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Dr Grace McCutchan

Dr Grace McCutchan

Research Fellow

School of Medicine

Email
mccutchangm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2068 7639
Campuses
Neuadd Meirionnydd, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4YS

Overview

I am a Charted Psychologist and post-doctoral Behavioural Science researcher within the Division of Population Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University.

In my current role with the Wales Cancer Research Centre (Cardiff University) I lead and support projects about the behavioural aspects of cancer screening, prevention and early detection, with a particular focus on reducing socioeconomic inequalities in cancer. I apply behavioural science methods to evaluate acceptability, uptake and impact of new population prevention and diagnosis innovations. For example, I led the development of the TIC-TOC intervention - a multi-faceted community based vague cancer symptom awareness campaign in an area of high socioeconomic deprivation to support Rapid Diagnostic Clinics. I currently co-lead a Cancer Research Wales-funded study to test the feasibility of delivering and evaluating the TIC-TOC intervention.

I am co-investigator on the Yorkshire Enhanced Smoking Cessation (YESS) trial to test a personalised smoking cessation intervention in a lung cancer screening setting; a CRUK-funded study to develop a toolkit for smoking cessation provision in lung cancer screening; a CRUK-funded study to test lung cancer screening patient information materials; and a Health and Care Research Wales-funded study to test the acceptability and feasibility of a pharmacy referral service for people with lung cancer symptoms. I provide project support for the CABS Study (cabs-study.yolasite.com) - a rapid population study of COVID-19 impact on cancer attitudes and behaviours.

I am the academic representative on the Public Health Wales Cwm Taf Morgannwg Cancer Inequalities working group and my role on the NHS Wales Lung Health Check Clinical Steering Group is to provide behavioural science input to support the implementation of the first risk-stratified Lung Health Check pilot programme in Wales.

I am passionate about supporting high quality teaching and learning in Higher Education. I teach on various modules as part of the MBBCh Medical degree and Intercalated BSc degree, and I supervise Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. I am Fellow for the Higher Education Academy, and I was awarded the Dean’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Biography

I developed an interest in cancer during my time working as an auxiliary nurse on a chemotherapy ward and oncology outpatient clinics. I then opted to complete a professional placement during my Psychology BSc working with a team of Clinical Psychologists providing psychological support to patients and families with cancer.

Academic employment history:

  • Research Fellow for Wales Cancer Research Centre, Cardiff University School of Medicine (2022-pres)
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate for Wales Cancer Research Centre, Cardiff University School of Medicine (2017-2022)
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate for the CRUK-funded Lung Symptom Awareness and Health (LUSH) study, Cardiff University, School of Medicine (2016-2017)

Qualifications:

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2022)
  • Chartered Health Psychologist (2017)
  • Tenovus Cancer Care-funded PhD (Health Psychology), Cardiff University, School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK. Title: "Understanding the influences on cancer symptom presentation behaviour in the context of socioeconomic deprivation: development of a cancer awareness intervention" (2016)
  • BSc Psychology with Professional placement (2013)
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2016)

Honours and awards

  • Cardiff University Celebrating Excellence Rising Star Award (finalist; 2019)
  • Travel bursary to attend the Cancer Research UK bi-annual Early Diagnosis conference to present the findings from the LUSH study in the Spotlight on lung cancer session (2019)
  • Winner of best poster at the Cancer Research UK Early diagnosis conference (2017)
  • Winner of the ‘Having an impact’ category of the Health and Care Research Wales photography competition (2016)
  • The Deans Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2015)
  • Systematic review (McCutchan et al, 2015) ranked in the top 10 most influential articles of 2015 for BMC cancer

Professional memberships

  • Full member of the British Psychological Society
  • Chartered Health Psychologist
  • Member of the UK Society of Behavioural Medicine

Speaking engagements

Examples:

