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Case study: The opportunity to give something back - Debra's Story

Debra's research story

Debra is a Fundraiser for the Orthopaedic Institute, a charity raising funds to support Research and Teaching at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Oswestry, Shropshire. 

Debra has worked for the charity for two years, and having heard about the study into Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome through work, she asked her specialist if she could take part to see if it could help relieve her hip pain.

She says: ‘It has been a very positive experience - I was assessed by a Consultant and asked to complete a questionnaire.  I was excited and pleased to be able to take part, especially as I am raising funds for the Institute; it gave me a greater insight into how a study works and the confidence to approach further donors.’

‘The patient information is quite comprehensive and explains in layman’s terms what will happen, how the study will run and what the expected outcomes are.’

Patients in the study are randomised so that half are given shockwave treatment and half receive one steroid injection; Debra was in the latter group.

‘After the injection, I was seen by a physiotherapist and given a series of exercises to do.  I had to keep a diary for three months, recording the exercises I had completed and their effects, including pain levels. After three months I saw the Consultant again and repeated the initial questionnaire, followed by a further nine months of exercises, recording any changes.

‘The injection had a very positive effect on my pain levels, but unfortunately I had a slight set back.  During a Pilates class I over stretched causing a lot of pain.  However the study was coming to an end and I was scheduled to have another injection.’

‘I didn’t really know about research delivery before and this has given me a greater insight into how patients may be involved. I would encourage others to find out if there is a trial they can participate in.  Everything is very well organised with a point of contact if you should have any queries or are not happy at any stage. And of course you can withdraw from the study at any time.  It’s all totally voluntary and an incredibly worthwhile experience - especially as it really helped with my hip pain.’