GP practice recruitment
An initial mailing in 2014 to GP practices has been followed up by the research networks in all UK countries, and local approvals are being granted to allow interested practices to be registered as Patient Identification Centres (PICs) to invite suitable patients.
A Docmail account is available to mail patients, reducing costs and administration time for practices. The West Midlands is the lead region for the study in England. Other regions have now also started recruiting with new practices continuing to register their interest.
Involvement of hospital clinics
Patient recruitment from hospital clinics is also possible; there has been considerable interest from hospital trusts across the UK and several have already been set up as PICs to be able to invite their patients.
Anyone who is interested in finding out more about this can contact the co-ordinating centre in Dundee at TIMEfirstname.lastname@example.org
Recruitment to the study is going well with over 5,000 people already randomised. It is hoped that recruitment can be completed by the end of 2015 followed by an estimated 3.5 year follow-up period.
Who is eligible?
Recruitment to the study is open to anyone in the UK who takes tablets for blood pressure once daily. The aim is to recruit 10,000 participants of as varied demographics as possible and study them over a period of five years. Patients are being invited via GP surgeries and hospitals and by their responding directly to advertising or social media.
Participants are randomly allocated to either take anti-hypertensive medication at night or in the morning, and the study is conducted online with patients registering and consenting through the study website and being followed up by email.
Participants need to have regular access to the internet, as this study is done entirely through a secure website and all contact is by email.
Although this excludes a certain proportion of patients, for practical and financial reasons it would be difficult to do a study of this size in the conventional way. Previous studies that have used this method, found it to yield high quality and cost-effective data.
Patients register for the study at www.timestudy.co.uk, where they can read more detailed information. Consent for the study is completed by the patient online and they then input study data.