Chemotherapy Hair Loss Study

Sinead Power pictured with Dr. Mario E. Lacouture at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, April 2011. Sinead's trip was sponsored by Bayer Healthcare and the Irish Association for Nurses in Oncology. Dr Lacouture is a dermatologist interested in chemotherapy induced hair loss.

Sinead Power is a nurse researcher from the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork. She is  currently undertaking her PhD. and is particularly interested in examining the effects of chemotherapy induced hair loss on the self-concept of individuals with primary cancer. In today’s guest post, Sinead tells us what led to her interest in this area of research, and how you can help with her survey.

My interest in this area has emerged mainly from my work as an oncology nurse for many years. As a woman myself, I was always struck by patients’ reaction to the news that they would lose their hair. Through my clinical work and my previous research I have also discovered that some healthcare professionals tend to under-estimate the impact of chemotherapy induced hair loss on patients. This mainly comes from the perception that because hair loss is temporary it will be somehow less traumatic  for patients. However, this is often not the case, hair looks very different for many patients once it comes back. It is often a different colour and texture as before. The change in physical appearance resulting from hair loss can affect may aspects of an individual’s life including their interactions with those inside and outside of their family circle. Hair loss may also impact on how an individual feels psychologically. Thus, I feel that this is an important area to research. The study has been open to patients since January 2011 and to date, I have 219 responses. A big thank you to all who have taken part. The study questionnaire is accessible via an on-line link

This questionnaire takes approximately 15 minutes to complete, and the feedback on it’s ease of use has been very positive to date. The study is also open to males and 12 have taken the time to complete the questionnaire so far.

Thus, if you have experienced hair loss resulting from chemotherapy, I invite you to take part in this study.

The study questionnaire is also available via Facebook. 

Please have a look at this page, you are more than welcome to become a “friend” to the study. I have interacted with some amazing people from all over the world since the page opened in January. I hope to use this page to relay information to you all relating to the study’s progress. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions relating to the study or if you would like to see a copy of my previous publications relating to chemotherapy induced hair loss

Thanks to Marie Ennis O’Connor (Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer)  for inviting me to be a guest blogger and for supporting the study since the beginning.

Related Post: Hair Today..Gone Tommorrow