The Psychobiological Effects of Personalised Supportive Interventions (PEPSIN)

  • Fallowfield, Professor Dame Lesley (PI)
  • Jenkins, Val (CoI)
  • Flint, Melanie (CoI)
  • Harder, Helena (CoI)
  • Catt, Sue (CoI)
  • Starkings, Rachel (CoI)

Project Details


Growing evidence indicates that supportive interventions can have psychological benefits for people affected by cancer, including improvement in quality of life, mood and optimised immune responses, for example, a reduction in cortisol levels. The PEPSIN study examines the feasibility and acceptability of measuring stress cortisol levels in women with breast cancer participating in a personalised supportive intervention.

Funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, PEPSIN is a feasibility study designed for women with early stage breast cancer who are enrolling on a personalised supportive intervention, either a specialised make-up/skincare programme (for example, Look Good Feel Better) or exercise programme (for example, Brighter Outlook, CUFitter).

The aim was be to gather evidence about the impact of interventions. Participants were invited to complete a series of psychological and biological measures (for example, to complete questionnaires and provide saliva/hair samples) before workshop participation and over the course of 12 weeks thereafter. The time points will allow us to assess whether there are psychobiological changes associated with attendance, whether or not these changes are durable over time, and if there is an association with psychosocial outcomes.

Additionally, the team captured information about whether the participants were in favour of any of these measures, how long they took to complete and how easy they were to complete.

Drs Melanie Flint and Caroline Garrett, are collaborating long-term with Principal Investigator Professor Dame Lesley Fallowfield and her team at Shore-C at the University of Sussex. The study is funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Effective start/end date1/10/1630/09/17


  • Breast Cancer Research Foundation


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