SURECAN Infographic-1


The SURECAN study (Survivors’ Rehabilitation Evaluation after Cancer) is a programme grant funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under the prestigious Programme Grants for Applied Research funding stream. The SURECAN programme consists of six inter-digitating work streams designed to develop, trial and evaluate the ACT+ intervention in improving the quality of life for those living with cancer. The work packages are as follows:

    • Meta-synthesis of qualitative studies of cultural influences on psychological interventions in survivors


    • Development of Acceptance and Commitment (plus) therapy (ACT+) pre-pilot


    • Pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT)


    • Main RCT of ACT+ versus usual aftercare (currently recruiting until Nov 2023).


    • Qualitative studies


    • Evaluation of predictors, moderators and mediators  



The review seeks to achieve an understanding of the potential cultural influences on cancer-related
psychological interventions. The aim is to inform the adaptations necessary to deliver ACT+ in more culturally informed ways so that it is more generalisable.

The pre-pilot phase sets out to iteratively develop the intervention, integrating support for physical activity and meaningful occupation, to produce therapist and patient materials ready for the pilot RCT, and to develop training to train those delivering the ACT+ intervention. It will also involve focus groups/interviews with patients and stakeholders, and delivery of the ACT+ intervention to a small number of patients, with interviews following.

The main aim is to answer the question: Can we recruit and retain sufficient participants, with outcome data, in an RCT?

We will run a pilot RCT to test the trial procedures in three centres – Barts, UCLH and Sheffield NHS Foundation Trusts, focusing on screening, recruitment, engagement with therapy, and retention with outcome data. We will recruit 45 participants in total, 15 from each centre.

Research question
Is ACT+ more effective and cost-effective than usual aftercare in improving QoL at one year follow up inpatients living with and beyond cancer, whilst remaining as safe as usual after care?

The design is a pragmatic, parallel two arm, randomised trial, comparing ACT+, added to usual aftercare, versus usual aftercare.

Participants (n=299) will be recruited from hospital clinics in three or more centres currently including: Barts Health and UCLH in London, and Sheffield NHS Trusts

We aim to conduct a qualitative study of experience of ACT+ amongst participants to understand contextual factors affecting trial participant including therapists

We will be trying to answer: what predicts response to any treatment? What moderates response to ACT+? What predicts costs and cost-effectiveness? What mediates the efficacy of ACT+?


All aspects of the SURECAN programme have been designed and developed by experts in public health, oncology, psychological impact of cancer, clinical trials and health service research, and has been reviewed and approved by independent reviewers on behalf of the funder (National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research). The SURECAN team includes academics and clinicians, as well as strong patient and public involvement (PI) who have and will inform all aspects of the project design, conduct and outputs.


Currently we have the following secondary care sites participating:


    • Barts Health NHS Trust
    • UCLH NHS Foundation Trust
    • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    • King's College London
    • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
    • Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
    • Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust


In addition to a number of services from Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) centres with the flowing trusts:


    • iCope Camden & Islington
    • North East London Foundation Trust
    • East London Foundation Trust
    • City & Hackney (Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust)
    • Barnet IAPT (Whittington Health NHS Trust in Harringey and Barnet, Enfield & Haringey Mental Health Trust)
    • Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
    • Cavendish Cancer Care Charity


We are currently recruiting more IAPT and hospital sites! Please get in touch if you are interested in participating.