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The University of Southampton

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal of clinical trials is to see if a new test or treatment works and is safe.  It may involve patients or healthy volunteers, or both.

Why are clinical trials important?

Before a treatment can be prescribed we need to know whether it works, whether it works better than other treatments currently used and if it has any side effects. These questions are usually answered by running a clinical trial of the treatment.

Trials are very carefully planned and regulated to protect the safety of anyone who takes part in them.  Without them, there is a risk that people will be given treatments that don’t work, or could even be dangerous.  Many NHS treatments have been tested in clinical trials.

What is a randomised controlled trial?

Not everyone receives a new treatment in a clinical trial, as we usually need to compare a new treatment with a standard treatment already in use, or with a ‘dummy’ treatment known as a ‘placebo’. Standard care can be no specific treatment as in our control group in ATTACK.

In a randomised control trial, the treatment that a patients will receive is selected completely at random, by a process like flipping a coin.

What are the benefits of taking part?

In many cases, you may get no direct benefit from taking part in clinical research, but the trial can provide vital information that will help people in the future.

Taking part will give you contact with a research nurse and the opportunity to gain more information about CKD.

We also believe this trial, if successful, could lead to major cost savings for the NHS.

What are the risks?

Any trial participant is monitored very carefully by the medical team to detect any side effects and changes. If you decide to take part, it is important to tell us about any illnesses or changes in your body that you notice.

Who does the research?

The ATTACK study has been funded by a branch of the NHS called the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and also by the British Heart Foundation. The study has been organised by a team of medical doctors from different UK Hospitals and Universities and will be running all over the UK.

The study team will recruit GP practices who are interested in taking part in the study and suitable trial participants will be selected by their own GPs.

Will I see the results of the trial?

You will be informed when the trial is completed and a summary of the results will be sent to you. Results will also be published in scientific journals and presented at scientific meetings.

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