A Diary Of A Mesowarrior Living With #Mesothelioma #Asbestos – Space Safe Virtual Reality Trial Results and the Christmas Lights Of London






My life goes in a puzzled world at times where I cant get straight.

I had to cancel BOHS because of treatment and then blow me down  after a 3 hour traffic jam on the M25 Monday and arriving late to the Marsden my bloods were out and treatment cancelled for a week.

So I will have my scan Monday and pray my bloods are good and I can carry on with treatment.

It was to late to go to Nottingham and not fair to mess people about so I was free to attend the Space Safe meeting at Queen Anne Street London yesterday.

This was the Trial I went into with the Virtual Reality head sets.

The SafeSpace study: using virtual reality to co-design health interventions for people living with and beyond cancer


Lisa Murray, Nurse Researcher with the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and member of the SafeSpace study team led by Professor Theresa Wiseman, tells us about this innovative virtual reality intervention study with the potential to benefit people living with and beyond cancer. SafeSpace is being featured at the 2019 NCRI and NHS England Living With and Beyond conference.

Many people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) experience poor psychological wellbeing including increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, shame and other unwanted emotional states. Apart from being unpleasant, these states can contribute to poor engagement with therapy, poor lifestyle choices and a worsening of important relationships.

Co-designed health intervention

Experience based co-design (EBCD) is an approach for engaging all key stakeholders in the identification and the co-design of services and/or care pathways. It places an importance on working in partnership with service users to identify their priorities and solutions for service improvement as often these are very different to those of the service and staff working within it.

The SafeSpace study is a one-year study, funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, which seeks to use an adapted form of EBCD to co-design with people living with and beyond cancer a low cost, quality controlled and self-managed psychological health intervention.

Cultivating self-compassion

In addition to being able to enter and immerse themselves in high quality peaceful, calm environments, people with cancer will be able to access a series of guided exercises to help them cultivate and experience self-compassion, which is known to be associated with several therapeutic effects, helping them to rapidly relax and de-stress, while experiencing improved psychological wellbeing and self-compassion.

Study development

During the first phase of this study we ran an initial event to determine when and how this wellbeing intervention might be used along the cancer pathway. This was followed by four user-testing workshops at which participants were asked to test the VR experience and give feedback at each iteration of the design process.

The SafeSpace experience has now been developed and consists of three separate VR sessions which last approximately 10-12 minutes each. The user will be able to select from three VR environments: mountain, forest or beach. Once in the virtual environment, the user will listen to an audio recording which guides them through a series of exercises. Based on the feedback during the co-design, the user will hear a different, professionally recorded audio each time they use the experience, during which the concept and focus on compassion will be gradually developed. The aim of this is to introduce the concept of compassion to self gradually and help them orientate to this new way of thinking about themselves.

In phase 2, we will evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of using the SafeSpace intervention in the clinical setting and collect preliminary data to assess psychological and physiological effects of the experience. To achieve this, we plan to recruit 20 people who are undergoing cancer treatment into the study. Each participant will receive the three sessions of the SafeSpace study with each session being delivered separately.

Potential impact

The potential impact of this project could be significant – helping to reduce suffering and improve compliance during cancer treatment, as well as improving wellbeing, resilience and quality of life generally and at specific points along the cancer patient journey. General engagement with life, ability to cope with uncertainty and self-management skills may also be improved.

The team

The SafeSpace study is led by Professor Theresa Wiseman (Lead for Health Services Research), Lisa Murray and Geraldine O’Gara (Nurse Researchers) at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. The study team also includes the following experts: Dr Andrew Macquarrie and Professor Anthony Steed (virtual environments and computer graphics), University College London; Professor Paul Gilbert (compassion focussed Therapy), University of Derby and Dr Tim Anstiss (psychological behaviour change therapies).

Further information

For more information about SafeSpace visit the Macmillan Cancer Support funded research site and find the study on the NCRI Portfolio Maps (‘Psychosocial Oncology and Survivorship’ area, Map A).

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————It was great to see how well the trial was received and all the results.

I was asked to do a Interview video of how I thought it would work with patients and I said how it would be great when your in chemo it would calm you and even in a MRI scanner it would be good to show it on the white roof of the scanner and keep people calm.

So the trial will carryon with a larger amount of patients all that to get funding to get it into all hospitals.

I think that is a waste of time, it isnt a drug and the NHS should look at it as a piece of equipment and just allow it to happen. Friends of the hospital could fund this small project Im sure. I needs more advertising,

Anyway lunch was served and then we could go.

As we were in Oxford street we had a look at the shops and wished the Christmas lights were on but the sun was shinning away.

One thought on “A Diary Of A Mesowarrior Living With #Mesothelioma #Asbestos – Space Safe Virtual Reality Trial Results and the Christmas Lights Of London

  1. What a good idea the Safe Space Study is – I agree with you Mavis it should just be rolled out across the NHS. It doesn’t need trialling. This would help lots of Cancer patients to destress – even if only for a short while. Hope you and ray are keeping well – Tom

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