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UK research

Discussion in 'UK Forum' started by Kate, Oct 16, 2008.

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  1. Kate

    Kate Moved On

    Jun 26, 2008
    I've been asking around about having trials and research on esmoking carried out in the UK and have managed to get the following contact:
    Amanda Young MScBSc(hons)
    Practising Health Psychologist
    Programme Manager (Technology Assessment Reports)
    Science Support Directorate
    National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment (NCCHTA)
    Alpha House, Enterprise Road,
    Southampton Science Park, Chilworth
    Southampton SO16 7NS
    Tel: +44 (0) 23 8059 5598 (ext.25598)
    Fax: +44 (0) 23 8059 5639
    Email: ***************************

    She is checking with colleagues at the moment about how we can become involved in research.

    In the meantime -

    "Here is a useful link which researchers frequently use to track down experts in specific fields of specialism (and to search for journal articles when conducting research)."

    "This might be a good place to start too as these reviews often offer many expert knowledge Training health professionals in smoking cessation "

    "Another alternative is to contact a smoking cessation group within the Primary Care Trust to discuss your ideas with. Essentially your forum could be the Patient and Public Involvement group for the ‘research’ team, which is often very difficult to find. If you would like more information about what this means the following website may be of use to you:

    Involve - The Participation Organisation | Home
    INVOLVE, promoting public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research
    Patient and public empowerment : Department of Health - Managing your organisation"

    Are any of you interested in following this up? I'll keep trying to find out myself what we can do but I'd like to know if we can form a UK group here on the forum to act maybe as consultants and guinea pigs.

    Any suggestions on how to progress with this would be welcomed also.
  2. rustylug

    rustylug Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2008
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Kate ... I see what you mean about groups ...But i dont think we need one on the froum just yet because i think we are all one big group on this forum as it is ... and some of us are already doing tests "as such on the way we e-smoke" ....Look at T/Bob for an example of the dif ways he is trying to do things with the help of his doctor....We are in this group already shareing some well educated storys on the forum ... so why atthe momment split the forum ...... just a tought .....But good luck ... Oh and PS ..... If you broke away in to a group ..We would all miss you opinion.
  3. Kate

    Kate Moved On

    Jun 26, 2008
    I'm not talking about splitting the forum Rusty, I'm talking about forming a group that can liaise with researchers in the UK for formal studies.
  4. rustylug

    rustylug Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2008
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Would it not be a good start if people like these could join are forum and look at what we say about how we feel about ourself ...I would love to see more Dr's join the forum etc.
  5. Kate

    Kate Moved On

    Jun 26, 2008
    Absolutely Rusty but they aren't going to join if they don't know about us. I'm trying to contact some of the researchers in the UK so we can tell them about esmoking our way.

    There are quite a few ways of promoting our cause and I'm just looking at what I can see would be possible and useful.

    I think formal research is essential for esmoking and if we don't get off our asses and look into it goodness knows how long it will take. The sooner research is carried out the sooner we'll be able to prove safety and the sooner it can be publicised for smokers as a healthier option.
  6. rustylug

    rustylug Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2008
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Well i agree with getting people from the medical side of things to take notice of this forum .... I have already handed out cards with this forums. URL on it to nurses of big oil companys ...and shown my e-cig to my Dr ... also shown it to an alternitive health shop etc ... So ... I hope im introducing people easily ...A nice long slow slide into the froum ....A nice easy introduction to the world of e-smoking :oops::)

  7. rustylug

    rustylug Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2008
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    I guess the diffrance is Kate .. Your aiming for the top people 1st ... and im starting at the grass roots with nurses etc lol .... same gole we look for .. just a diffrent approch lol .... Will see you in the mid hee hee .....My idea is to tel the nurses or doctors so they will then pass on the recomendations or resuts to their bosses, and so on and so on..... If you can get a nurse or doctor to by an e-cig and then post their results etc on the forum ...Then that would be good.
  8. Kate

    Kate Moved On

    Jun 26, 2008
    We can only do what is within our sphere of influence. If members of this forum have access to 'the top' then we can make a difference with our own experiences from here. Hopefully we will find that they are interested in us.
  9. rustylug

    rustylug Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2008
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Dito ....... :)

  10. Kate

    Kate Moved On

    Jun 26, 2008
    When anyone interested in getting organised over this arrives just leave a post on this thread so we know who we are. I know a few people are waiting to become members of the UK group so once approved we can start talking about what we can do.
  11. Oliver

    Oliver ECF Founder, formerly SmokeyJoe Admin Verified Member

    Kate, I've been thinking about this for a while - In fact it seems to me that we need a dedicated space on the forum for medical/health professionals to use - private or not, I don't know.

