Researchers from the QuinteT (Qualitative research integrated within Trials) research group at the University of Bristol are working with the STRATA team to learn more about why people decide to participate in the STRATA study, and their views on the study processes.
The researchers are interviewing current STRATA participants to understand their experiences of taking part in the STRATA study, and how acceptable they are finding the study processes. This research aims to help us improve the delivery and design of future studies.
What have we learnt so far?
We have conducted around 30 interviews and found that most participants stated positive experiences of taking part. Many participants reported feeling that they had personally benefited from the frequent contact with the study team, and others reported feeling happy that they were helping to progress the research. In addition:
- Participants are generally satisfied with study communication. Most found the information about the study comprehensive and easy to understand (both written and verbal, including the initial online appointment with the local research team). Study participants found the Expression of Interest process to be straightforward, and appreciated and felt reassured by regular safety check appointments. Here is a quote from an interview with a current STRATA participant:
“[Study staff member] did a very thorough explanation. She did go into quite a lot of detail and then I was sent an information leaflet explaining everything all over again. (STRATA participant, in study 2 months)”
- Study staff were described as “caring”, “friendly”, “polite” and “reassuring”. Participants felt confident that they could contact the team with any questions or concerns
- Participants reported feeling motivated to take part by personal circumstances and their own experience of anxiety, as well as wanting to help others, and contributing to scientific evidence. Some participants were attracted to the study because of the major impact anxiety was having on their life. Participants also wished to help other autistic people with anxiety in the future by contributing to research into effective treatments
- Many participants felt encouraged by the involvement of autistic people in the design and delivery of the study
- Questionnaires were described as “easy”, “straightforward”, and “clear”
- Participants adjusted their daily routines to ensure they remembered to take the study medication. They made changes such as putting the capsules in a specific place, having electronic reminders, or taking the medication at the same time as another daily activity (e.g., breakfast, exercise, etc.)
We are now unable to accept any further Expressions of Interest for the STRATA study. Thank you very much for your interest.