Experiences of clinical trials

During the CLAHRC event “Making it Real – Patients and public improving healthcare research”,Leicester,  one of the sessions I attended was delivered by a patient who had extensive involvement within various clinical trials over the past few years.  He was a great example of how health research, once recognised as an invaluable part of the improvement of treatment pathways for illnesses, can attract a greater number of patient participants. For him the trials were not separate from his current clinical treatment, but instead were directly related to revealing ways of making that treatment better.  Barriers he observed to research participation included poor advertising and the scientific terminology used to describe the research aims, objectives and patient requirements . These were two of many observations flagged up as impeding access to trial information for patients. Present in the audience were health researchers and healthcare professionals involved in research and so one would hope that hearing the comments on potential improvements from a participant’s point of view may influence their methods of recruitment in future.

Patient involvement in research is ever-increasing, further embedding itself into standard research practice here in the UK which is great to see. The UK Clinical Trials Gateway and the national advisory group INVOLVE are among those that provide resources and information that help to keep patient & public involvement high on the health research agenda.  By involving the patients and the public, clinical research will hopefully continue to democratise, increasing the amount of accountability of the researchers by allowing transparency throughout the research process. Overall this will pave the way to  better research practice on the one hand, and increase public awareness and confidence in research on the other. I think that striving to do so may be a good way of increasing patient involvement within clinical trials.

Advertisements

Video-Podcast Creation – CLAHRC

Following the CLAHRC Video Competition back in February of this year, I joined the new Video-Podcast team for the CLAHRC LNR’s Implementation Theme. We are currently in the process of producing a short video which will provide a concise summary of the group’s activities. Publicising and marketing any form of work to your target audience in a way that is accessible, be it an idea, a research  project or the results of a health evaluation,  is important in ensuring that people find out about your organisation and are provided with the opportunity to learn more about it if they so wish. As we started to create the video storyboards drafts, I began to realise the volume of high quality and potentially impactful research and collaborative work that takes place between the CLAHRC LNR and healthcare bodies, work that many outside of the projects themselves would simply be unaware of (particularly the general public, who experience the results of health research every day, knowingly or otherwise). After creating the video, I think it would be great to obtain feedback from others outside CLAHRC to see whether it was successful disseminating the group’s main aims in a clear & simple manner.