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Devon Research Team Flies High Thanks To Collaboration

Devon Research Team Flies High Thanks To Collaboration

The Research Team at Devon Partnership Trust (DPT) offer pioneering research opportunities to their patients thanks to a collaborative team approach that seen them described as ‘superstar recruiters’.

They are one of 25 teams across the country currently recruiting to the NIHR-HTA (Health Technology Assessment) funded SYMBAD Study an innovative research study looking into the treatment of those experiencing agitation alongside memory problems such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Anna Grice, Senior Research Practitioner, describes the DPT Research Team’s dynamic approach: 

“It has been all about the engagement of the Community Mental Health Teams in Bideford, Barnstaple and the North Devon Nursing Homes and local GP practices. Their support has been invaluable.”

SYMBAD is a CTIMP (Clinical Trial of an Investigational Medicinal Product) study comparing Mirtazapine with a placebo, a tablet designed to look like a medicine but that has no active medicine in it, to see if either are suitable for treating agitation in dementia. It is hoped the results will be used to improve the treatment and care of people with memory problems.

Anna and the team have been working in the community at care and residential homes to identify potential participants. She explains how the study has been received: “I visit a great variety of homes and all the patients receive good care, all the staff are very caring and it’s a nice environment to work in. The staff are kind but it can be difficult for them to look after patients when they are agitated. A lot of the care and residential homes involved were happy to recruit to the study because they thought it would benefit their patients. They felt reassured that the patient could be withdrawn if they wanted.”

According to the Alzheimer's Society there are around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia. One in 14 people over 65 will develop dementia, and the condition affects 1 in 6 people over 80. The number of people with dementia is increasing because people are living longer. It is estimated that by 2025, the number of people with dementia in the UK will have increased to around 1 million.

The DPT Research Team deliver a range of studies and you can keep up to date with the studies they deliver by visiting their Research studies - open for recruitment page.

Anna’s advice to anyone considering a career in research is: “Research is a really interesting place to be, we advance patient care. Working with people involved in research is good because they are always interested and keen! You get to meet interesting people.”

If you are interested in participating in dementia research, or just want to see what’s happening in your area, visit the Join Dementia Research website.