Dr Penny Wright

Uni. of Leeds - Faculty of Medicine and Health. Images for the Leeds Cancer Research website.

BSc Psychology, Certificate of Qualification in Social Work, MSc Psychosocial Palliative Care, PhD.

Associate Professor

Phone: 0113 2068488
Email: e.p.wright@leeds.ac.uk

Penny’s first degree was in psychology prior to undertaking social work training. She then had a number of social work posts, latterly working in hospitals and specialising in cancer. She completed a part-time Master’s degree in Psychosocial Palliative Care at the University of Southampton and moved in to cancer research in 1996. Penny undertook a part-time PhD while working as a research assistant, completed in 2002.

Her interest was in the social impact cancer on the everyday lives of patients and their families. She was awarded a three year Macmillan Career Development Fellowship and on completion of this she was appointed Associate Professor of Psychosocial Cancer Care and set up the Psychosocial Research Group (PSRG).

Research Interests

Penny’s research initially focussed on use of electronic systems to exchange information between patients and clinical teams. In 2010, following a grant awarded by Macmillan Cancer Support, she developed an online questionnaire builder and management system (QTool) to collect patient reported outcome data from cancer survivors to link with cancer registration data. QTool has been built on over the subsequent years by other researchers and is now a University of Leeds product available for licence.  In parallel with the research in data capture she became interested in use of Patient Reported Outcome Measures. This resulted in the development of the Social Difficulties Inventory (SDI-21), which is now used in clinical practice and in research.

More recently Penny has been involved in a number of epidemiological projects linking Patient Reported Outcome data with routinely collected clinical data from cancer registries and electronic patient records. Following project work with Carers Leeds, a local third sector organisation, Penny became interested in carer assessment. In 2016 she was awarded a grant from the Medical Research Council to develop a questionnaire to assess the quality of life of people who are caring for someone with dementia.


Accepted manuscript online

Pini S, Ingleson E, Megson M, Clare L, Wright P, Oyebode JR. A needs-led framework for understanding the impact of caring for a family member with dementia. Gerontologist. 0; ():-. Advance Access publication October 9, 2017. DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnx148


Wright P. Maximising Recruitment to Randomised Controlled Trials: The Role of Qualitative Research to Inform Recruitment Challenges. European  Urology. 2017;  72(5): 799-800: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2017.06.029

Matheson L, Watson E K, , Nayoan J, Wagland R, GLaser A, Gavin A T, Wright P, Rivas A.  A qualitative metasynthesis exploring the impact of prostate cancer and its management on younger, unpartnered and gay menEur J Cancer Care. 2017; 26:e12676. DOI:10.1111/ecc.12676

MacLennan S J, MacLennan S, Bex A, Catto J, de Santis M,Glaser A, Ljungberg B,  N’Dow J, Plass K, Trapero-Bertran M,  van Poppel H, Wright P, Giles R H. Changing current practice in urology: improving guideline development and implementation through stakeholder engagement. European  Urology. 2017; 72(2); 161-163 : DOI:http: 10.1016/j.eururo.2017.02.008

Ashley L, Velikova G,  Downing A, Morris E, Wright PHealth-related quality of life in cancer survivorship: predictive power of the Social Difficulties Inventory  Psychooncology. 2017;  26(11):  DOI: 10.1002/pon.4368


Rivas C, Matheson L, Nayoan J, Glaser A, Gavin A, Wright P, Wagland R, Watson E. Ethnicity and the prostate cancer experience: a qualitative metasynthesis. Psychooncology. 2016; 25 (10):
1147–1156: DOI: 10.1002/pon.4222Downing A, Wright P, Wagland R et al. Life after prostate cancer diagnosis: protocol for a UK-wide patient-reported outcomes study. BMJ Open. 2016; 6 (12).

Horne B, Newsham A, Velikova G, Liebersbach S, Gilleece M, Wright P. Development and evaluation of a specifically designed website for haematopoietic stem cell transplant patients in Leeds. European Journal of Cancer Care. 2016;25(3):402-18.

Marti J, Hall PS, Hamilton P, Hulme CT, Jones H, Velikova G, Wright P. The economic burden of cancer in the UK: a study of survivors treated with curative intent. Psycho-Oncology. 2016;25(1):77-83.


Ashley L, Marti J, Jones H, Velikova G, Wright P. Illness perceptions within 6months of cancer diagnosis are an independent prospective predictor of health-related quality of life 15months post-diagnosis. Psycho-Oncology. 2015;24(11):1463-70.

