For researchers looking to investigate something around diabetes, the first challenge can often be finding some suitable guinea pigs to experiment on. Some might have a friendly hospital diabetic clinic who’ll let them speak to their patients, but most pancreatically challenged types are treated by GP’s, and aren’t so easy to get hold of.
Help Diabeates (bonus points awarded for clever integration of “beat” and “diabetes” to give puntastic name) is a campaign being run by the Diabetes Research Network and supported by the great and the good of the diabetes charity world. Its aim is to try and get a larger pool of diabetic types involved in research projects.
On the site you can register your interest in taking part in diabetes related research. Disappointingly, you’re not signing up to be randomly allocated to trials, kind of like a research Russian roulette where at the click of a mouse you’ve committed to having a leg chopped off to see if that helps your control or having your insulin withheld for a week to see what that does to you. That’s not the case at all. Rather boringly, you just give your contact details and a friendly soul from the NHS will give you a call to chat about how you might be able to help – if you’re a pumper you’re obviously going to be interested in different research projects compared to if you’re Type 2 on diet. Once they’ve had a high level chat they’ll ask whether you’d be happy to be approached to take part in any suitable studies. You’re basically joining a mailing list.
I’ve signed up. I have nothing to lose by knowing what projects are going on and volunteering to be a guinea pig for any that particularly appeal. If you’d like to do the same, click here.
[Tim edit – Alison’s evident Anglo-centric bias neglected to note that this is only for patients in England. But Scotland has a similar thing here: http://www.ukdrn.org/patients_involved.html. Tim’s evident Alba-centric bias neglects to care what they do in Wales or Northern Ireland.]