Although, consumer involvement in individual studies is often limited, their involvement in guiding health research is generally considered to be beneficial. This paper outlines our experiences of an integrated relationship between the organisers of a clinical trial and a consumer organisation. The PRISM trial is a UK multicentre, randomized controlled trial comparing treatment strategies for Paget's disease of the bone. The National Association for the Relief of Paget's Disease (NARPD) is the only UK support group for sufferers of Paget's disease and has worked closely with the PRISM team from the outset. NARPD involvement is integral to the conduct of the trial and specific roles have included: peer-review; trial steering committee membership; provision of advice to participants, and promotion of the trial amongst Paget's disease patients. The integrated relationship has yielded benefits to both the trial and the consumer organisation. The benefits for the trial have included: recruitment of participants via NARPD contacts; well-informed participants; unsolicited patient advocacy of the trial; and interested and pro-active collaborators. For the NARPD and Paget's disease sufferers, benefits have included: increased awareness of Paget's disease; increased access to relevant health research; increased awareness of the NARPD services; and wider transfer of diagnosis and management knowledge to/from health care professionals. Our experience has shown that an integrated approach between a trial team and a consumer organisation is worthwhile. Adoption of such an approach in other trials may yield significant improvements in recruitment and quality of participant information flow. There are, however, resource implications for both parties.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
- HEALTH RESEARCH