkshire Knowledge and Intelligence Team (NYKIT) in order to compare place of death for cancer patients in the region who had access to hospice care and those who did not.


Exploring patients’ experiences and views on participation in a Tai Chi programme at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice

Sponsor – University of Leeds

Researchers from the University of Leeds have worked closely with the Sue Ryder Research Governance Group to develop this single-site hospice study.

Through collection and analysis of qualitative data via service user interviews and participant observation, the project seeks to determine patients’ views on participating in Tai Chi classes, and to identify the barriers and facilitators to participation. It will also investigate the impact of participation in Tai Chi sessions on physical functioning (i.e. mobility and balance) and symptom management (i.e. pain and fatigue) and on patients’ experiences of well-being.

PecFent/Epistatus

Sponsor – Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

This is a pilot study involving in-patients at Leckhampton Court Hospice. It will evaluate the feasibility of a future, larger community-based randomised controlled trial. The larger trial will seek to determine whether the administration of nasal fentanyl (PecFent) and buccal midazolam (Epistatus) by families and carers versus standard subcutaneous medication leads to faster and better symptom control, fewer district nursing visits and lower healthcare costs for terminally ill patients at home.


The Chief Investigator is Leckhampton Hospice Palliative Care Consultant Dr Paul Perkins, supported in the delivery of the study by Research Nurse Anne Parkinson.