I feel very privileged every day in my role as a researcher in dealing with clinical trial participants. It is a unique relationship between researcher and the participant, the exchange of personal information and the level of comfort that they feel in the rapport building, enabling them to be frank, honest and trusting.
The target group that I am dealing with are people suffering from depression, who may often have a comorbidity of anxiety, so I am dealing with a sensitive population. I find that some people, because of the severity of their illness, may be too unwell to participate in the clinical trial. My humanistic approach and attending behaviour, gained from my nursing and counselling background, are complementary in dealing with pre- and post-screening eligibility.
Some of the participant comments that I remember at the end of a trial are “It is has been a joy, to be part of this trial”, “I have enjoyed taking time out, to help others; it is not about the money” and that “It is great to see that there is a natural alternative to anti-depressant medication and I wish you well with the study”.
I recruit everyday people from the community that are suffering from Depression and receive a large cross section of enquiries, from all walks of life. I find that Depression does not discriminate; that either someone close to you or someone you know is suffering from Depression. If I can’t help them, I refer them to services that do. I am passionate about mental health, in particular mood disorders and making a difference in clinical outcomes.