Would you like to take part in a group discussion about genetic testing and clozapine? Final call

My name is Ben Spencer and I am a psychiatry registrar at the Institute of Psychiatry working on a research project that is looking into people’s views of genetic testing in clozapine.

Schizophrenia is a common illness that can affect how people tolerate stress, and their experience of the world.  Some people who have schizophrenia do not get better on standard medication, and treatment with clozapine is offered.  Clozapine can affect the immune system and so people who take it have to have regular blood tests, and sometimes get side effects.

At the moment, researchers are looking into whether it might be possible to use a genetic test to predict if people with schizophrenia would benefit from clozapine, or would get side effects.  This research may mean that people would have to have blood tests less often when they are treated with clozapine.

No one has looked into people’s views on this, and I am keen to find out what people think.  To do this I have written a questionnaire about it to give to people.  I need to find out though if it’s asking the questions that service users think are important.

I am looking for people who have experience of mental health services, and who would like to look at a questionnaire we have written to find out about people’s views and attend a focus group discussion on it.  Ideally if you have knowledge or experience of clozapine or psychosis.

If you wanted to take part I would send you an information sheet about the study, and a copy of the questionnaire for you to complete in your own time.  I would also send you a feedback form so you can write about your experiences of it.

Then I would invite you to come along to a focus group to discuss with other similar people you thoughts on the questionnaire itself (is it too long, short, too simple).  Also at this group we would discuss the research itself and the issues or questions you think we should be asking.

You would be given your travel costs (up to a maximum of £10) to attend the focus group, and a £10 Marks and Spencer’s gift voucher for your involvement.

Please note the focus group session will take place on Wednesday  22/05/2013 in Brixton.

Please get in touch if you are interested in being involved in this project by emailing : clozapineandgenes@gmail.com  with your name, phone number, and address to post the study information to.

The deadline to respond by is Wednesday 15/05/2013.

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