Serving the best interests of patients has been hailed as the winning formula for the quickest and highest recruitment to a rheumatology research study by a team in South Devon.
The team at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust is the top recruiter to the TITRATE study since it opened in January 2015. They have been for consecutive months this summer, the best recruiter of patients who have a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis and moderate disease activity. They have not only exceeded their own site target of 20 with 23 patients enrolled, but agreed to extend their target by 10.
Clinic lists have been scrutinised in advance of patients coming in for their appointments and their medical records cross checked with the study inclusion criteria. Suitable candidates are then highlighted by a research nurse as being a potential participant for TITRATE.
Lead Rheumatology Nurse Chris Dixon said: “This trial is about offering an intensive management package and psychological care for our patients. The ultimate aim is to move patients to remission as quickly as possible to prevent them moving negatively along the illness trajectory.
“We would like to be able to offer this standard of care in routine clinical practice and we’re keen to take some of the learning when the trial finishes and try and implement this. We believe the winning formula is that it’s the right thing to offer our patients. We have three nurses trained to deliver an intensive management arm and patients and staff are enjoying this trial.
“You can see the change in front of you. The patients become more positive and are able to better self-manage their condition. They engage in change activities and both the practitioner and the patient share the joy when positive outcomes occur. The more you see the positive effect this trial can have on a patient, the more you want patients to enrol.”
TITRATE Trial Manager Dr Naomi Martin at King’s College London said: “We have been working with Dr Kirsten Mackay and her team – Chris Dixon, Elaine Wren, Diana Mill, Lorraine Richardson and Julie Easterbrook – since January. We have been very impressed by their recruitment rate, data quality, communication and responsiveness.
“The team has recruited at an extraordinary pace since initiation, reaching – and now exceeding – their recruitment target in less than six months. They are certainly our star centre and we are delighted that they have agreed to continue recruiting for the trial over the coming months.”