At my last clinic visit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham I became a participant in the UK-AIH research. You can find more details of this research in the news section of the website. So what did it entail?
To be honest not too much at all. A brief discussion with the doctor (probably helped I knew a lot about it anyway) then passed to the clinical trials people. They gave me quite a long document to read so I could give my informed consent. This included details of what I was being asked to do and what it all means. I confess it was a bit long but I understand they have to cover this sort of thing. Having read it I felt I knew what they were going to do with my blood and questionnaire answers so I gave my consent – yet another long form to do that!
Then they took some blood for the research. This was no problem as I was having blood taken as part of my clinic visit. They just took a few more vials – and that was it.
I decided to take the patient questionnaire home to fill in as I didn’t want to hang about completing it there and then. I guess that took me about 20 minutes to complete. Lots of questions about how AIH affected me, what medication I am on and so on.
And that was it. If they want more blood etc they will let me know. But once they have enough samples they can start to see if there are trends they can use to improve treatment or whether the information can point to potential new research and treatments.
So don’t forget to ask at your next clinic visit if you can take part in this exciting research.
PS Recruitment to the research at Birmingham is going well – 52 taking part at the last count!