Absolom K, Holph P, Woroncow B, Wright E P, Velikova G.   Beyond lip service and box ticking: how effective patient engagement is integral to the development and delivery of patient-reported outcomes. Quality of Life Research. 2015;24: 1077-1085.

Wright P, Downing A, Morris EJA, Corner J, et al. Identifying social distress: a cross-sectional survey of social outcomes twelve to thirty-six months following a colorectal cancer diagnosis. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2015;33(30):3423-3430.

Hall P, Hamilton P, Hulme C, Meads D, Jones H, Newsham A, Marti J, Smith AF, Mason H, Velikova G, Ashley L, Wright, P. Costs of cancer care for use in economic evaluation: A UK analysis of patient-level routine health system data. British Journal of Cancer.2015;112, 948–956.

Downing A, Morris E, Richards M, Corner J, Wright P, Sebag-Montefiore D, et al. Health Related Quality of Life following colorectal cancer in England: a patient reported outcomes study of 21,000 individuals 12-36 months post diagnosis. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2015;33(6):616-624.


Ashley L, Smith AB, Jones H, Velikova G, Wright P. Traditional and Rasch psychometric analyses of the Quality of Life in Adult Cancer Survivors (QLACS) questionnaire in shorter-term cancer survivors 15 months post-diagnosis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2014;77(4):322-9.

Horne B, Gilleece M, Jackson G, Snowden JA, Liebersbach S, Velikova G, Wright P. Psychosocial supportive care services for haematopoietic stem cell transplant patients; a service evaluation of three UK transplant centres. European Journal of Cancer Care. 2014;23(3):349-62.

Wright P, Fenlon D, Jones H, Foster C, Ashley L, Chivers Seymour K, et al. Using the Clinical Research Network for psychosocial cancer research: lessons learned from two observational studies. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. 2014;4:202-11.

Lippa J, Fügener A, Arora J, Sterrett I, Elkan A, Glaser A, Higley J, Lundström M, Wright P, Vickers A, Ratchford D, van Maasakkers L, Singh A, Stoefs J. Electronic PROMs: What’s the Right Solution for Your Organization? Cambridge, MA:International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM); July 2014.


Ashley L, Smith AB, Keding A, Jones H, Velikova G, Wright P. Psychometric evaluation of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) in cancer patients: Confirmatory factor analysis and Rasch analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2013;75(6):556-62.

Ashley L, Keding A, Brown J, Velikova G, Wright P. Score equivalence of electronic and paper versions of the Social Difficulties Inventory (SDI-21): a randomised crossover trial in cancer patients. Quality of Life Research. 2013;22(6):1435-40.

Ashley L, Jones H, Thomas J, Newsham A, Downing A, Morris E, Brown J, Velikova G, Forman D, Wright P. Integrating Patient Reported Outcomes With Clinical Cancer Registry Data: A Feasibility Study of the Electronic Patient-Reported Outcomes From Cancer Survivors (ePOCS) System. J Med Internet Res. 2013;15(10):e230.


Wright P, Bingham L, Taylor S, Hanif N, Podmore E, Velikova G. Managing social difficulties: roles and responsibilities of patients and staff. Psycho-Oncology. 2012;21(1):20-8.

Bartlett YK, Selby DL, Newsham A, Keding A, Forman D, Brown J, Velikova G, Wright P. Developing a useful, user-friendly website for cancer patient follow-up: users’ perspectives on ease of access and usefulness. European Journal of Cancer Care. 2012;21(6):747-57.

Ashley L, Jones H, Velikova G, Wright P. Cancer patients’ and clinicians’ opinions on the best time in secondary care to approach patients for recruitment to longitudinal questionnaire-based research. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2012;20(12):3365-72.


Wright P, Smith A B, Keding A, Velikova G. The Social Difficulties Inventory (SDI): development of subscales and scoring guidance for staff. Psycho-Oncology 2011: 20: 36-43.

Ashley L, Jones H, Forman D, Newsham A, Brown J, Downing A, Velikova G, Wright P. Feasibility test of a UK-scalable electronic system for regular collection of patient-reported outcome measures and linkage with clinical cancer registry data: The electronic Patient-reported Outcomes from Cancer Survivors (ePOCS) system. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2011: 11: 66.

Ashley L, Jones H, Thomas J, Forman D, Newsham A, Morris E, Johnson O, Velikova G, Wright P. Integrating cancer survivors’ experiences into UK cancer registries: design and development of the ePOCS system (electronic Patient-reported Outcomes from Cancer Survivors). Br J Cancer 2011: 105: S74-S81.

Dharni N, Hanif N, Bradley C, Velikova G, Stark D, Wright P. The social difficulties of cancer patients of South Asian Indian and Pakistani origin: a cross-sectional questionnaire and interview study. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2011: 1: 154-161.

Hanif N, Dharni N, Smith A, Chattoo S, Velikova G, Bradley C, Stark D, Wright P. Translation of the Social Difficulties Inventory (SDI-21) into three south Asian languages and preliminary evaluation of SDI-21(Urdu). Quality of Life Research 2011: 20: 431-438.

Smith A, Wright P, Selby P, Velikova G. Measurement invariance of the 16-item social distress scale. Quality of Life Research 2011: 20: 507-511.

2010 and earlier

Velikova G, Keding A, Harley C, Cocks K, Booth L, Smith A B, Wright P, Selby P J, Brown J M. Patients report improvements in continuity of care when quality of life assessments are used routinely in oncology practice: Secondary outcomes of a randomised controlled trial. European Journal of Cancer 2010: 46: 2381-2388.

Podmore E J, Bingham L C, Roberts K M, Selby P J, Wright P, Velikova G. Routine assessment of social difficulties in cancer patients: are we opening Pandora’s box? Supportive Care in Cancer 2009: 17: 1425-1432.

Smith A B, Rush R, Wright P, Stark D, Velikova G, Sharpe M. Validation of an item bank for detecting and assessing psychological distress in cancer patients. Psycho-Oncology 2009: 18: 195-199.

Velikova G, Awad N, Coles-Gale R, Wright E P, Brown J M, Selby P J. The clinical value of quality of life assessment in oncology practice – a qualitative study of patient and physician views. Psycho-Oncology 2008: 17: 690-698.

Wright P, Marshall L, Smith A, Velikova G, Selby P. Measurement and interpretation of social distress using the social difficulties inventory (SDI). European Journal of Cancer 2008: 44: 1529-1535.

Wright P, Smith A, Roberts K, Selby P, Velikova G. Screening for social difficulties in cancer patients: clinical utility of the Social Difficulties Inventory. British Journal of Cancer 2007: 97: 1063-1070.

Smith A B, Rush R, Velikova G, Wall L, Wright E P, Stark D, Selby P, Sharpe M. The initial development of an item bank to assess and screen for psychological distress in cancer patients. Psycho-Oncology 2007: 16: 724-732.

Smith A B, Wright P, Selby P J, Velikova G. A rasch and factor analysis of the functional assessment of cancer therapy-general (FACT-G). Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2007: 5. 1: 19.

Smith A B, Wright P, Selby P, Velikova G. Measuring social difficulties in routine patient-centred assessment: a Rasch analysis of the social difficulties inventory. Quality of Life Research 2007: 16: 823-831.

Smith A B, Velikova G, Wright E P, Lynch P, Selby P J. Computer-assisted questionnaires may facilitate collection of quality-of-life (QOL) data: At a cost. Computers in Human Behavior 2006: 22: 991-1000.

Smith A B, Wright E P, Rush R, Stark D P, Velikova G, Selby P J. Rasch analysis of the dimensional structure of the hospital anxiety and depression scale. Psycho-Oncology 2006: 15: 817-827.

Smith A B, Wright E P, Velikova G. Improvements in measuring the health-related quality of life of cancer patients. Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res 2006: 6: 97-105.

Wright E P, Kiely M, Johnston C, Smith A B, Cull A, Selby P J. Development and evaluation of an instrument to assess social difficulties in routine oncology practice. Quality of Life Research 2005: 14: 373-386.

Wright P, Smith A, Booth L, Winterbottom A, Kiely M, Velikova G, Selby P. Psychosocial difficulties, deprivation and cancer: three questionnaire studies involving 609 cancer patients. British Journal of Cancer 2005: 93: 622-626.

Pascoe S W, Neal R D, Allgar V L, Selby P J, Wright E P. Psychosocial care for cancer patients in primary care? Recognition of opportunities for cancer care. Family Practice 2004: 21: 437-442.

Wright E P, Selby P J, Crawford M, Gillibrand A, Johnston C, Perren T J, Rush R, Smith A, Velikova G, Watson K, Gould A, Cull A. Feasibility and compliance of automated measurement of quality of life in oncology practice. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2003: 21: 374-382.

