March 15, 2012, by Emma Rayner
Accolade for brain tumour campaign
We’ve just heard that the HeadSmart campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of brain tumours in children and young people has been nominated for a prestigious award in the world of medicine… the BMJ’s Improving Healthcare award for Excellence in Healthcare Education.
HeadSmart was launched last summer by the University’s Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust. The project produced a website, leaflets, symptom cards and media campaign for parents, young people and health professionals aimed at speeding up the diagnosis of brain tumours in youngsters in the UK.
And it seems to be working. A survey six months after the launch showed 10% of the general public had heard of HeadSmart. 15% of families attending a routine outpatient appointment not related to a brain tumour had heard of HeadSmart. Families were also shown the HeadSmart symptom card and 66% felt it would increase their confidence in discussing concerns about a possible brain tumour with a doctor.
Although further information and analysis is needed, early provisional data suggests that symptom intervals may be shorter following the launch of the campaign. This is based on data currently available for 323 children and young people diagnosed with a brain tumour in the UK since January 2011.
Fingers crossed for HeadSmart in the BMJ award ceremony on 23 May 2012.