Small Studies

Lead Research Organisation: Medical Research Council


One of the roles of the GPRF is to provide methodological support to other researchers involved in work conducted in the community. The GPRF is currently involved in several pilot studies such as the examination of patients treatment preferences for the management of their angina, the epidemiological exploration of common symptoms experienced in primary care and the planning of the launch of two new studies (one is an implementation trial and the other is a study of vitamin B12 and its effects on memory in the elderly). Additionally, the GPRF is assisting the analyses of the statistical data from the MATISSE and DYD trials (a study of the use of art therapy for people with schizophrenia and an Internet trial of self help for people with alcohol problems respectively) and analyses of data from the THIN/GPRD database.

Technical Summary

Background: One of the many functions of the GPRF is to assist various researchers across the country on planning new studies, running pilot studies and the analysis of clincial databases (such as GPRD/THIN) and existing randomised trials.

Details: The GPRF is currently engaged in the following activities:
1) (COMM-SYMPTOMS) - Common symptoms in the community- is designed to assess how people are currently managing their common symptoms in an appropriate and effective way and whether the management of these symptoms can be optimised. The study is funded by the Wellcome Trust.
2) PRIME: is a study designed to examine the relationships between individual and organisational level theoretical constructs and to understand the behaviour of health care professionals. This study is funded by Wellcome Trust.
3) B12 supplementation study: is a randomised placebo controlled trial designed to assess whether vitamin B12 supplementation affects neurological function.
4) Angina symptoms study is designed to test the psychometric properties of a patients’ preference questionanire and also to use this quetsionnaire to study patients’ preferences with respect to angina tretaments

GPRF is also involved in providing statistical and methodological support for the analyses of the following randomised trials a) Down your Drink (DYD) which is a randomsied Internet trial designed to provide Internet directed self help to people with an alcohol problems b) MATISSE is a randomsied trial of art therapy for the managing symptoms in people with schizophrenia. Additioanlly, GPRF is involved in the analysis of the THIN database to examine the relationship between medically unexplained symptoms and psychological problems in primary care.

Lastly the GPRF provides methodological advice and support at early stages of study design. This includes RCTs on cancer prevention, acupuncture for managing depression, the chronic care management of people with schizophrenia and assessing cardiovascular outcomes in a cohort of people recruited just after their first onset of the illnesses.


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