Hosting a randomised chocolate trial

Hosting a randomised chocolate trial featured image
In celebration of International Clinical Trials Day (19th May 2017) the Library & Knowledge Service and the Research Department co-hosted a hosted a Randomised Chocolate Trial.

Aiming to raise awareness of clinical trials and the importance of research in a way that was fun and accessible, we attracted nearly a hundred Trust staff and students to join our event.

Helpers from the Library team and the Research team were on hand to guide participants through reading the participant information sheet, deciding whether they fitted the inclusion criteria, giving consent and being randomised.

Then came the fun bit: consuming either milk or white chocolate before completing a short questionnaire about their chocolate-eating experience.

98 Trust staff took part and our results found that:

• 66% of staff felt that after eating the chocolate their wellbeing either greatly or slightly improved.

• 68% of staff felt that after taking part in the chocolate clinical trial their understanding of clinical trials either greatly or slightly increased.

What worked: We were amazed at the turnout, especially considering the clinical pressures that are currently being felt across the Trust.

The concept had clearly caught people’s imagination (as well as the promise of free chocolate!).

Running the event as a drop-in session at lunchtime meant that it was convenient and accessible, taking approximately 10 minutes to participate

We invited the Communications team to take some photos during the event which helped to raise our profile and our published results were featured in the following week’s staff bulletin.

What could have been improved: We did get some (tongue in cheek) feedback that the chocolate concept wasn’t the most healthy choice; we promised next year to try and Randomised Cabbage Trial but I’m not sure we’d get such a good turnout.

Overall, we had a fantastic day and the event really helped us to raise awareness of the importance of clinical trials.

We’ll definitely be re-working and repeating the event in 2018.
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