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Research Awareness Mornings

As reported in a previous edition of Participate [summer 2014], four coffee mornings were held during the months of May – July 2014 at Winyates Surgery in Redditch, Broad Street Surgery and Jubilee Health Centre in Coventry and Castle Medical Centre in Kenilworth, as part of International Clinical Trials day and we are now pleased to be able to provide a detailed breakdown of results.

The aims of these events were to raise awareness about research happening at the practice amongst patients, and to encourage patients that it is ‘OK to Ask’ their health professionals about research that may be relevant to them.

Interested patients were given the opportunity to discuss local research opportunities and complete a short survey to gauge existing awareness and possibilities for further involvement.

Table 1 summary results of Responses per Practice

 

Broad Street / Jubilee (Coventry)

Winyates (Redditch)

Castle

(Kenilworth)

Deprivation Level (according to English Indices of Deprivation 2010)

2,888

2,974

21,572

Number of respondents

52

66

54

% aware of research

21.2

16.7

42.6

% interested in research

75.0

71.2

68.5

% willing to take part in:

 

 

 

Questionnaires

59.6

66.7

68.5

Blood tests

36.5

48.5

55.6

New drug/treatment

34.6

28.8

35.2

Extra examinations (health checks)

63.5

65.2

53.7

Extra appointments

38.5

34.8

46.3

% would like to hear about research via:

 

 

 

GP/nurse at appointment

38.5

21.2

35.2

Letter from GP

55.8

51.5

48.1

Leaflet or email

23.1

37.9

18.5

Other

9.6

0

3.7 (email)

Age group

 

 

 

<29

7.7

10.6

5.8

30-49

55.8

33.3

15.4

50-69

21.2

30.3

32.7

>70

7.7

22.2

46.2

Ethnicity

 

 

 

White

40.4

89.4

87.0

Black

1.9

3.0

0

Asian

40.4

0

0

Mixed

1.9

3.0

0

Other

1.9

0

0

The Indices of Deprivation 2010 combines a number of indicators, chosen to cover a range of economic, social and housing issues, into a single deprivation score for each small area in England. This allows each area to be ranked relative to one another according to their level of deprivation. The Indices of Deprivation 2010 have been produced at Lower Super Output Area level, of which there are 32,482 in the country (Department for Communities and Local Government, Published March 24 2011)

There was an excellent response to the questionnaires (170+) enabling us to identify:

· existing research awareness and compare socio-demographic profiles of respondents,

·  types of research studies and disease areas of interest,

· how patients prefer to receive information

· other ideas for ways to encourage patient participation

This will enable us to investigate ways of increasing awareness in practices and getting information to patients.

Whilst around only 26% of respondents were previously aware that their surgery was involved in research, over 70% of respondents said they would be willing to be involved in research that was relevant to them.

Therefore our aim is to narrow this gap and increase awareness so that as many of the 70% willing to be involved in research are aware of what research is taking place at their practice.

With each increasing age category, the percentage of patients willing to participate in research was lower, indicating that older adults may be less inclined to participate. However, even in the 70-79 age group, over half (52.2%) were keen to be involved. There were no associations between age and the types of research activities that patients were willing to do, so there is not a particular activity that older adults are less willing to participate in.

Disease areas patients are interested in included diabetes, fertility, coughs, women’s health and weight loss. Encouragingly in these areas we have had, or currently have, studies running. Common themes encouraging research participation included altruism, money, payment of transport costs, relevant / interesting / readily available research, a better understanding of research in general and research feedback.

Direct improvements from the events resulted in an increase in research material presented inside practices, increased expressions of interest for studies and increased research awareness amongst practice staff. Patient feedback has enabled us to identify further opportunities to involve patients and members of the public in research. Furthermore, patients have shared success stories, encouraged others to become involved and highlighted other potential health questions.