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Take part in research

We want everyone who uses our services to get the chance to take part in research that interests them and fits their need. If you would like to know about what research opportunities are available to you, speak with your clinical team. They'll be more than happy to help to share with you the current research studies that are looking for participants. 

Take part in research

Every research study has an information sheet that prospective participants can read, it explains in detail what being involved in the study will look like. They can also put you in touch with the research team so they can answer any of your questions.

The research methods you can take part in could involve:

  • Questionnaires
  • Interviews
  • Puzzles
  • Completion of a week-long diary
  • Brain scans
  • Blood tests
  • Computer games
  • Clinical trials for new treatments

“Taking part in these trials was a fantastic opportunity and has really helped me to not just recover but become stronger than I was before I experienced these difficulties.

I think it made a big positive impact on the trajectory of my recovery and the tools I have built up to manage my mental health better day to day.”         

One of our service users who took part in research study

Why participate in research?

People who take part in research often feel they are taking an active part in their health care, sometimes they are able to learn more about their condition. They are also assisting others and researchers, by helping to find the causes of problems and the best treatments for these for now and for the future generations. 

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials cover a wide range of different types of research. Trials are often used to test new medicines or vaccines, but they can also be used to look at new combinations of existing medicines.

Trials can also be used to test whether giving a treatment in a different way will make it more effective or reduce any side effects. Some trials are designed to try out new ways to prevent a particular disease in people who have never had the disease, or to prevent a disease from returning.

Clinical trials are not always about testing medicines, they can be used to find ways to help people change their behaviour or lifestyle. This could include an education programme designed to improve a person’s understanding of their medical condition so they can manage it more effectively, or psychological treatment such as cognitive behaviour therapy to treat anxiety or depression.

How do we ensure the safety of our research participants?

All research, particularly clinical trials are carefully designed to reduce any risks and get the most benefits for everyone taking part, whatever treatment they receive. Some research will have very little risk involved. However, the risks of a trial of a new treatment may be greater when less is known about the treatment being tested. Before any drugs are first given to people, they will have been developed in a laboratory and tested for safety.

On occasion, the treatment may cause side effects that doctors cannot predict. Sometimes these may be unpleasant and,in rare cases, can be serious. You should be told everything the researchers know about any possible risks and side effects, and why the trial is necessary, so that you can make an informed choice about whether to take part.

If you take part in a clinical trial you will be monitored regularly during and after the study. You will have regular tests and you may be asked extra questions about how you are feeling. The research team will always be available to contact during this period.

What is informed consent?

A doctor, nurse or other researcher should get your permission (your ‘informed consent’) before entering you into a research study. They cannot enter you if you do not give your consent.

However, there are a few exceptional circumstances when people might be entered into a study without their informed consent (for example, in a trial of the treatment of head injuries or dementia, when the individual may not be able to give consent). In these cases the permission may be given by a relative or other legal representative.

If a study involves children, the process of getting informed consent is different and will be fully explained to you by our researchers.

It is important that you are satisfied that you have enough information to make an informed decision and to give your informed consent.

What happens if you decide you no longer want to take part in a study?

You can leave a study at any time without giving a reason, even if you have already given your consent to take part. If you are part way through a study the researchers may want to see you one last time to give you a medical exam just for your safety.

Do you receive payment or compensation when you take part in research?

Each study will be different in how it could reimburse you for being involved, so it’s best to check the study page or speak with the research team for this information. Many projects will reimburse the cost of travel expenses, and/or offer some payment either in cash or vouchers, depending on the time it takes and the requirements of the study.