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Dr Abi McNiven, Health Experiences Research Group, Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Sciences, University of Oxford, 7th March 2018

​A new study about the experiences of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in research roles

Healthtalk.org is a well-established information resource about patient experiences of illnesses. But did you know it also has sections on what it is like to participate in medical/health research? There are several sections on the perspectives of people taking part in clinical trials (including young people and parents), and on Patient-Public Involvement (PPI) in research (from both contributors and researchers). There are also sections about peoples’ experiences of taking part in biobanking

The people featured in these sections often talk about the research nurses, midwives and allied health professionals they have seen – the professionals who spoke to them about a study, explained what it involved and then took them through the next steps. You can see and listen to a selection of people’s experiences of seeing research nurses, midwifes and allied health professionals through this healthtalk.org Scrapbook.

There is a strong commitment to health research and evidence-based care in the UK, and the number of research nurses, midwives and allied health professionals continue to grow. Whilst there has been some important scholarship on the workforces delivering research in the UK, there is still much more to discover. A new study led by researchers Dr Lisa Hinton and Dr Abi McNiven at the University of Oxford and funded by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre is seeking to further understand the diverse experiences of research nurses, midwives and allied health professionals across the health service. 

The new study will interview around 40 research nurses, midwives and allied health professionals from across the UK – asking about how they first became involved in doing research, their experiences of different research activities, and both the benefits and challenges they have faced in their roles. The study will produce an information resource on healthtalk.org which can be used by current research nurses, midwives and allied health professionals as well as by individuals in these professions considering a research job, patients/participants in health research, and research teams. In doing so, it hopes to support and complement recently published strategies on research nurses and research allied health professionals – to raise the profile of these professional roles and their importance to health research, particularly through online/digital presences.

If you are (or have previously worked as) a research nurse, a research midwife, or a research allied health professional and would like to express an interest in the study, please get in touch for more information via the study contact form here.

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