Sanders R, Velikova G, Smith A, Stark D, Wright E P, Moor J R, Bishop D T, Selby P. Introducing the measurement of quality of life into clinical practice: Technology and mechanisms. Germ Cell Tumours V 2002: 196-208.

Sharp J, Wright P. Using international web sites as a cancer resource. Cancer Practice 2002: 10: 167-9.

Smith A B, Selby P J, Velikova G, Stark D, Wright E P, Gould A, Cull A. Factor analysis of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale from a large cancer population. Psychology and Psychotherapy-Theory Research and Practice 2002: 75: 165-176.

Wright E P, Kiely M A, Lynch P, Cull A, Selby P J. Social problems in oncology. British Journal of Cancer 2002: 87: 1099-1104.

Cull A, Gould A, House A, Smith A, Strong V, Velikova G, Wright P, Selby P. Validating automated screening for psychological distress by means of computer touchscreens for use in routine oncology practice. British Journal of Cancer 2001: 85: 1842-1849.

Velikova G, Wright P, Smith A B, Stark D, Perren T, Brown J, Selby P. Self-reported quality of life of individual cancer patients: Concordance of results with disease course and medical records. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2001: 19: 2064-2073.

Wright E P, Selby P J, Gould A, Cull A. Detecting social problems in cancer patients. Psycho-Oncology 2001: 10: 242-250.

Velikova G, Wright E P, Smith A B, Cull A, Gould A, Forman D, Perren T, Stead M, Brown J, Selby P J. Automated collection of quality-of-life data: A comparison of paper and computer touch-screen questionnaires. Journal of Clinical Oncology 1999: 17: 998-1007.


Wright P, Hanif N, Dharni N. Social Difficulties Inventory, Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi Versions. In: Michalos AC, editor. Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research: Springer; 2014. p. 6051-7.

Velikova G, Wright EP. Interpreting QOL of individuals and groups. In: Fayers P, Hays R, editors. Quality of life assessment in clinical trials. 2nd ed. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press; 2005. p. 291-306.

Wright EP. Social Issues in Cancer Patients. In: O’Donnell D, Leahy M, Marples M, Protheroe A, Selby P, editors. Problem Solving in Oncology. Oxford: Clinical Publishing; 2008. p. 225-9.

Research grants


2016 – 2021: The Yorkshire Cancer Research Bowel Cancer Improvement Programme (5 years): (PI Phil Quirke)
Co-Investigator: Workstream lead on Patient Reported Outcomes

Funder: Yorkshire Cancer Research

2016-2019: The Yorkshire Cancer Research: Life after Bladder Cancer Diagnosis  (3 years): (PI Jim Catto)

Co-Investigator: Workstream lead on Patient Reported Outcomes

Funder: Yorkshire Cancer Research

2015-2017: Comprehensive Patient Records (CPR) to define the impact of cancer, co-morbidities and late effects on individuals and the health service  (2 years): (PIs Geoff Hall and Adam Glaser)

Co-Investigator: Workstream lead on Patient Reported Outcomes

Funder: Macmillan Cancer Support

2015-2018: Dementia Carers Instrument Development: DECIDE (3 years)

Principal Investigator

Funder: Medical Research Council

2014-2017: Life after Prostate Cancer: LAPCD (3 years) http://www.lapcd.leeds.ac.uk/index.php/home-test/

Co-Investigator  Workstream One lead: PROMS development and delivery

Funder: Prostate Cancer UK


2009 – 2012 Survivors of adult cancer: a feasibility cohort study (ePOCS) http://www.epocs.leeds.ac.uk/

Principal Investigator

Macmillan Cancer Support

2011 electronic Co-morbidity Assessment System (eCAS)

Principal Investigator

National Cancer Intelligence Network:  a one year service development project.

2008-2010 Using the internet for information exchange: design and evaluation of a website for use in follow up of cancer patients at low risk of recurrence

Principal investigator

National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit (PB-PG-0107-12239)

2007-2009 The social impact of cancer on people of south Asian origin

Co-investigator and academic lead

National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient benefit (PB-PG-0706-10284)

Career Development Fellowship (3 years, 2010-2012)

Macmillan Cancer Support

Study: Development and preliminary evaluation of an intervention for the follow up of survivors of allogeneic haemopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT): using the internet as a three way information exchange between patients, primary care and secondary/tertiary care (ALLINEX)


Supervision of first year medical students for their second term Special Studies Research Project (SS-RP)

Research students

Phd student Emma Ingleson

Interventions for improving psychosocial care and support in routine oncology practice