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Kieran WalshMarch 2022

Welcome to the March newsletter, the month we at Health and Care Research Wales, celebrate St David’s Day. 

In response to feedback, our public newsletters have been streamlined into just one version of “Be Part of Research”.

In this issue, we celebrate seven years of Join Dementia Research and women in health research across the UK. 

There’s also research news, opportunities to take part in research studies and for those of you who want another way to get involved, we’ve included opportunities to inform and shape research.

We hope you find it interesting -  diolch!

Professor Kieran Walshe
Director, Health and Care Research Wales


Get involved

Help find effective early treatments for COVID-19

Over 16,000 people have now signed up to take part in the PANORAMIC study which is looking at antiviral treatments for COVID-19.  You can still sign up.

In order to take part, you will need to have had a positive COVID-19 test result and be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms which started within the last five days. You also need to be aged 50 years and over, or 18 years and over with an underlying health condition, such as asthma. 

You can enrol in the study in the comfort of your home, the study team will courier all the information you need directly to your door and there are no face to face visits.

In these two videos, volunteer Glyn explains why he took part and what was involved

The study team have translated their resources into multiple languages including Arabic, Bangla, Hindi, Punjabi, Portuguese, Tamil and Urdu to attract as many communities as possible.  

Join the Trialblazers - our new campaign

The NIHR is running a Trialblazers campaign from 16th to 29th May to coincide with International Clinical Trials Day celebrations. The campaign will bring our community of volunteers together from across the UK to connect, share stories, celebrate their contribution and encourage friends, family and colleagues to be part of research too.

We will invite you to learn about and take part in health research. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for campaign updates.

Celebrating 7 years of Join Dementia Research

February marks seven years of Join Dementia Research, and in this time over 50,000 people have signed up to take part in vital research studies, but we need more people to join us. 

Join Dementia Research is a UK-wide service that matches researchers with volunteers and through research, we can improve diagnosis, treatment and care. We run a range of different studies from clinical trials to online questionnaires and focus groups. 

Anyone over 18 can join us, with or without a dementia diagnosis, and there is no obligation to take part in the studies you are matched to.  

Watch Maureen and Derek’s experience of Join Dementia Research, sign up yourself and share our 7th birthday card with your friends and family to encourage them to sign up too.

Dementia research round-up

Researchers at Swansea University are hoping to investigate, not only the physical but the mental benefits of cycling with their latest research project, BikeAround.

A study supported by Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre, suggests slow walk and memory issues may predict dementia risk. The study team hopes the findings will lead to walking speed being routinely assessed when patients are examined for early signs of dementia.


Ruth Boyd

Exploring the spectrum of cancer research

One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime and according to Cancer Research UK, there are around 375,000 new cancer cases each year in the UK.

In this article, we look at some of the recent breakthroughs in cancer research and hear directly from specialists like cancer research nurse Ruth Boyd from Northern Ireland (pictured above) about the areas of research they’ve been involved in and the changes they’ve seen over the span of their careers.  

Celebrating women in health research

On 11 February we celebrated International Day of Women and Girls in Science and 8 March marked International Women’s Day so we would like to recognise just a few of the inspirational females who are making great strides in health and social care research.

Tabitha wants to encourage girls to think differently about science and maths. Jenna is leading the way in radiography research and national netball champion Ceri is a top welsh research physiotherapist. 

How can I get involved in research in the future?

The insights and input of members of the public have become a standard part of research. Now, research teams must share the reins with public contributors. 

The NIHR wants to help community groups, charities and faith organisations work with researchers and think up research ideas. 

In this blog, find out more about why this is important and what NIHR’s plans are to make this a reality.

Shape research

How members of the public can influence research

Across the UK, organisations that fund research want to involve patients and the public in their work. This helps funders shape the research we pay for and ensure the findings will be relevant to the people they might affect. 

A survey of public contributors involved in research across England has shown that patients and the public are involved across many different stages of research. Plus, the majority of people enjoy the experience and feel they are making a difference.  You could be part of this group, find out more about how to get involved: 

Case study: Patients and carers help researchers develop definitions for long COVID

NIHR researchers recently worked with members of the public to develop new definitions to describe what long COVID is. These new definitions will make sure that research is directed towards elements of long COVID that are most important to patients and will help researchers to reliably compare and evaluate studies on prevalence, disease course and outcomes, providing a more accurate picture of the true impact of long COVID. 

Case study: The impact of COVID-19 on care and support for people 65 years old and over 

Researchers on the COSMO study are looking at the unintended impact of the ‘lockdown’ on the health and wellbeing of older people in Wales. The public has been at the heart of this study from the start, working with the team on the funding bids through to being on the advisory panel, ensuring the focus of the research is kept on the benefits to the public.


Conversations about diabetes research    

This podcast series examines the links between obesity and explores diabetes and how research is helping to inform treatments and lifestyle choices for people living with diabetes. Tune in to find out what the future of diabetes research looks like and how to get involved.

Research news

You can also find this newsletter in Welsh.
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