    I did suggest it to Dr Loi way back when but he declined, out of modesty I think. But I know that we've had quite a few health professionals visit the site so far, and maybe it would be good for them to have a dedicated area to discuss things?

    What do you reckon?
  12. Kate

    Kate Moved On

    Jun 26, 2008
    Thats a good idea if there are enough experts to make it viable. A dedicated area would reduce the amount of redundant chit chat and be a valuable resource - providing the professionals want to use it. It would be nice if we lay people of the forum could read their posts too, we might learn something. Maybe you could post on the board a question asking if anyone eligible is interested to see if it would be worth it.

    What I'm trying to do is to see if the UK members can organise and tap into research resources available through the National Health Service or UK non-profit bodies. To be honest I'm not too optimistic that anything can be done quickly but we might be able to start the ball rolling. I chose the UK group because it's the most relevant forum at the moment but if the posts were readable to members from elsewhere I have no problem with that, it would be a good thing.
  13. Soot

    Soot Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 11, 2008
    Belfast, UK

    I’m not sure how the knowledge and skills of medical professionals can be harnessed through the forum. The e-world doesn’t facilitate medical examinations but perhaps I’m not being imaginative enough.

    What the forum could be useful in doing is recording people’s experiences and there are a number of issues that strike me:

    1. The forum is contaminated by being a self-selected sample; i.e., not representative of the population.
    2. I don’t see a UK restriction being needed (not for this information collection process) though you may have had a different concept of research approach. The forum seems to be increasing in membership every day. The larger the number of people involved the more persuasive will be any findings.
    3. What hypothesis (or hypotheses) would the research be testing? I’d like the research to stay within what the forum can reasonably deliver and this might cover; devices (type, reliability, satisfaction, liquids and custom uses etc) starting profiles (smoking habits, initial objectives), behaviour (e-smoking / smoking experiences) and outcomes (lowered smoking, health perceptions, social outcomes).

    The 1st point above is a weakness in the research design but it’s not one that can be redressed. Let’s not make the mistake of attempting to design a research programme that attempts to answer all the issues – research just doesn’t work that way. Each research project will contribute to knowledge.

    My suggestion is that the research move beyond the UK forum, that all forum members be asked to join in a “research forum”, that a starting profile questionnaire be designed (through consultation on the forum) and that a progress questionnaire is completed by research forum members at agreed intervals.

    Thought I’d just throw in my own tuppence-worth. I'm sorry if I appear critical - it isn't my intention. I'm interested in this research idea.
  14. Kate

    Kate Moved On

    Jun 26, 2008
    That's way beyond my capabilities Soot, I wouldn't know where to start to design an international comprehensive study of all aspects of esmoking. I can see that it would be very useful and if you or anyone else sets it up I'll be happy to add my experiences.

    What I had in mind was using UK research facilities (not necessarily internet based) to set up a clinical study of the health benefits or effects of esmoking. Maybe with a view towards long term acceptance as an NRT.

    My intention here is to see if we have enough eligible members who are interested in trying to kick start studies by doing what we can on this forum. I have deliberately confined this to the UK because it is outside my reach to try to get international backing. We might just manage it in the UK and for now that is plenty to be getting on with for me.

    One step at a time. By all means design or present something far reaching and international but that is not what I am proposing here.
  15. Soot

    Soot Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 11, 2008
    Belfast, UK
    OK Kate - I think I see where you're coming from. Given the increased publicity e-cigs have been getting and the rise in forum membership, the forum could be a useful resource for those wishing to conduct a clinical trial - if only as a means of contacting e-smokers.

    I'd be happy to participate if such an offer is made but would need to see any proposed research design first and the the credentials of those involved. I certainly won't be a willing guinea-pig to the latest "politically correct lynch mob" aiming to vilify e-smoking.

