Innovation in clinical research trial design #NIHRCLAHRCYH @yorkshirecohort @NIHRCRN @scharrpubhealth

Article published 28th March 2016 on the NIHR CRN website as part of the “Insight Clinical Research Community News”

Traditionally, researchers recruit people to one trial at a time. If another trial gets underway, a completely new population has to be identified and recruited. This makes the recruitment process time consuming and expensive. The clinical research community is currently exploring the use of an innovative new design called ‘Trials within Cohorts’ (TwiCs), which is aiming to transform the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical research in the NHS. Insight Magazine investigates…

It’s not just that traditional methods can struggle with recruitment, the populations they manage to recruit are often not representative of the people they’re designed for in the real world.

Using the traditional method is doubly difficult for trials where a new treatment is compared to just ‘usual care’ (practical or pragmatic trials). In these trials, everyone is told about the new treatment, but after randomisation only half can receive it.  This process can disappoint patients if they are not selected for the new treatment and deter them from taking part.

Clare Relton, Senior Research Fellow, and Jon Nicholl, Dean of School for Health and Related Research, both at the University of Sheffield, have devised TwiCs as an alternative design for practical trials. They believe it will address many of the challenges presented by the standard approach, particularly for trials where usual care is one of the arms.

Read the full article here 

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