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Professor Jane Hopkinson

Professor Jane Hopkinson

Velindre Professor of Nursing and Interdisciplinary Cancer Care

School of Healthcare Sciences

+44 (0)29 206 88562
13.10, 13th floor, Eastgate House, 35 - 43 Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0AB
Available for postgraduate supervision


Jane Hopkinson is a cancer, palliative and end of life care nurse and researcher. Jane trained as a nurse at The Middlesex Hospital London, qualifying in 1984, and then worked clinically in geriatric rehabilitation, cancer and hospice care prior to completing a PhD about end of life care at University of Manchester, 2001. She has worked with clinical and academic teams in locations across the UK, which include the Christie Hospital, Manchester; St Ann’s Hospice Manchester, Macmillan Research Unit, University of Southampton and the Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff. In 2011, she took up her current post as Professor of Nursing, Cardiff University.

Reearch Interests

Professor Hopkinson’s research interests focus on the development and testing of innovations in psychoeducation to help people with cancer and people with dementia to manage symptoms and other health related problems at home. Her expertise is in the management of weight loss and poor appetite, symptoms of cachexia. Achievements include authorship of more than 80 peer-reviewed publications.


I am a Registered Nurse. I trained at The Middlesex Hospital, London (1981-84), then, gained clinical experience and qualifications in geriatric, cancer and end of life care. In 1990-94, I studied with the Open University leading to the award of a BSc(Hons) in Social Science.  I became a full-time researcher following my PhD in Nursing Studies course at the University of Manchester, which was about the care of dying people in hospital (1998-2001). My Macmillan Post Doctoral Fellowship (2008-11) enabled me to complete training in the design and analysis of clinical trials, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I now have experience in the design and successful delivery of both mixed-methods case study research and the development and testing of complex interventions.

I have expertise in the supportive care of people living with cancer cachexia syndrome. I have lead, contributed to and supervised projects about cancer cachexia, including consultancy work for pharmaceutical companies. From 2002-2011, I led the Macmillan Weight and Eating Studies (MWES), a series of studies concerned with improving health outcomes for cancer patients living with involuntary weight loss and poor appetite, symptoms of cancer cachexia.

Since 2014 the scope of my research has included supportive care in dementia. The focus of my research is now the development and evaluation of innovative approaches to the management of symptoms and other problems common to people with either cancer or dementia, for example eating difficulties. The emphasis is on improving clinical and quality of life outcomes not only for patients, but also for family carers.

Committee membership

Jul 2019 - current: Member of the Knowledge Development and Dissemination Committee, International Society of Nurses n Cancer Care

Feb 2020 – current: Co-lead for Nurses and Allied Healthcare Professions for the Wales Cancer Research Centre.

July 2018 – current: Lead for the All Wales Cancer Nurse and Allied Health Professionals Research Network. See

Sept 2017 – current: Member of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer and Nutrition Living with Cancer and Beyond Subgroup.

Former Committee membership

My research leadership role has afforded me opportunities to serve on committees at local, national and international levels. For example, I was a member of the University of Southampton Senate from 2003-2006, NCRI Palliative Care Clinical Studies Group from 2009-2012 and 2014-2019, Palliative Care Congress Organising Committee and Scientific Committee 2012-2014, European School of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2017 Scientific Committee, and Treasurer of the Palliative Care Research Society 2011-2014.

From 31st August 2012 to 1st September 2019, I served the maximum two terms in public office, as an Independent Member for the Velindre University NHS Trust Board (Cardiff University representative). I was Board Research Champion and Chair of the Research Development and Innovation Committee. The Trust is currently operationalising a new research strategy, which includes building research capacity in nursing, allied health professional and non-medical staff groups. It recently gained University Trust status. My other Independent Member (IM) responsibilities included membership of the Informatics Management and Integrated Governance &Technology Committee and member of the Trust Audit Committee. I was also a Trustee of the Velindre University NHS Trust Charity.

Professional memberships

Royal College of Nursing

Academic positions

Sept 2011 - current: Professor of Nursing, Cardiff University

Jul 2001 - Aug 2011: Post Doc Fellow, University of Southampton

Nov1984 - Jul 2002: Clinical nursing in cancer care, palliative care and geriatric rehabilitation























I teach on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes about the relevance of research for healthcare improvement and innovation.

Current projects

Patient perception of the effectiveness and use of salt as a first line treatment for over granulation at their gastrostomy tube site. Tenovus/RCBC Wales First into Research Fellowship. Awarded to Judy Wright March 2019.

