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Survey: 95% of research volunteers would consider joining another study

The vast majority of people who volunteered to take part in healthcare research in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire would consider joining another study, a survey has found.

Of the 1,237 surveyed, 95% would consider taking part in research again, the NIHR Clinical Research Network Thames Valley and South Midlands survey found.

It is among findings of the NIHR’s Participant in Research Experience Survey, which took place in the region from June 2020 to March 2021. You can download the full report in PDF format or you can download the report in Word format.

The majority of responses were from studies into COVID-19, including vaccines and treatments.

A total 96% said researchers valued their taking part in the research and 94% said information about the study prepared them to take part.

Of more than 1,000 comments about what they liked about their study, volunteers praised staff attitudes and management of trials.

Many said they took part to help others. One vaccine trial volunteer said: “I feel I am doing some good to help us get through the pandemic”

The survey also highlighted areas where improvements could be made.

Of those surveyed, 30% said they did not know how they would receive the results of the research. The report recommends study teams put in place mechanisms to provide results to participants, such as through newsletters.

In more than 480 comments about what could have made their research experience better, respondents cited the organisation of studies and waiting times most often.

The report features how study teams addressed some of the issues raised and researchers are encouraged to read it to reflect on how they could improve their practice.

Network Clinical Director Prof Belinda Lennox said: “Last year and this year posed significant challenges to the NIHR to urgently deliver studies to help us understand and manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our staff have met this challenge with a range of studies that have saved lives and changed how COVID-19 is diagnosed and treated. This couldn’t have happened without the people who volunteered to take part and we’re delighted that those who responded to our survey had an overwhelmingly positive experience. Their feedback will help us make improvements to ensure even more people choose to take part in research.”

Visit the network's survey website to view in depth results and details of how to offer the survey to participants.

Download posters and screens about the results to promote participation in research.