25.9.12 – an even more overdue study update

I cannot believe it has been 3 months since I posted an update on our progress – I am a very bad PhD student!

In my defence, I have been super busy meeting lots of amazing community pharmacists who have been coming to the University of Bath to take part in our study. I have also been trying to write some reports and bits of pieces (hopefully some of which I can upload sometime soon – I will as soon as they are published).

Anyway, lets talk figures, after all this year was about reaching recruitment and study targets – so how am I doing?

Community Pharmacist study

We are almost – but not quite at our target sample – we need about 20-30 more recruits. We have 78 people signed up to date – most of them booked in to take part if they haven’t already done so. I had planned to have everyone recruited by now, so I am a little behind my “in a perfect world” schedule – however, luckily for me, I went on a project planning course once and they told me to always budget for 25% extra time for each part of your study in your project timetable as things always take longer than we anticipate. The teacher on this course was correct and I knew she was having worked as an assistant to other research projects before I started my PhD. So I had made sure I had wiggle room in my timetable when I planned it all out. We still haven’t used up all our mail-shot attempts (we try never to do more than 3 otherwise it seems a bit like we are pestering people to take part in our research) and I will also follow-up with some telephone calls to make sure that pharmacists receive the packs as often they don’t or they get lost in the mounds of paperwork that community pharmacies receive.

The great news is that of those 78 pharmacists I have met and tested 51 of them. Forty-0ne of these pharmacists have taken part in the first study and 10 in the second. I need a minimum of 52 pharmacists to take part in study 1 and study 2 – and I almost have enough people signed up in the next couple of weeks for study 1 so I am so very close to completing that data set. I have also met one person and interviewed them as part of the follow-up study. I will be recruiting participants for this follow-up study in the coming weeks (I need another 9 pharmacists for this part) – so if you have taken part in study 1 or 2 – you may receive an e-mail / letter asking if you would like to take part in the follow-up study. I cannot wait for this part – I love interviewing people, not just because I enjoy talking to people, but because I learn so much during these interviews about the topic I am studying. Fingers crossed my participants will enjoy it too!

We are almost there! If you are reading this and you are a community pharmacist and you haven’t yet taken part in our study – please read our study page to find out more about taking part. We can offer funds for locum cover for your pharmacy for a day – so that you can come and take part without your pharmacy having to bear the cost of being one pharmacist down! If you are interested in taking part you can get in touch with me here and I will reply ASAP.

Pharmacy Student Study

The students return next week (w/c 1st October 2012) and so phase 2 of our pharmacy student research will begin. We need 52 pharmacy students to take part, and so there is lots of work to be done between now and Christmas. I am hoping that I can recruit and test all the pharmacy students we need for our second and final study so that the data is all ready to analyse in January. Fingers crossed we have lots of willing recruits! You can find out more about this study here.

So there you have it, as you can see I have been busy, but there is a LOT of work still to do! I’ll be back with another update soon (I promise I will not wait 3 months this time).

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