Monday 20th May was International Clinical Trials Day. For those of you who might not have heard of it before, it is celebrated around the world to recognise the day that James Lind started what is often considered the first randomised clinical trial aboard a ship on May 20, 1747…
…The HMS Salisbury of Britain’s Royal Navy fleet patrols the English Channel at a time when scurvy is thought to have killed more British seamen than French and Spanish arms. Aboard this ship, surgeon mate James Lind, a pioneer of naval hygiene, conducts what many refer to as the first clinical trial. Acting on a hunch that scurvy was caused by putrefaction of the body that could be cured through the introduction of acids, Lind recruited 12 men for his “fair test.” To learn more about what happened during the trial, follow this link.
The day is used to celebrate all of the researchers and research staff involved in clinical trials and other research and to raise awareness with patients and members of the public about the opportunities to participate in research studies.
To mark the day this year, the Association for Dementia Studies had a stand at the University of Worcester to promote two campaigns.
Join Dementia Research is both a campaign and a research tool. As a campaign it is being used to raise awareness in members of the public of the value of research to improving care and developing treatments. It has a portal where members of the public, whether they have dementia or not, can sign up to say that they are interested in being approached for current or future research. You will always have the opportunity to consider whether any research that you are approached for is right for you.
As a research tool, it is available for researchers looking to recruit people to join their research project as a participant. It can help to identify potential participants, screen and contact volunteers, and run feasibility tests for future studies. Staff in the Association for Dementia Studies have experience of using Join Dementia Research, so do contact Gina Dutton, Head of ADS, if you wish to know more.
The National Institute for Health Research launched its new ‘Be part of research’ campaign on 20th May, aiming to encourage patients, carers and members of the public to get involved with research. Many people don’t know that important research takes place, and that they could be a part of it. The campaign tries to provide opportunities for people and professionals to talk to each other about research and find out how they could be involved to help improve healthcare. Although not specific to dementia, we still feel that this is an important cause to support, and hopefully we’ve managed to spread the word a bit more widely within the University of Worcester.