The People's Trial - Researchers Invite the Public to Lead on Virtual Clinical Trial

The People's Trial - Researchers Invite the Public to Lead on Virtual Clinical Trial

HSRU's own Shaun Treweek, Katie Gillies and Heidi Gardner are involved with The People’s Trial, an initiative which challenges the public to get involved in creating, designing and running their very own fun clinical trial.

The initiative is one of the first of its kind to establish an online virtual clinical trial platform and to fully engage with the general public at every step of the trial process, from question selection, to recruitment, to data analysis and beyond. For the first time, a fun clinical trial will be fully dependent on the public for its’ success, not just as study participants, but as trialists creating the trial at each step, deciding the trial question, selecting the outcomes and how they will be measured, and sharing the findings.

The overall aim of this study is to help create a greater understanding of the clinical trial processes, so that the public can be better informed as to why we need clinical trials and also how they can be used to answer a question. While randomised trials are expensive, time-consuming studies to plan and carry out, they are considered the gold standard of how to evaluate health care interventions. An intervention is anything that aims to make a change to someone’s health for the better. For example, providing a counselling service, prescribing a drug, or giving people information and training, are all described as interventions. The decision about which group a person joins in a randomised trial is at random, which means that a person is put into one of the intervention groups by chance.

Speaking about the initiative, Shaun Treweek, Professor in Health Services Research at the Health Services Research Unit, said: ‘We all say that the best way to learn is to do, so why not learn about randomised trials by designing and doing one yourself? The People’s Trial aims to be fun but it has a serious intent: to help people understand why trials are important and, crucially, why we need them to make good treatment decisions.’

The study is funded by the Health Research Board under the Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme Award and is based in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway, Ireland.

For further information, visit: https://thepeoplestrial.ie/ or email info@thepeoplestrial.ie. Follow on Twitter @thepeoplestrial and People’s Trial on Facebook and peoples_trial on Instagram.

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