Professor Katherine Brain

Professor Katherine Brain

Personal Chair

School of Medicine

Email:
brainke@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2068 7164
Location:
UHW Main Building

I am a Health Professions Council registered Health Psychologist with a strong track record and international reputation in leading research into behavioural aspects of cancer early detection. My research expertise involves understanding the determinants of late symptom presentation and non-uptake of cancer screening, psychosocial outcomes of cancer screening in higher risk groups (including genetically defined groups), and developing and evaluating complex behavioural interventions designed to improve outcomes at each stage of the patient pathway, with a particular focus on reducing inequalities in cancer-related outcomes. I am academic lead for Wales in the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership cancer awareness research, and lead a programme of research in cancer screening, prevention and early diagnosis within the Division of Population Medicine.

Education and qualifications

2007 Chartered Health Psychologist, British Psychological Society

2001 Certificate in Economic Evaluation in Healthcare, University of Glamorgan

1996 PhD in Psychology, Cardiff University

1992 BA Joint Hons Psychology and Education, First Class, Cardiff University

Career overview

2014- Reader, Cardiff University School of Medicine

2009-2014 Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University School of Medicine

2004-2009 Lecturer in Cancer Genetics Health Services Research, Cardiff University

2002-2007 Consultant, Cancer Research UK

1999-2004 Wellcome Trust Health Services Research Fellow, UWCM

1996-1999 Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Wales College of Medicine

Professional memberships

  • Full member of the British Psychological Society
  • Chartered Health Psychologist and registered practitioner
  • Qualification in Health Psychology (QHP) Stage II registered supervisor

Speaking engagements

Examples of speaker engagements

  • “Uptake and psychosocial outcomes of the UK Lung Cancer Screening (UKLS) trial.” Invited speaker: NAEDI Conference, London, March 2015
  • “UK Lung Cancer Screening Trial.” Invited seminar: Patient & Population Health and Informatics, Swansea University, November 2014
  • “Socioeconomic inequalities in cancer screening participation: Challenges to the equitable delivery of cancer control”. Chair, invited symposium: International Congress on Behavioural Medicine, Groningen, August 2014
  • “Let’s Talk About Cancer”. Invited speaker: South Wales Cancer Network 3rd Annual Patient Conference, October 2014
  • “Awareness and beliefs about cancer.” Invited Speaker: Tenovus 70th Research Conference, Cardiff, October 2014
  • “Ovarian cancer awareness in the general population.” Invited Speaker: Cancer Research @ Bath Symposium, March 2012

Committees and reviewing

  • Breast Cancer Now Scientific Advisory Board member, 2015-
  • South East Wales Trial Unit (SEWTU) Steering Group, 2015 -
  • Health and Care Research Wales Faculty Lead researcher, 2013 -
  • Cancer Research UK Expert Briefing on the earlier diagnosis of cancer in Wales, 2012-
  • UK FOCSS Trial Steering Committee 2007-2012

2018

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Supervision of research degrees including PhDs and Masters in Public Health (MPH), MSc Health Psychology lecturing, PhD thesis examining, academic mentoring and supervision of BSc intercalated medical students.

Past and present PhD students:

  • Grace McCutchan: Developing a targeted cancer awareness intervention for people living in socioeconomically deprived communities in Wales. Lead supervisor 2013-2016. Tenovus Cancer Care studentship.
  • Rebecca Richards: Developing an app to facilitate communication between patients with cancer and their healthcare providers. Co-supervisor 2013-2016. Lead supervisor for QHP Stage 2 training 2014-2016. Tenovus Cancer Care studentship.
  • Denitza Williams: Attitudes to HPV self-sampling in a sample of Welsh women. Lead supervisor 2010-2016. MRC studentship.
  • Stephanie Smits: Development of an ovarian cancer symptom awareness management tool for women at increased genetic risk. Lead supervisor 2011-2014. MRC studentship.
  • Jana Witt: Development of a decision support intervention for risk management options in familial breast/ovarian cancer. Lead supervisor 2010-2013. Emma Jane Demery Bequest fund studentship.
  • Christalla Pithara: Benefits and disbenefits of genetics services: a framework for economic evaluation. Co-supervisor 2005-2008.
  • Ceri Phelps: Distraction-based coping intervention. Co-supervisor 2002-2005. WORD studentship.

My research focuses on understanding the reasons why some people do not take up cancer screening or visit the doctor early if they experience a symptom, and assessing the impact of screening on people who do take part. We develop and test tools designed to support earlier symptom presentation, engagement with screening, and treatment decision making in higher risk groups including older people, people from lower socioeconomic groups, and those at increased genetic risk. An example of a current project is ABACus (Awareness and Beliefs About Cancer), funded by Cancer Research UK and conducted in partnership with Tenovus Cancer Care. The aim is to develop and evaluate the health check intervention – an interactive touchscreen intervention delivered by a trained lay advisor, with the purpose of encouraging cancer awareness and help seeking among people living in socioeconomically deprived communities.

Current and recent grants:

Primary and Emergency Care Research Centre Wales (PRIME)

Funder: Welsh Government (Health and Care Research Wales)

Role: co-applicant (Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis work package lead)

Amount and duration: £2.7M from 2015-2018

Wales Cancer Research Centre

Funder: Welsh Government (Health and Care Research Wales)

Role: co-applicant (Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis work package)

Amount and duration: £4.5M from 2015-2018

Bridging the age gap in breast cancer: Cluster randomised controlled trial of decision support for older women with breast cancer

Funder: NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research, with Sheffield University

Role: co-investigator

Amount and duration: £100,881 from 2015-2017 (total grant £1.8M)

Development and pilot evaluation of a targeted cancer awareness intervention for people living in deprived communities

Funder: Cancer Research UK National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative

Role: principal investigator (2014-2016)

Amount and duration: £200k from 2014-2016

Evaluation of a shared decision making implementation programme

Funder: The Health Foundation

Role: principal investigator

Amount and duration: £246,484 from 2013-2016

Bridging the age gap in breast cancer: Improving outcomes for older women

Funder: NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research, with Sheffield University

Role: co-investigator

Amount and duration: £269,925 from 2012-2015 (total grant £1.7M)

Decision support for cataract surgery

Funder: NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research, with Bristol University

Role: co-investigator

Amount and duration: £49,478 over 1 year, dates to be confirmed (total grant £1.9M)

Improving cancer awareness in deprived communities in Wales

Funder: Tenovus PhD studentship

Role: principal investigator

Amount and duration: £59,973 from 2013-2016

Development of a mobile phone app for cancer patients

Funder: Tenovus PhD studentship

Role: co-investigator

Amount and duration: £59,000 from 2013-2016

UK Lung Screening pilot trial: psychosocial evaluation

Funder: NIHR Health Technology Assessment, with Liverpool University

Role: co-investigator (£117,263 from 2012-2014; total grant £728,000)

Familial breast/ovarian cancer risk management decision support

Funder: Emma Jane Demery Bequest Fund

Role: principal investigator

Amount and duration: £65,000 from 2010-2013

Psychological evaluation of familial ovarian cancer screening (PsyFOCS)

Funder: BUPA Foundation

Role: principal investigator

Amount and duration: £320,000 from 2007-2012

International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) in Wales

Funder: Welsh Government and Tenovus

Role: principal investigator

Amount and duration: £69,000 from 2011-2012