This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Case study: Finding my purpose - Trina's research story

Trina's Research Story

Trina Rule, aged 61 from Newcastle Under Lyme has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for 30 years and when she had to retire early from teaching English, she felt as if she had lost her identity.

But after setting up a National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society support group locally, she was approached at its launch by the Keele University Research User Group to take part in clinical research at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

‘It gave me a purpose and made me feel I was doing something useful again. I had felt bereft after giving up the career I loved, so it was great to have the opportunity to apply my skills to things like editing lay summaries for patients or testing questionnaires.’

She has been involved in a wide variety of studies covering pain management, physiotherapy and mood in long term conditions.
One of these was the INCLUDE study which looked at nurse-led reviews for patients with musculo-skeletal conditions.

‘I was concerned initially that it would be box-ticking but that couldn’t be further from the truth - I feel valued and supported and my contribution is always acknowledged. It’s so important to have a patient voice in research.

‘I would recommend it to anyone - I have met so many people who have become friends and you can do as much or as little as you wnat to. There’s never any pressure but you feel as though you’re really helping.’

Interested in signing up to research? Find out more at

For Covid-19 vaccine trials, visit

Find out more about clinical research in the West Midlands here: