3rd International Clinical Trials Methodology Conference, Glasgow, Nov2015


This conference takes place every two years and everyone working in clinical trials is welcomed. It is an extremely good place to mix with your peers and explore some exciting new ideas in both clinical trial methodology, statistical methodology and trial conduct. The next conference will take place in Liverpool 7-10 May 2017 and will be jointly hosted with the Society for Clinical Trials.
One of the key themes at the conference, was making trials more efficient by adding small studies within a trial (also known as SWATs) or other embedded studies. These studies add to the evidence base, particularly in the field of recruitment and retention by taking some of the methods that we try in every trial, such as newsletters, SMS text reminders, phone contacts warning of questionnaire arrival, randomising the participants to receive the new intervention or the current standard. This enables evidence on methods that work or otherwise to be added to the existing literature and therefore improve future trials by utilising the best methods. It also provides a relatively easy, early publication for the trial team, particularly the trial manager. The SWAT website (http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/TheNorthernIrelandNetworkforTrialsMethodology... ) provides a place for putting forward these SWATs and provides access to the project idea and published results of completed SWATs. Even if you cannot implement the SWAT within your trial, if other people take up your idea you will still get the credit.
While SWATs are small scale carried out within individual trials, Trial Forge is trying to implement ideas along these lines across multiple trials (http://www.trialforge.org/) to make trials more efficient by looking for marginal gains across all trial processes, from research question to implementation into routine care. The first few projects are now on the Trial Forge website and interested parties should get in touch.
Many of the research ideas proposed have minimal financial cost, although they will have time and manpower costs. However if they improve recruitment, retention and trial processes this will save time and money in the long-term as we make our trials run more efficiently.
For full details of plenaries, oral presentations and abstracts for posters please go to: http://www.trialsjournal.com/supplements/16/S2

Save the date 7-10May2017, Liverpool - call for abstracts likely to be December 2016 - plan ahead.