Participating in research

Patients, clients or staff in the Northern Trust may be asked to take part in research. Participation in research requires you to assist the Researcher with the project.

This may involve any or all of the following:

  • Providing details of your personal experience
  • Providing samples such as blood
  • Providing information

Health and social care that wish to undertake research may approach you. It may be your doctor, nurse or any other member of staff or a student from your local university.

They will explain to you what the research involves and provide you with written information on the research. You will be given time to think about the information and given the opportunity to ask any questions regarding the research. You may decline if you wish.

If you decide to take part in the research you will be asked to sign a consent form which means you are happy to take part in the research. The research should have been approved by both an Northern Ireland Research Ethics Committee and the Northern Trust Research Governance Committee.

If you are in any doubt ask the Researcher about this or contact the Research and Development Office. If you have been involved in a research project you will receive feedback regarding the research findings.

Your involvement in research may generate considerable knowledge regarding your illness or medical condition and result in developments and improvements in care.

What if I change my mind once the research starts?

If for any reason you decide you do not want to be involved in the research anymore, you can leave at anytime. Your health care treatment will not be affected and you can volunteer to take part in future research.

Can I be identified? 

The Researcher undertaking the research is bound by a strict code of conduct where the dignity, rights, safety and wellbeing of each participant is their prime consideration. The appropriate use, protection and confidentiality of personal information are part of the Researcher’s duty of care to you under the Data Protection Act 1998 and Health Act 1999.

Research may be anonymous, meaning you are not known by the Researcher, for example, postal responses. In such cases the Researcher will identify you by a given number and your personal details will remain confidential. At other times you will be known by the Researcher, for example, taking part in an interview.

Help available

If you would like more information on research, have any concerns or would like to give feedback on a project you have participated in, please contact the Research and Development Office.

Research Definition Document
How to write a research proposal: Guidelines

Useful links

PHA Research and Development Office
NHS Research and Development Forum
Research Governance Framework
Office of Research Ethics Committee NI

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