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Mental health problems in pediatric cancer survivors

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

About the Project

Paediatric cancer survivors are at increased risk of psychiatric illnesses including depression, anxiety and other mental health difficulties. However, there is a lack of large population-based studies investigating the epidemiology of mental illness in paediatric cancer survivors. This proposal seeks to investigate the relationship between childhood cancer and psychiatric morbidities via nationally representative primary care records held in the Clinical Practice Research datalink (CPRD) linked with the national Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES),national cancer registry and ONS mortality records. These databases provide access to anonymised longitudinal primary care data with information on diagnoses, prescribed medication, and referral to secondary care, and they cover approximately 15% of the population of England. By establishing incidence rates, absolute and relative risks of childhood mental illnesses, the study’s findings will be informative for clinicians and researchers. It will inform enhanced clinical care for children diagnosed with cancers by advocating early mental health assessments, and timely access to treatments.

Candidates are expected to hold a minimum upper second class honours degree in a relevant health sciences subject as well as masters degree at merit or distinction level in a statistics, epidemiology or a related health sciences discipline in which quantitative research methods are salient. Candidates with experience in analysing large health datasets and in writing up their findings for peer reviewed academic journals are particularly encouraged to apply.

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select PhD Bioinformatics.

For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 2 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website (View Website). For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (View Website).

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.


Marcus J. Psychosocial issues in pediatric oncology. Ochsner J. 2012;12(3):211-215.

Friend AJ, Feltbower RG, Hughes EJ, Dye KP, Glaser AW. Mental health of long-term survivors of childhood and young adult cancer: A systematic review. Int J Cancer. 2018;143(6):1279-1286. doi:10.1002/ijc.31337

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