Monday 16 April 2018 10:05am
Taking part in research studies at the Christchurch Heart Institute, is an opportunity to receive on going and beneficial medical care that could be life-saving, say Research Nurses Stephanie Rose and Carol Groves.
Participants come under two categories, healthy volunteers and those who have suffered some sort of heart-related event.
“If a person is admitted to hospital with a heart event, such as heart attack or heart failure, we can recruit into certain studies while that person is still an inpatient. Following discharge, the individual receives ongoing care not only from hospital heart specialists but research heart specialists, all of whom have extensive medical training and experience.”
Carol said other study participants who have never had a heart event are also part of studies. These are called healthy volunteers and their involvement provides test comparisons with those who do have heart issues.
“Research participants, whether they are healthy volunteers or not, all receive the same level of care. They are seen regularly, on average three to four times a year for up to 10 years, depending on the type of study they are in,” she said.
There is close liaison between the hospital and research care with consultant cardiologists frequently visiting their patients in the research clinic, as Stephanie explains:
“The Consultant Cardiologists who lead the care of inpatients are often also research doctors or professors. It is reassuring for study participants to see their consultant both in the hospital clinic as well as in the research clinic a few weeks or months later.”
With this level of attention, research participants can be assured that their overall health is well monitored and any potential problems are picked up.
Jim Farrant began his journey as a participant in heart research when he was admitted to Christchurch Hospital with heart failure in July 2016. As an inpatient he was recruited to the IMPERATIVE-HF study which looks at whether the treatment of heart failure can be enhanced to improve survival and reduce the chance of further hospital admission.
“I was part of the IMPERATIVE-HF study for three months and when I finished that, I was offered the chance to take part in the VICTORIA study, which is a drug trial by a pharmaceutical company.”
Being part of heart research with the CHI has been of great benefit to Jim.
“I highly recommend taking part in heart research. The people at the CHI are the friendliest group. Everyone knows you personally and takes an interest in your overall wellbeing, not just the heart side of things. If I hadn’t taken part in the research I would be a lot worse off. I feel very well cared for and supported. Due to my regular clinic visits and special care, I feel confident that things are picked up and acted on. My medications have been changed because they were originally causing a problem. They check my blood pressure and heart sounds etc. It’s very good.”
If you have had a heart event and are interested in taking part in research, please call the CHI Research Nurses on +64 3 364 1759 to find out if you are eligible.
Paula de Roeper
Christchurch Heart Institute
Tel +64 27 316 0571