Public thanked for being part of research
Participants in a ground-breaking study in older people were thanked for their valuable contribution at specially-held events – and found out the study results first-hand from researchers.
People who had taken part in the MET PREVENT study, which was led by the AGE Research Group at Newcastle University and funded by the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), were invited to tea parties in Westerhope Community Centre in Newcastle and Whickham Community Centre in Gateshead.
As well as tea and cake to say ‘thank you’, the participants heard the study results directly from Professor Miles Witham, who led the study, and Dr Claire McDonald, and had a chance to ask questions.
There were also a range of round-table discussions during which participants gave their feedback on taking part in the MET PREVENT study, advice on how it could have been improved, and were given information about other upcoming opportunities to take part in research.
Professor Miles Witham, the NIHR Newcastle BRC co-lead for ageing, sarcopenia and multimorbidity, and Professor of Trials for Older People at Newcastle University, said: “These events were great opportunities to not only thank those members of the public who helped us with our research – but a chance to engage with them and find out more about their experiences of being part of the MET PREVENT study.
“Older people are a group that get ill more than others. They are also most likely to be affected by health conditions and to use the NHS – yet they are often excluded from the clinical trials that tell us whether treatments are effective. We’re making efforts to improve inclusion of these under-served groups and ensure that older people can help us find treatments for and prevention of the conditions that affect them most.”
Dr Claire McDonald, Clinical Intermediate Fellow in the AGE Research Group & Honorary Consultant at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, adds:
“Public and patient involvement and engagement are essential to the work we do in ageing and multiple long-term conditions; It is vital that the patients taking part in research represent the people who the NHS cares for. We must make research studies and events like these accessible to all and inclusive as possible.
“We were thrilled to share the study results directly with those who made our research possible – and we look forward to sharing the results much more widely in the coming months.”
About MET PREVENT
The MET PREVENT study, set out to determine whether the drug metformin, commonly used to treat diabetes, can improve physical function in older people living with sarcopenia and frailty.
Sarcopenia – the age-related loss of muscle strength and size – affects 1 in 10 people aged 65 and over in the UK and is associated with an increased risk of poor health outcomes, including falls and fractures, frailty, higher rates of hospital admission, prolonged hospital stays, a greater need for social care, and in some cases, premature death. No drug treatments are currently licensed for sarcopenia, and few clinical trials have been done for this condition.