    Beyond being a means for a study to contact e-smokers I can't see how the forum could help. I'm probably just being thick ;(

    I DO see the forum as a way of collecting useful information on the impact e-smoking has on smoking. Thanks for your willingness to contribute to such a study. I need to check a few things out - I think it may be possible and worthwhile but it needs to be done properly.
  16. Kate

    Kate Moved On

    Jun 26, 2008
    To get an idea of what involvement we might be able to have in research have a look here - UK Clinical Research Collaboration

    "What is involvement?

    For many people involvement in research means taking part in a research study. For example, this could be by being one of a group of people who are testing a new medicine or by answering questions about your medical history or your life style.
    However, there are other ways in which patients and the public can get actively involved in the research process itself, such as involvement in:

    * Setting the research agenda
    * Making decisions about research funding
    * Carrying out research
    * Analysing research data or reporting on research findings
    * Communicating research findings and getting them into practice.

    This is the type of activity we mean when we talk about ‘patient and public involvement in research’.

    "What is clinical research?

    Clinical research helps us understand how to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. It focuses on people, and many clinical research studies, such as clinical trials, directly involve patients to test medicines or medical treatments.

    This type of research is based on examining and observing people with different conditions, and sometimes comparing them with healthy people.
    Other clinical studies may not involve patients, and instead use human samples (blood, tissue and cells). Or they might carry out tests such as X-rays, or use existing information.

    I've emailed this organisation and am waiting for a reply.
  17. BarryK

    BarryK Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 6, 2008
    Essex ENGLAND
    Hi Kate

    Please add me to your list of guinea pigs

  18. Kate

    Kate Moved On

    Jun 26, 2008
    Ha, welcome to the lab Barry. Take your clothes off behind the screen please ;)

    I've had a reply from these folks - The James Lind Alliance, patients and clinicians tackling treatment uncertainties together. They will be discussing our situation at their next meeting and will get back to us when they can after that.

    This was another message I received from them (I hate copying private emails to public forums but in this case I think we are all being addressed):

    Dear Kate,

    Whilst your email has been forwarded to the James Lind Alliance
    Monitoring and Implementation group for discussion, I thought I would
    take the opportunity to offer an opinion on possible progressing the
    question to a research question.

    I am a firm believer that no new research should ever be undertaken
    without a systematic review having been undertaken. It is unethical to
    do so, as quite often, following a rigorous and systematic search for
    possible relevant trials, we can then set the research question in the
    context of what is already known. Whilst the outcome of any systematic
    review might be that there is no evidence, given what you say, it is the
    most ethical step to undertake. It is also a requirement that all new
    research should be set in the context of a systematic review.

    My personal preference would be for you to contact the Cochrane Tobacco
    Addiction Group, of whom Kate Cahill is the Review Group Co-ordinator,
    whom I've copied into this email, to see if they know of any registered
    protocols for this topic. They may also be able to put you in contact
    with enthusiastic individuals who might be in a position to help
    undertake a systematic review.

    Kind regards,

    Mark Fenton

    I'm going to write back and ask what a 'systematic review' is but I don't see there being any problem personally if it will lead us towards proper research. I'll also email Kate Cahill at the Cochrane group and introduce our group to her.
  19. Oliver

    Oliver ECF Founder, formerly SmokeyJoe Admin Verified Member

    Hi Kate, have a look at the Wiki page on Systematic reviews.

    Essentially, all the medical papers that already exist on a particular subject are analyzed according to a standardized set of procedures to see if an answer to a particular problem can be determined by existing research.

    I didn't realize it was such an ethical concern within health care practice that one was carried out before new research, but it makes sense.
  20. Oliver

    Oliver ECF Founder, formerly SmokeyJoe Admin Verified Member

    Still, I don't think what we would be doing would constitute research in any meaningful sense, anyway.

    Those participating online would only ever be contributing to the anecdotal body of evidence - evidence that still has its merits, but has no clinical value.

    That's as far as forum based "research" can go.

    It would still be quite useful to have a questionnaire to get the answers. Some data such as the amount of liquid/cartridges consumed etc would provide a good starting point for the further investigation of the topic.
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