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Impact of the HeadSmart early diagnosis campaign

Fast facts

  • Official title: Impact of the HeadSmart – Be Brain Tumour Aware campaign (2011) on patient outcome, diagnosis and referral pattern in primary and secondary care using population-based data
  • Lead researcher: Professor David Walker
  • Where: University of Nottingham
  • When: July 2013 – December 2016
  • Cost: £70,398
  • Research type: Paediatric, All Grades, Early Diagnosis

Researchers are assessing the impact of the HeadSmart campaign on reducing diagnosis times and improving survival in children.

Professor David Walker and Dr Thomas Chu from the University of Nottingham are studying the patient records of children affected by brain tumours to determine whether earlier diagnosis of brain tumours can improve outcomes for those affected.

The HeadSmart campaign was introduced in 2011 and within two years helped to reduce the time taken to diagnose childhood brain tumours from 9.1 weeks to 6.7 weeks. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours to further reduce diagnosis times to less than 5 weeks.

The researchers will link patient records with national databases for hospital care and the National Cancer Registry to assess whether early diagnosis has reduced the number of medical procedures required by patients and whether there has been an increase in survival.

The study will also investigate whether HeadSmart has contributed to a reduction in the side affects associated with brain tumours and treatment, such as blindness. The team will look at patient records from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London to assess whether earlier diagnosis has reduced the number of patients losing their sight.

The team hopes this study will provide definitive evidence that the campaign has had a positive impact on reducing diagnosis time and improving survival rates for childhood brain tumours.

Research is just one other way your regular gift can make a difference

Research is the only way we will discover kinder, more effective treatments and, ultimately, stamp out brain tumours – for good! However, brain tumours are complex and research in to them takes a great deal of time and money.

Across the UK, over 100,000 families are facing the overwhelming diagnosis of a brain tumour and it is only through the generosity of people like you can we continue to help them.

But, by setting up a regular gift – as little as £2 per month – you can ensure that families no longer face this destructive disease.

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