Professor Elizabeth Grunfeld
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Professor Elizabeth Grunfeld

Professor of Psychosocial Oncology

My Research Vision

My research broadly focuses on exploring how individuals interpret, cope and adapt to perceived and actual threats to their health. More specifically my research seeks to explain what social and cognitive processes promote help-seeking (adaptive coping) under conditions of threat and explore how, following illness or treatment, individuals adapt cognitively, emotionally and behaviourally. In order to answer these questions I undertake studies with both healthy and patient populations, although the majority of my research has been undertaken with cancer patients and survivors.

BIOGRAPHY

Prof Grunfeld is a chartered Health Psychologist and HCPC registered Practitioner Psychologist. Prior to joining the Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research (in June 2014) she held academic positions at Aston University, King’s College London and the University of Birmingham.

SELECTED OUTPUTS

For a full list of publications

SELECTED PROJECTS

  • Risk and Resilience Factors Associated with Cognitive Changes Following Androgen Deprivation Therapy in Prostate Cancer Patient. Prostate cancer survivors receiving longterm androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) sometimes experience unpleasant and debilitating side-effects, including decline in some thinking abilities. Prostate cancer patients are being observed to help us understand the factors that contribute to the risk of developing these effects on thinking – or the ability to resist them. The aim of this project is to identify which thinking skills are affected by androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and whether some people are more at risk of decline in thinking skills performance. This will be done by following patients who do and who do not receive ADT for an 18 month period. This is an innovative project combining: (1) cognitive testing (tests of thinking skills such as memory), (2) psychosocial measures (e.g. mood, fatigue), (3) brain imaging and (4) blood biomarkers (to assess testosterone levels and genetic risk of cognitive decline). The study will allow us to record potential risk factors prior to starting ADT to identify baseline factors that predict performance on tasks at follow-up. The study offers a unique opportunity to develop a risk profile for cognitive decline (changes in thinking skill) in men receiving ADT that could be used by treating doctors.
  • A feasibility study of "WorkPlan" - a guided workbook intervention to support work-related goals among cancer survivors. Over 100,000 people of working-age receive a diagnosis of cancer each year in the UK. Evidence suggests that cancer survivors are at greater risk of not working, or leaving work life early compared to healthy controls. The WorkPlan intervention targets known psychological factors within an intervention to improve work-related outcomes among cancer survivors. This study aims to evaluate this theoretically-led intervention in a feasibility study of a randomised controlled trial with a 12 month follow-up. Sixty cancer patients will be randomly assigned to one of two arms of the trial (a guided workbook intervention or usual care). The participants will be followed-up using questionnaires and interviews over a 12 month period. Undertaking a feasibility study is critical to inform the planning of a larger, fully-powered randomised controlled trial to improve work-related outcomes among cancer survivors.
Research breakout image

Professor of Psychosocial Oncology

Building: CTEHR, Mile Lane, Coventry
Room: 1.2
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