Samantha Flynn

PhD Student

Samantha is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology. Her PhD is exploring the ‘Cancer-related experiences of individuals with an intellectual disability’.

Email: samantha.flynn@chester.ac.uk

Research

Samantha’s PhD aims to explore the cancer-related experiences of individuals with an intellectual disability, and the impact this may have on those who support them (i.e. oncology professionals, family members). Increasing numbers of people with an intellectual disability (ID) are being diagnosed with life-altering illnesses, including cancer; this is in part due to increasing life expectancy. It is widely accepted that receiving a cancer diagnosis is psychologically distressing; it is probable that such distress may be exacerbated by the additional challenges faced by people with ID, for instance: interpersonal communication skills, personal care, reading and knowledge. However, there is a paucity of research exploring the cancer experiences of this population. Without a firm understanding of such experiences, cancer care for individuals with ID may not sufficiently meet the needs of these individuals, potentially leading to a disparity of health experience compared with patients without ID.

Four studies form the basis of Samantha’s PhD: (1) A systematic review of the psychosocial experiences of chronic illness in individuals with an intellectual disability, which revealed a paucity (n=4) of relevant literature related to this population; (2) A grounded theory study focussed on the cancer-related experiences of participants (from self and proxy reports) with an intellectual disability; (3) A questionnaire study which aimed to better understand the perceptions of oncology nurses when providing care for cancer patients with an intellectual disability; (4) An intervention to improve the outcomes of oncology professionals when providing care to a cancer patient with an intellectual disability. Most recently, Samantha is finalising the analysis of the grounded theory study and is developing the intervention for oncology professionals, whilst continuing to write chapters pertaining to the finished studies.

Samantha is a member of the Chester Research Unit for the Psychology of Health (CRUPH), and is regularly involved in research projects besides those being undertaken as part of her PhD.

Published work

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Flynn, S., Hulbert-Williams, L., Bramwell, R., Stevens-Gill, D., & Hulbert-Williams, N. (2015). Caring for cancer patients with an intellectual disability: Attitudes and care perceptions of UK oncology nurses. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 19(5), 568-574. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2015.03.002

Flynn, S., Hulbert-Williams, N., Hulbert-Williams, L., Bramwell, R. (2015). Psychosocial Experiences of Chronic Illness in Individuals with an Intellectual Disability: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 19(2),178-194. doi:10.1177/1744629514565680

Recent Conference Publications and Invited Presentations

Flynn, S., Stevens-Gill, D., Bramwell, R., Hulbert-Williams, L., & Hulbert-Williams, N. Caring for cancer patients with an intellectual disability. Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Annual Research Conference, January 2016 (invited oral presentation).

Flynn, S., Hulbert-Williams, N., Hulbert-Williams, L., & Bramwell, R. “You don’t know what’s wrong with you”: An exploration of the cancer-related experiences in individuals with an intellectual disability. University of Cambridge, Primary Care Unit Qualitative Research Forum, November 2015 (invited oral presentation).

Flynn, S., Hulbert-Williams, N., Hulbert-Williams, L., & Bramwell, R. Cancer-related experiences in individuals with an intellectual disability: Tentative results from a grounded theory study. IPOS/APOS World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, July 2015, Washington, D.C. (poster).

Flynn, S., Hulbert-Williams, N., Hulbert-Williams, L., & Bramwell, R. Cancer experiences in individuals with an intellectual disability: Preliminary results from a grounded theory study. Breast Cancer Care Research Seminar, June 2015 (invited oral presentation).

Flynn, S., Hulbert-Williams, N., Hulbert-Williams, L., & Bramwell, R. Cancer experiences in individuals with an intellectual disability: Preliminary results from a grounded theory study. BPS Faculty for People with an Intellectual Disability Annual Conference, May 2015, Oxford (invited oral presentation).

Flynn, S., Hulbert-Williams, N., Hulbert-Williams, L., & Bramwell, R. Cancer experiences in individuals with an intellectual disability: Results from a grounded theory study. BPOS Annual Conference, Leeds, March 2015 (oral).

Flynn, S., Stevens-Gill, D., Bramwell, R., Hulbert-Williams, L., & Hulbert-Williams, N. Caring for cancer patients with an intellectual disability: Attitudes and care perceptions of UK oncology nurses. BPOS Annual Conference. Leeds, March 2015 (poster).

Flynn, S., Hulbert-Williams, N., Hulbert-Williams, L., & Bramwell, R. Cancer experiences of individuals with an intellectual disability. Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Annual Research Conference, February 2015 (invited oral presentation).

Flynn, S., Hulbert-Williams, L., Bramwell, R., Stevens-Gill, D., & Hulbert-Williams, N. Predictors of stress in oncology nurses and the additional challenge of caring for a patient with an intellectual disability. IPOS World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, Lisbon, October 2014 (poster).

Flynn, S., Hulbert-Williams, N., Bramwell, R., & Hulbert-Williams, L. Intellectual disabilities and cancer: A review of the current literature. IPOS World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, Rotterdam, November 2013 (poster).

Flynn, S., Hulbert-Williams, N., Bramwell, R., & Hulbert-Williams, L. Intellectual disabilities and cancer: A review of the current literature. BPOS Annual Conference, January 2013 (poster).