Dr. Susan Williamson

Dr. Susan Williamson

Senior Research Fellow

School of Sport and Health Sciences

Brook Building, BB441

+44 (0) 1772 89 2731

swilliamson2@uclan.ac.uk

Subject Areas: Health

Susan’s research career has focused on cancer survivorship, aiming to identify the best way of meeting the information and support needs of people diagnosed and treated for cancer. Clinical trials have evaluated alternatives to hospital-based follow-up, specifically specialist nurse led telephone follow up for patients with breast, colorectal and endometrial cancer. Recent work has evaluated patient initiated follow up and barriers and facilitators to completing patient needs assessments. Susan is actively involved in postgraduate research student supervision. 

Susan actively conducts cancer research and is a member of the Cancer Care Research Group.

Full Profile

Susan Williamson is a Senior Research Fellow in Cancer Care in the School of Sport and Health Sciences. She qualified as a nurse in 1978 and as a midwife in 1980 then went on to study a BSc in Nursing followed by a PhD, she later completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Research Student Supervision. Susan has a history of work in applied health care research, focusing on identifying and meeting the psychosocial, information and support needs of people who have been diagnosed and treated for cancer. A key feature of this work has been on utilising the skills of clinical nurse specialists enabling them to provide patients with the information and support they need at key points in their follow-up within current service provision. This has led to the implementation of nurse-led interventions which support patients to self-manage and fits well with the aim of the UK National Cancer Survivorship Initiative  “to ensure that those living with and beyond cancer get the care and support they need to lead as healthy and active a life as possible, for as long as possible.” As a mixed methods researcher Susan has expertise in RCTs, Surveys and qualitative methods such as Ethnography and Interviews.

She worked with Professor Kinta Beaver managing the first trial in the world to report on endometrial cancer follow-up, comparing hospital and telephone follow-up for women diagnosed and treated for endometrial cancer (ENDCAT trial).

Findings from the ENDCAT trial have been used nationally as high-level evidence (Grade A) to guide clinicians in follow-up service provision for patients diagnosed and treated for endometrial cancer. The British Gynaecology Cancer Society (BGCS) published national clinical guidelines in 2018 stating: “Alternative modes of follow-up such as telephone follow-up do not appear to be inferior to hospital-based follow-up, in terms of quality of life for stage I endometrial cancer”. Interviews with clinical nurse specialists during the trial informed an international survey led by Susan which identified the barriers and facilitators to assessing the needs of patients with cancer which is a key element of the Cancer Survivorship Initiative to support people with cancer to self-manage.

Susan is on the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Oncology Nursing and the Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing and the Policy and Advocacy Committee of the International Society for Nurses in Cancer Care.

Qualifications
  • PhD Nursing. University of Manchester 2001
  • PG cert. University of Central Lancashire 2012
  • BSc Nursing. University of Manchester 1990
  • Registered Midwife 1980
  • Registered General Nurse. 1978

Publications

Williamson S, Hack T F., Bangee M, Benedetto V  and Beaver K  (2020) The Patient Needs Assessment in Cancer Care: Identifying Barriers and Facilitators to Implementation in the UK and Canada. Supportive Care in Cancer.

Williamson, Susan, Beaver, Kinta  and Langton, Stephen (2020) Exploring health care professionals views on alternative approaches to cancer follow-up and barriers and facilitators to implementation of a Recovery Package. European Journal of Oncology Nursing . ISSN 1462-3889

Beaver K, Williamson S, Sutton C, Hollingworth W, Gardner A, Allton B, Abdel-Aty M, Blackwood K, Burns S, Curwen D, Ghani R, Keating P, Murray S, Tomlinson A, Walker B, Willett M, Wood N, Martin-Hirsch P (2017). Comparing hospital and telephone follow-up for patients treated for Stage I endometrial cancer (ENDCAT Trial): a randomised, multicentre, non-inferiority trial. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 124(1), 150-160

Williamson S, Beaver K, Gardner A, Martin-Hirsch P (2018). Telephone follow-up after treatment for endometrial cancer: a qualitative study of patients’ and clinical nurse specialists’ experiences in the ENDCAT Trial. European Journal of Oncology Nursing. 34; 61-67

More publications

External Activities

Editorial Board Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing Editorial Board, European Journal of Oncology Nursing

Projects

Completed Projects

The Holistic Needs Assessment in Cancer Care: Identifying Barriers and Facilitators to Implementation. Rosemere Cancer Foundation. Williamson S, Tomlinson A, Murray S, Loftus D, Robinson P, Whitfield T, Beaver K (2016-2017).

Comparing hospital and telephone follow-up for women treated for endometrial cancer (ENDCAT: Endometrial Cancer Telephone follow-up trial). National Institute for Health Research. Research for Patient Benefit award scheme. Beaver K, Martin Hirsch P, Tomlinson A, Keating P, Sutton C, Hollingworth W, Williamson S. (2011-2014).

Exploring patient experiences of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer to determine psycho-social, information and support needs. Rosemere Cancer Foundation. Beaver K, Briggs J, Thomas A, Tysver-Robinson D, Bracegirdle L, Jones L, Guilfoyle S, Ronson M, Kiriparan, Rajan, Spickett H, Susnerwala S, Hindley A, Williamson S. (2012-2013)

Conferences

BPOS (British Psychosocial Oncology Society) Annual Conference, Southampton, 2018. The Holistic Needs Assessment in Cancer Care: Identifying Barriers and Facilitators to Implementation in the UK and Canada

BPOS (British Psychosocial Oncology Society), Cambridge, 2016 Annual Conference.
User Engagement in Research – A World Café.

EONS 10 (European Oncology Nursing Society) Congress, Dublin, 2016. Does Telephone Follow-up With Specialist Nurses Facilitate Patient Self-Management?

European Cancer Congress (ECCO), Vienna, 2015.  Comparing hospital & telephone follow-up for women treated for endometrial cancer:

European Cancer Congress (ECCO)Vienna, 2015 “It's not just about prostate cancer, it's about being a gay man”: A phenomenological study of the lived experiences of gay men with prostate cancer.

BPOS (British Psychosocial Oncology Society) Annual Conference, Leeds, 2012. Does telephone aftercare meet psychosocial needs?

Teaching activities and responsibilities

  • Research Degrees Tutor
  • STEMH Ethics Committee
  • Supervision of PhD and Professional Doctorate students
  • Teaching on Post Graduate Courses; Advanced Research Methods
Memberships
  • Fellow of The Higher Education Academy
  • British Psychosocial Oncology Society (Executive committee member)
  • European Oncology Nursing Society
  • International Society for Nurses in Cancer Care (Policy and Advocacy Committee member)