"Using a consumer's advisory group to increase accrual into trials"

Project aims and objectives

Clinical choices offered to breast cancer patients depend on reliable data from randomised controlled trials. Patient participation in clinical trials will not improve if research questions and incumbent procedures are perceived by patients to be irrelevant to their needs.
Providing patients the opportunity to actively partake in the initial design stages of research should overcome this. The Social Science and Research Unit pilot study into women's views of cancer treatment and research (1993) has highlighted the need for involvement of breast cancer patients in the selection / judgement of research questions.
Defining issues of concern to patients / well women and accounting for them in protocol design is the aim of this work.  The Consumer's Advisory Group for Clinical Trials (CAG-CT) has been established to ensure that research meets the needs of patients, the general public and health professionals.  This Group will obtain and represent women's views generated from specific focus groups and consider these when negotiating with clinicians in the design of a specific trial.
The resulting study design will then be presented to patients in clinics to ascertain the effectiveness of this process. The CAG-CT will uniquely promote a new attitude of collaboration, shared responsibility and public involvement in defining research questions.


Bradburn J et al (1996) Involving breast cancer patients in the design of a  multi-centre clinical trial of HRT use (abstract). British Journal of Cancer 74 (Suppl), 12.

Thornton H (1996) The patient's involvement and informed consent (abstract). British Journal of Cancer 74 (Suppl), 4.

Thornton H.  Information and Involvement.  Health Expectations (2001) 4, 71-74.

Marsden J and Bradburn J. Patient and clinician collaboration in the design of a national randomized breast cancer trial.  Health Expectations (2004) 7, 6-17.


Further information may be obtained from:

Miss Joanne Marsden
East Surrey Hospital
East Surrey Healthcare NHS Trust
Canada Avenue

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Last updated 22 November 2004
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