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Case study: East Cheshire research patient encourages others to take part in clinical trials

There are opportunities to take part in research studies for all types of health conditions

A patient has spoken about her positive experience of taking part in a clinical research trial at East Cheshire NHS Trust.

Kaye Fraser, of Macclesfield, is a talented pianist who travels the world in her job as a music examiner. 

She has lived with bladder problems since giving birth to her two children, who are now in their 30s. 

The 63-year-old grandmother was referred to Macclesfield District General Hospital by her GP after previous treatments, such as physiotherapy and drug treatment, failed to solve her problems with overactive bladder, or OAB. OAB is a common complaint which affects 12-14 per cent of women in the UK.  

During her consultation with Dr Sara Nausheen (Obstetrician and Gynaecology Consultant), Kaye was given the opportunity to take part in a clinical research trial called the FUTURE study.

The trial is looking at how useful a special bladder test is at improving the treatment results for women affected by OAB. It is on the NIHR Clinical Research Network portfolio, supported locally by CRN Greater Manchester, and is led by the University of Aberdeen with over 60 hospitals in the UK participating.

As with all clinical trials, it is entirely the patient’s decision as to whether they want to take part. After reading an information document and being given a full explanation by the doctor and specialist research nurse, Kaye was very happy to participate.

She said: “I decided to take part in the study for both personal and wider society reasons. I knew that it could potentially help me, but having had a close family member who’s benefited hugely from cancer research, I also knew just how valuable research can be.

“Knowing how many women have the same sorts of problems that I’ve had after having children, I do hope that what I’ve done will benefit women in some way as time goes on.”

Every clinical trial is different. In this particular case, Kaye was asked to complete a questionnaire and a bladder diary at home. She was then ‘randomised’ on to the study. This means Kaye was allocated, at random, to either receive the bladder test (called Urodynamics) or not as part of her clinical assessment.

The research team followed her progress for 15 months and sent her a questionnaire at three, six and 15 months.

Her questionnaires were returned to the central study team, where the data can be analysed alongside results collected from other consenting patients at hospitals around the UK. The overall results will allow researchers to evaluate how effective Urodynamics is deciding the appropriate treatment for women with OAB who were unresponsive to conservative drug treatment.

Kaye has praised the research team at East Cheshire and says her involvement, both on a clinical and personal level, was “fantastic” and “not onerous”. She encourages other patients to ask about research opportunities they could get involved with.

Kaye said: “If you think that you might like to contribute to a clinical research study, why not ask your own health professional – your GP, your consultant or specialist nurse – and see if you could get involved as well.”