Phase III trials can take years, often involving hundreds or thousands of participants, and input from many healthcare workers and researchers. It is important that the results of trials are communicated effectively in order to: 

  • inform policy and practice 
  • fulfil ethical and contractual obligations 
  • increase transparency around research results to ensure the evidence base is not biased by selective reporting 
  • improve trust in research 
  • reduce research duplication and waste 
  • increase awareness of the importance of clinical trials among potential research funders (including, ultimately, tax payers and people who donate to medical research charities), participants and collaborators 

What have we done? 

Our research focuses on the communication of trial results to participants, and to healthcare workers and policymakers. 

Showing RESPECT: communicating trial results to people who took part in the study 

Show RESPECT was a mixed methods cluster randomised factorial trial within an ovarian cancer trial, testing different ways of sharing trial results with participants. It found that sharing results via posted printed summaries improved participant satisfaction with how the results were shared, compared to webpages and email lists alone, and was feasible for trial sites to implement. 

Learn more about Show RESPECT

The results of Show RESPECT have helped shape HRA guidance on sharing trial results with participants. They have also influenced our practice within the Unit. We are engaging with research funders on this issue as well. 

Sharing trial results with healthcare workers and policymakers 

We are conducting a systematic review exploring how to communicate trial results to healthcare workers and policymakers. This review is looking at both quantitative and qualitative evidence. The protocol for the review has been published, and is registered on PROSPERO 2019 CRD42019137364