Cancer Memory Kit: the developing supportive care of people with cognitive impairment receiving cancer treatment. Welsh Government Dementia Action Plan Grant.

eat-CIT: an investigation to inform the content of a web based resource to help people with cancer self-manage eating difficulties during Chemotherapy and/or Immunotherapy (systemic anti-cancer) Treatment. Tenovus Cancer Care iGrant.

Oral chemotherapy management in the home: an exploratory case study of treatment adherence in people with cancer living in the Valleys of South East Wales. Funded by: KESS2: Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships, European Social Fund.

Nurses' decision-making about the delivery of skin care to patients with advanced cancer at the end of life: A vignette based study of a prototype decision making algorithm. Funded by: Cwm Taf/Aneurin Bevan.

An international field study for the reliability and validity of the EORTC cancer cachexia module (the EORTC QLQ-CAX24) and the EORTC QLQ-C30 for assessing quality of life in cancer patients with cachexia. Funded by: The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Group.

Recent research projects

REACT project: an investigation of the active components of a specialist home treatment intervention to prevent hospital admission of people with dementia in crisis in the community. Funded by: Healthcare Research Wales, Research for Patient and Public Benefit

Nurse decision-making about the delivery of skin care to patients with advanced cancer at the end of life: an exploratory study to develop a decision support algorithm. Funded by:  General Nursing Council.

Feasibility study of a behavioural intervention to reduce fatigue in women undergoing radiotherapy for curable breast cancer. Funded by:  Tenovus Innovation Grant.

Underserved and overlooked: Investigating the management of refusal of care in people with dementia admitted to hospital with an acute condition. Funded by: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

Improving the experience of out-patient cancer treatment for people with comorbid dementia in Wales. Funded by: Tenovus Innovation Grant

Cancer Carer Medicines Management (CCMM): an educational intervention for carer management of pain medication in cancer patients at the end of life. Funded by: Marie Curie/Dimbleby Cancer Care


I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

Cancer care

End of life care

Dementia care

I currently supervise:

Jane Mathlin (Radiographer) Exploring the experience of altered taste during radiotherapy for head and neck cancer: mixed methods research

Abdiraheem Ali (Pharmacist)  Oral chemotherapy management in the home: mixed methods case study research. KESS2 studentship

Tidziwe Malinki-Madeya (Community Nurse) End of life care for people with dementia in care homes

Ohoud Alnazawi (Nurse Educator) High Fidelity Simulation in the education of undergraduate nursing students in Saudi Arabia: a mixed methods study

Gabriel Ashong (Radiographer) Understanding the role of radiographers in Ghana and views of role extension: mixed methods case study research

Fathiyyah Alsomali (Cancer Nurse) Exploration of the Rate of Cord Blood Donation to the National Cord Blood Bank in Saudi Arabia: case study research

Past projects

Co-supervisor for:

Anna Jones (Intensive Care Nurse) A Critical Exploration of the Quality of Life of Adult Home Mechanically Ventilated Patients (PhD awarded 2019)

David Evans (Radiographer) - Survivorship experiences of working-age adults previously treated for oropharyngeal cancer. Moving towards a post-treatment self, its hidden impact and an absence of recognition: An interpretative phenomenological analysis (PhD awarded 2018)

Sarah Fry (Cancer Nurse) - Perceptions of prostate cancer risk in African and Carribean men in South Wales: implications for health policy and supportive care (PhD awarded 2017)

Nicola West (Cancer Nurse) - Being a carrier and living with the BRCA gene mutation: an interpretive phenomenological study of the experiences of women who elect Risk-Reducing bilateral Mastectomy, their husbands and family (PhD awarded 2017)

Sally Wheelwright (Social Scientist) - Development of a psychoeducational intervention for patients with cancer cachexia and their informal carers (PhD awarded 2017)

Nicola Evans (Mental Health Nurse) - To Explore How a Change Agent Initiates Change in an NHS Outpatient Service (PhD awarded 2014)

Jane Winter (Cancer Nurse) - Living with locally advanced rectal cancer: An exploration of the everydayness of living with rectal cancer. (PhD awarded 2009)

Caroline Hoffman (Cancer Nurse) - An evaluation study of the effectiveness of a mindfulness meditation based stress reduction (MBSR) programme on stress, coping and well-being in women with breast cancer. (PhD awarded 2009)

Jodie Moffatt (Radiographer) - Factors that influence illness behaviour prior to a diagnosis of lung cancer. (PhD awarded 2007)