  • Cancer Research UK Early diagnosis conference. Oral presentation and ‘spotlight on lung cancer’ panel discussion. “Engaging high risk groups in early lung cancer detection: a qualitative study in the UK’s most deprived communities”. Birmingham, February 2019.
  • Danang Oncology Hospital. “Psychosocial influences on cancer treatment seeking”. Danang, Vietnam, February 2019.
  • Health Services Research UK conference. Panel session. “Hearing everyone’s voice: experiences and learning to create wider opportunities to be involved in research”. Nottingham, July 2018.
  • International Congress for Behavioural Medicine. Oral presentation. “Understanding the influences on early lung cancer symptom presentation and intervention preferences in high risk groups: a qualitative study”. Santiago, Chile, November 2018.
  • International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, World Lung Cancer Conference. Poster presentation. “Lung cancer symptom perception and intervention preferences in the UK’s most deprived communities: a qualitative study”. Toronto, September 2018.
  • NHS Christie educational seminar. Invited speaker. “Engaging high risk groups in early lung cancer detection”. Manchester, May 2018.
  • The Cancer and Primary Care Research International Network conference. Short oral presentation. “Development of personalised risk information to promote smoking cessation in a lung cancer screening context”. Groningen, Netherlands, April 2018.
  • The Cancer and Primary Care Research International Network conference. Short oral presentation. “Understanding the influences on early lung cancer symptom presentation and intervention preferences in high risk groups: a qualitative study”. Groningen, Netherlands, April 2018.
  • UK Society of Behavioural Medicine. Oral presentation. “Lung cancer symptom attribution and medical help seeking in high risk groups: a qualitative study”. Liverpool, December 2017.
  • South West Academic Primary Care conference. Short oral presentation. “The Lung Symptom Awareness and Health (LUSH) study”. Oxford, March 2017.
  • Primary and Emergency Care conference. Oral presentation. “Development of a lung cancer awareness intervention targeted at socioeconomically deprived communities”. Wrexham, November 2016.
  • Wales Cancer Partnership Conference. Workshop. “Community workshop: lung cancer”. Cardiff, November 2016.
  • Cwm Taf Research and Development conference. Oral presentation. “The Lung Symptom Awareness and Health (LUSH) study”. Cwm Taf, November 2017.
  • CRUK Early Diagnosis Conference. Poster presentation. “Development of a lung cancer awareness intervention targeted at socioeconomically deprived communities”. London, March 2017.
  • UK Society of Behavioural Medicine. Poster presentation. “Development of a lung cancer awareness intervention targeted at socioeconomically deprived communities”. Cardiff, December 2016.
  • International Psycho-Oncology Society Conference. Oral presentation. “Development of a lung cancer awareness intervention targeted at socioeconomically deprived communities”. Dublin, October 2016.
  • South West Academic Primary Care Conference. Oral presentation. “Development of a lung cancer awareness intervention targeted at socioeconomically deprived communities”. Cardiff, March 2016.
  • Division of Health Psychology Conference. Oral presentation. “Cancer symptom awareness, beliefs and symptomatic presentation in the context of socioeconomic deprivation: A qualitative interview study”. London, September 2015.
  • South West Academic Primary Care Conference. Oral presentation. “A systematic review of cancer symptom knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about cancer and time to symptom presentation in the context of socioeconomic deprivation”. Birmingham, March 2015.
  • South West Academic Primary Care conference. Short oral presentation. “Cancer symptom awareness, beliefs and symptomatic presentation in the context of socioeconomic deprivation: A qualitative interview study”. Birmingham, March 2015.
  • Public Health Wales Conference. Poster presentation. “Systematic review of cancer symptom knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about cancer and time to symptom presentation in the context of socioeconomic deprivation”. Cardiff, October 2014.

Committees and reviewing

I am member of the UK Society of Behavioural Medicine Early Career Researcher Committee. As part of my role, I co-manage the social media page.

I am the Early Career Researcher representative for the Division of Population Medicine Early Career Researcher and on the Division of Population Medicine Education Management Group

I am an active academic member of the Cwm Taf Reducing Cancer Inequalities Group, and the NHS Wales Lung Health Check Clinical Steering Group is to provide behavioural science input to support the implementation of the first risk-stratified Lung Health Check pilot programme in Wales.

I regularly peer review for a wide range of scientific journals including Thorax, British Journal of General Practice, Psycho-Oncology, British Journal of Health Psychology and American Journal of Preventive Medicine. I peer review grant applications various funders, including Health and Care Research Wales and Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

I was a member of the organising committee for two conferences: South West Academic Primary Care conference (Cardiff, 2016) and Cardiff University School of Medicine Postgraduate Research Day (Cardiff, 2014).

Publications

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

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Teaching

  • MBBCh Medical degree C21 curriculum delivery through Evidence-Based Medicine tutored sessions (‘Formulating the research question’; 2nd year medical students), the Student Selected Component (SSC) module (e.g. six-week practical research project experience), qualitative research methods sessions, review methods tutorials, and qualitative analysis software training (NViVO), Cardiff University
  • Assessment of Intercalated BSc dissertations, Student Selected Component research projects (years 1-4) and Masters in Public Health dissertations, Cardiff University
  • “Inequalities in cancer screening and early diagnosis” on the Intercalated BSc Rural Health module, Cardiff University
  • Visiting lecturer “Systematic review methods” for Health Psychology MSc students, University of South Wales
  • Visiting lecturer “Health Psychology” for Health Psychology MSc students, University of Wales Trinity St David’s
  • Development of a transgender medical education e-learning module for MBBCh medical students

Research interests: 

  • Identifying psychosocial barriers to cancer screening, prevention and early diagnosis
  • Developing and testing behavioural interventions to encourage cancer early detection and prevention
  • Reducing cancer inequality (e.g. socioeconomic inequality)

Methodological expertise: 

  • Qualitative methods
  • Development/evaluation of behaviour change interventions
  • Systematic literature reviews

Current/recent PI grants: 

