Mrs Sam J’s story: My experience of taking part in research

Mrs Sam J is 55 and has had type 2 diabetes for four years. She joined Help BEAT Diabetes in 2013 and describes the first research study she took part in – investigating genetic and environmental factors of type 2 diabetes. 

“Arriving at the clinic I was pleasantly welcomed by Amy and Nicola, two diabetes research nurses. They showed me to a private room and I was offered tea or coffee. I immediately felt comfortable and at ease.

“Amy explained what would happen during the appointment. She described everything in detail and confirmed at each step that I understood what she had said and if I had any questions, which was very reassuring.

“Amy checked I had received and read the information about the study which had been posted to me a couple of weeks prior to my clinic appointment and then we began reading through the consent form together. The nurse read each statement and checked I understood what it meant or if I had any questions. I confirmed and signed each one before moving to the next. Everything was very precise, easy and relaxed.

“We discussed my current health and medical history, including questions about my lifestyle and my diabetes. I was also asked about my family medical history. The nurses made notes but explained they would also contact my GP, with my permission, for further information. There were no questions that I found intrusive at all and completing the paperwork was unhurried and informal.

“Nicola then took me aside to take my blood pressure, height and weight. She asked for my consent to take a blood sample, explaining how this would be used for this study and stored for future studies. As I have diabetes I am used to having my blood taken so I was wasn’t worried but sometimes I can bruise. Not this time though, as Nicola was very proficient and had taken my blood whilst I was talking without me noticing! It was very quick and painless.

“At the end of the appointment both nurses asked if I was happy with everything that had happened today, re-confirmed that I understood what the study was about and if I had any further questions. They thanked me for attending and taking part and offered me another tea or coffee!

“Taking part in my first research study was a positive experience and one that I would be happy to repeat. A big THANK YOU to Amy and Nicola for being such wonderful nurses!”