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Dr Valerie Shilling

Dr Val Shilling

Dr Valerie Shilling (CPsychol, AFBPsS)

Research Fellow
T: +44 (0)1273 877934
Location: Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C), Room 5, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9PX

DA: Sharon Marks
T: +44(0)1273 873017

Areas of expertise: Psychosocial oncology
Research areas: Development of measures of quality of survival for patients and impact on informal caregivers 


Dr Valerie Shilling completed her undergraduate degree and PhD in psychology at Manchester University. Her PhD looked at cognitive changes with normal ageing. She joined SHORE-C for the first time in 2000 and worked for fiveyears on a number of projects looking at the impact of chemotherapy and hormone therapies on cognitive function.

After some time sailing to and around the Caribbean she return to the North West to Liverpool University to run an HTA project looking at doctor family communication and family decision making in relation to randomised controlled trials of medicines for children. In 2010 Val moved to Exeter Medical School and spent four years working on a number of projects in childhood disability at the Peninsula Cerebra Research Unit (PenCRU). She re-joined SHORE-C in July 2014.


Val is a research fellow at Sussex Health Outcomes Research and Education in Cancer (SHORE-C). The central aim of SHORE-C is to conduct pragmatic research in psychosocial oncology.

Work includes:

  1. Measuring quality of Life in clinical trials of cancer therapy
  2. Designing Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) measures
  3. Developing and evaluating supportive interventions to help patients deal with side-effects
  4. Producing educational materials and helping to improve communication skills of Cancer Healthcare Professionals

Please visit the SHORE-C website for more details about the full range of research.

Currently, Val's main research activity is the PROACT study (Patient Reported Outcomes in cancer, impact of Age and Carer/role demands associated with Treatment). The aim of this study is to develop two PRO measures: one measuring quality of survival for cancer patients and one measuring impact for informal caregivers. To read more about this study please see

Selected publications

Shilling, V. Starkings, R. Jenkins, V. Cella, D. Fallowfield, L. Development and validation of the caregiver roles and responsibilities scale in cancer caregivers. Quality of Life Research. 2019; 28(6): 1655-1668.

Kandiyali, R. Hawton, A. Cabral, C. Mytton, J, Shilling, V. Morris, C. Ingram, J. Working with Patients and Members of the Public: Informing Health Economics in Child Health Research. PharmacoEconomics – Open. 2018;

Shilling, V. Starkings, R. Jenkins, V. Cella, D. Fallowfield, L. Development and validation of the patient roles and responsibilities scale in cancer patients. Quality of Life Research. 2018; 27(11): 2923-2934.

Jenkins, V. Farewell, V. May, S. Catt, S. Matthews, L. Shilling, V. Dickson, J. Simcock, R. Fallowfield, L. Do drugs offering only PFS maintain quality of life sufficiently from a patient’s perspective? Results from AVALPROFS (Assessing the ‘VALue’ to patients of PROgression Free Survival) study. Support Care Cancer (2018).

Shilling, V. Starkings R, Jenkins, V. Fallowfield, L. The pervasive nature of uncertainty—a qualitative study of patients with advanced cancer and their informal caregivers. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 2017, 1-14. doi: 10.1007/s11764-017-0628-x. 

Catt, S. Starkings, R. Shilling, V. Fallowfield, L. Patient-reported outcome measures of the impact of cancer on patients’ everyday lives: a systematic review. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 2017, 11(2), 211-232.

Fallowfield, L. Catt, S. May, S. Matthews, L. Shilling, V. Simcock, R. Westwell, S. Jenkins, V.  Therapeutic aims of drugs offering only Progression Free Survival are misunderstood by patients, and oncologists may be overly optimistic about likely benefits. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2017; 25(1): 237–244.

Madden L, Shilling V, Woolfall K, Sowden E, Smyth R.L, Williamson P.R, Young B. Questioning assent: how are children's views included as families make decisions about clinical trials? Child: Care, Health and Development. 2016; 42(6), 900-908.

Shilling V, Matthews L, Jenkins V, Fallowfield L. Patient reported outcome measures for cancer caregivers: A systematic review. Quality of Life Research, 2016 25(8), 1859-1876.

See more Papers >