  • Testing the acceptability and feasibility of delivering and evaluating the TIC-TOC campaign: a multi-faceted community based vague cancer symptom awareness campaign in an area of high socioeconomic deprivation. Cancer Research Wales. (co-PI, 2020-2023)
  • Developing the Targeted Intensive Community-based campaign To Optimise Cancer awareness (TIC-TOC) campaign to support the Rapid Diagnostic Clinic pathway. Cwm Taf University Health Board commissioned research (co-PI, 2019).
  • Future Leaders in Cancer Research. Cardiff University (PI, 2018)
  • Development of a personalised intervention to support smoking cessation in a lung cancer screening setting. Cardiff University Bequest Fund (PI, 2016-2017)

Current/recent Co-Investigator grants: 

  • The Yorkshire Enhanced Stop Smoking (YESS) trial: testing the effect of adding a personalised smoking cessation intervention to a lung cancer screening programme. Yorkshire Cancer Research (Co-Investigator, 2018-2023, PIs: Murray/Callister).
  • Barriers and enablers to use of primary care remote consulting for suspected cancer symptoms. PhD studentship jointly funded by North West Cancer Research and Tenovus Cancer Care (Co-supervisor, PI: Hiscock; 2022-2025)
  • Supporting implementation of NHS England’s Lung Health Check pilot programme - testing participant information materials to generate recommendations. CRUK Early Diagnosis Advisory Group – Commissioned Research call. (co-applicant, 2020, PI: Quaife)
  • Readiness of lung cancer screening services to deliver concurrent smoking cessation treatment: Guideline and implementation toolkit development. CRUK's Tobacco Advisory Group (Co-Investigator, 2019-2020, PI: McWilliams).
  • Pharmacy referral for lung symptoms. Health and Care Research Wales - Research for Patient and Public Benefit. (Co-investigator, 2017-2019).

Supervision

  • PhD studentship: "Barriers and enablers to use of primary care remote consulting for suspected cancer symptoms" Co-supervisor (2022-2025)
  • MSc Public Health dissertation: "Systematic review of interventions to identify and engage people in Lung Health Checks" Lead-supervisor (2022)
  • Intercalated BSc medical student project: "Health service use for cancer symptoms and screening during the COVID-19 pandemic: a data linkage study" Co-supervisor (2022-2023)
  • 4th year SSC medical student project: "Physical Health Promotion Interventions for People with Mental Illnesses: Scoping the Literature and Building a Search Strategy for a Scoping Review” Lead supervisor (2020)
  • Intercalated BSc medical student project: “The influence of rural deprivation on public awareness, beliefs and help-seeking for cancer symptoms”. Co-supervisor (2019-2020)
  • Two Postgraduate students based in Vanderbilt University (US) and Hanoi National University (Vietnam): "Meta-analysis of time to medical-help seeking for cancer symptoms in Lower and Lower-middle income countries. Co-supervisor (2019)
  • Intercalated BSc medical student project: “How can we encourage people living in low- and middle-income countries to engage with early cancer detection?” Lead supervisor (2018-2019)
  • Intercalated BSc medical student project: “Young adults’ perceptions and experiences of e-cigarette use: A meta-ethnography”. Co-supervisor (2018-2019). Awarded the Peter Ellwood Prize for best clinical epidemiology project
  • 4th year SSC medical student project: “Patient-reported barriers to early cancer diagnosis in Lower and Lower-middle income countries: a systematic review”. Lead supervisor (2018)
  • Intercalated BSc medical student project: “Understanding the social and contextual factors influencing lung cancer    presentation in deprived communities”. Lead supervisor (2017-2018). Won best presentation at the WISERD conference
  • 4th year SSC medical student project: “Enhancing LGBTQ through medical education”. Co-supervisor (2017)
  • 4th year SSC medical student project: “Bullying of Junior Doctors – A study of Prevalence, Perceptions, Awareness & Impact”. Co-supervisor (2017)
  • 1st year SSC medical student literature review project: “How effective are cancer awareness campaigns at encouraging people to present early to their GP with symptoms?” Lead supervisor for five students (2017)

Past projects

Trainee GP Academic Fellow: “Understanding medical help seeking behaviour for lung cancer symptoms in symptomatic high risk adults living in the most deprived areas of the UK: an application of the Common Sense Model of self-regulation of health and illness”. Lead research project supervisor (2018-2019)

Engagement

Public involvement 

The value and importance of patient and public involvement (PPI) in research (involving lay members of public on research management groups) is reflected throughout my research, see https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/medicine/about-us/engagement/case-study-grace-mccutchan.

Through my role with Wales Cancer Research Centre, I have been working with PPI representatives to understand the barriers to involvement in research studies, and develop strategies to widen participation and tackle the issue of diversity in PPI.

Public Engagement

Equally, public engagement (to let patients and public know the results of studies) is important. I have delivered talks to various patient support groups, in charity shops, and at organised events e.g. Chapter Arts ‘At Public Uni’. I have been involved in a few science communication stalls at CRUK Open Days and with Tenovus Cancer Care at Greenman festival, see http://www.tenovuscancercare.org.uk/news/scientific-cellfie-success-at-green-man-festival/.