Last week, we highlighted the contribution of HSRU and CHaRT's research to this year's 4th International Clinical Trials Methodology Conference, held jointly with the 38th Society for Clinical Trials Annual Meeting in Liverpool, UK.
Almost twenty HSRU and CHaRT researchers attended the conference, and we showcased our work with four outstanding individual oral presentations as well as sixteen poster presentations.
Now everyone’s back at their desks and trying to digest the discussions and ideas presented, we thought we’d catch up with a few staff members to find out what they have taken from the conference.
Shaun Treweek, Professor of Health Services Research said, “It was great to see such a large group of people interested in trial methodology and meant that the conference was days of bumping into interesting people and having great discussions. Sometimes it can feel as though trial methodology is a minority sport trammelled by basic science and the urge to just do a trial. It’s great to see that there are many people, especially in the UK, who think very carefully about trial methods, right from the trial question through to how to make the results known to participants.”
Jessica Wood, CHaRT Trial Manager for the RAACENO study, was delighted to see such an emphasis on novel ways to involve and engage participants, patients and the public throughout the design, conduct and close-out activities of trials.
Heather Morgan, social scientist and qualitative researcher, presented our public engagement work and was equally impressed with involvement and engagement activities happening across the clinical trials landscape. She said: “When I looked at the programme, I was disappointed to see only one advertised session on qualitative research and one on working with research partners, which are my areas of interest and expertise. But I was overwhelmed by how omnipresent both were within all the sessions I attended. Rather than an being an add on/nice to have/side event, the inclusion of AND responsiveness to crucial insights from members of the public and patients are becoming much more standard components of ongoing trial design and conduct, and research around trials, which is incredibly reassuring as these improve relevance and potential impact.”
Gordon Fernie (pictured), CHaRT Trial Manager for the TAGS study, presented work conducted as part of the Trial FORGE initiative looking at how trial data collection effort is distributed across different categories of data, and asking the question ‘A good use of time and money?’. Gordon commented, “There was interest from trial managers who are familiar with the data collection burden in trials, and interested in ways to reduce it. We have to ask questions like this as part of an effort to make trials more efficient. At the conference in general it was encouraging to see so many initiatives that will aid in this objective. Attending events like this allows you to see where such initiatives overlap as well as what can be learned from other areas working to similar ends.”
A real highlight for everyone was the Hywel Williams’ keynote on the last day – a fabulous speaker who gave an engaging talk about the dynamic, innovative and pragmatic trials funded by the NIHR’s Health Technology Assessment Programme. Hywel also discussed efficiency initiatives for trials, and mentioned Trial Forge; an initiative led by HSRU researchers.
If you missed the conference, be sure to take a look at #ICTMC2017 on Twitter – 4 members of HSRU staff were in the top 10 Twitter influencers for the conference hashtag!
HSRU PhD student Heidi Gardner consolidated her notes from the conference into mind map doodles – key ideas and highlights from day 1 are shown in the picture below.
It was great to have such a big Aberdeen contribution to the meeting this year – our ideas and future research priorities were reflected well over the course of the 3 day event, and we look forward to future collaboration with the new colleagues we met in Liverpool.