Recruiting to research: Not all research is for everyone but there is something for everyone


For a number of years we have received feedback at the Parkinson’s Academy about including sessions about research. Taking these responses and working with The Cure Parkinson’s Trust(CPT) and NIHR leads Dr Camille Carroll, Professor Oliver Bandmann and the Academy’s Dr Peter Fletcher, we designed the Research Engagement meeting for professionals who are becoming or aspire to become involved with Parkinson’s research on many different levels. Each week we are posting a blog to look at the meeting’s speaker sessions in more detail.

Jemma Inches, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
Jemma Inches, from University Hospitals NHS Trust, explored recruiting to research: Not all research is for everyone, but there is something for everyone

With the group, Jemma explored the obstacles to recruitment, highlighting that practical barriers such as visits to the clinic, travel, logistics, balancing clinical appointments with the demands of life, were all barriers. Additional concerns were medication (the fact that potential participants might be asked to take even more medication) and the way to address these is the provision of clear information to overcome perceptions, as well as to encourage individuals to ask their clinicians about the studies that might be right for them.

‘To be honest, be open, be flexible, be prepared, but also be yourself.’

She explored the tactics she implemented in clinic to overcome obstacles and stressed the importance of setting up a clear structure and the value of team work in achieving her recruitment objectives.

She tasked the group to investigate case studies to identify who might be eligible for a trial and why.

‘Research is not as black and white as we think – Find the grey zone.’

She then went on to explain the importance of regular and clear communication, phoning potential participants rather than waiting for a clinical visit. This ensures that scheduled routine clinical visits remain about the health and wellbeing of the patient. Phone screening can be a vital first steps for that person’s research involvement journey.

Listen to this presentation:
'The things you can't get from the books'

Parkinson's Academy, our original and longest running Academy, houses 19 years of inspirational projects, resources, and evidence for improving outcomes for people with Parkinson's. Led by co-founder and educational director Dr Peter Fletcher, the Academy has a truly collegiate feel and prides itself on delivering 'the things you can't get from books' - a practical learning model which inspires all Neurology Academy courses.