NUI Galway leads on cross-border health intervention on multiple medication review

Dr Nikita Burke, development manager with the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland, NUI Galway (front left) pictured with the Cross-Border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN) partners from Public Health Agency, Health Research Board, Department of Health Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland and Special EU Programmes Body. Photo:NUI Galway

Dr Nikita Burke, development manager with the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland, NUI Galway (front left) pictured with the Cross-Border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN) partners from Public Health Agency, Health Research Board, Department of Health Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland and Special EU Programmes Body. Photo:NUI Galway

NUI Galway is leading on a health intervention research trial involving people with more than one long-term medical condition, thanks to a new cross-border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN ).

A pilot cluster randomised controlled trial will involve General Practitioners (GPs ) and Practice Based Pharmacists from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to explore a new approach to reviewing prescribing for patients with more than one long-term condition.

Currently five per centof Irish patients aged over 65 are on 15 or more drugs. There are obvious concerns about being able to take these drugs reliably, including potential side-effects. This study looks at a way of trying to improve the effectiveness and safety of their drug intake where two GP’s, or a GP and a Practice Based Pharmacist, work together to find out the best possible combination of medicines for that patient.

The pilot trial aims to test this new approach to determine if it will lead to better patient care north and south of the border in Ireland. In helping to encourage people to be more involved in managing their own condition, eight GP practices in Northern Ireland and eight GP practices in the Republic of Ireland will participate in the trial.

Professor Andrew Murphy, Director of the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland based at NUI Galway and Turloughmore Medical Centre, Co Galway is leading the MY COMRADE PLUS trial and is looking forward to this new opportunity.

“We are addressing a common but important issue in General Practice. NUI Galway staff working in collaboration on this trial will be helping to lay foundations for preventative measures that can improve the quality of life of many people and also help staff involved to continue to learn and grow through working with each other,” he said.

If the pilot approach works a larger trial will be undertaken to find out if it can make things better for patients.

The pilot is one of 11 trials that has received INTERREG VA funding under the Cross-border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network Project. CHITIN is led by the Public Health Agency in partnership with the Health Research Board. Its overall aim is to help prevent illness and improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Northern Ireland and the border regions of Ireland - Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, Monaghan, and Louth, through cross-border research collaborations.

The Cross-border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network has received €8.8 million in funding from the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body with match funding from the Departments of Health in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

For more information, visit: http://www.research.hscni.net/chitin or follow on Twitter @CHITINProject.

For further details about the trial contact Dr Nikita Burke at [email protected].

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