Patient story: Former teacher from Surrey has taken part in miscarriage prevention research
During her second pregnancy, Abi Maguire from Surrey took part in the PRISM trial at St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey.
Abi said: “At eight weeks pregnant I had some bleeding and went to the maternity outpatients at St Peter's Hospital. It was at this appointment I was offered the opportunity to take part in research.”
The PRISM: Progesterone in spontaneous miscarriage trial looked at whether progesterone can prevent miscarriage in women with early pregnancy bleeding. The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment program.
The women who took part in the study were randomly assigned to receive vaginal suppositories containing either 400mg of progesterone or a matching placebo twice daily, from the time at which they went to see a doctor when experiencing bleeding through to 16 weeks of pregnancy. The women in the study weren’t told whether they were taking the active medicine or the placebo – and neither were their doctors.
Abi continues: “I had a positive experience of research, the research nurse took time to explain the study to me, what was involved,the possible risks and gave me time to talk to my family. She listened to my questions during a worrying time for me. I appreciated her passion for the reasons behind the research and this helped me decide to take part.
“I had access to the trial drug on the day I signed up to take part. The research nurse walked with me to and from the pharmacy to collect the trial drug so I was not alone as the walk from maternity outpatients to the pharmacy was quite a distance. I took the drug for eight weeks until I was 16 weeks pregnant. I do not know which arm of the study I was on. I now have a healthy and lively two-year-old who would not be here without the care I received at the hospital.
“Before I took part in this trial I had no idea about health research, what it involved or the benefits of taking part. It is important that patients take part in research as they are the ones to receive the treatment and are the ones to benefit. To not have the patient voice in research seems bizarre.”
Abi has recently been appointed a Lay Representative to the National Instiute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) Kent, Surrey and Sussex Partnership Board.
Abi says: “I took part in research to help other people and I am continuing this through being a Lay Representative for CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Having been a research participant with a professional interest in research I am looking forward to being a part of the Partnership Board, ensuring the patient voice is included and heard.”
The results of the PRISM trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2019 and showed that overall, among women with bleeding in early pregnancy, treatment with progesterone during the first trimester did not result in a significantly higher incidence of live births than amongst those who had a placebo.