Funded research

funded research

These are just some of the ways in which questions highlighted as important by James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs) are being, or have been, addressed. This is research that we know has come about as a direct result of a PSP. We know that other research will be taking place that answers PSP questions, perhaps having been suggested already for other reasons. We’re keen to hear from you if you know of studies that we haven’t mentioned that directly result from a PSP. Please get in touch.

Interventions for acne scars

Addressing priority 3: Cochrane Review was published in April 2016. The team reviewed 24 previous trials to pull together the evidence that already exists about interventions for acne scars, and to highlight where further research is needed.

Spironolactone for Adult Female Acne (SAFA): pragmatic multicentre double-blind randomised superiority trial to investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of spironolactone for moderate or severe persistent acne in women

Addressing priority 7: NIHR research in progress

Background Acne is very common and, although thought of as a teenage condition, it often continues into adulthood where impact on quality of life can be significant. The most commonly used treatment for acne is long courses of antibiotics but concerns about antibiotic resistance mean we need to find alternatives. Spironolactone reduces hormones called androgens that are implicated in acne as these increase grease production and cause changes in follicles in the skin making them prone to acne. This study will measure whether spironolactone helps adult women with persistent moderate-severe facial acne.

A Randomised Controlled Trial to investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of Paravertebral Blockade compared with Thoracic Epidural Blockade in reducing Chronic Post-Thoracotomy Pain (TOPIC 2)

Addressing one of the top 10 priorities: NIHR research in progress

Surgery through the side of the chest (thoracotomy), usually to treat lung cancer, can cause pain post-operatively that can last months or years in up to half of patients. This Chronic Post-Thoracotomy Pain (CPTP) can be severe and debilitating to patients, leading to more frequent GP visits, anxiety, depression, time off sick and unemployment. This study is trying to find out which of two common pain relief techniques results in less incidence of chronic pain at six months after surgery.

A controlled study of the effectiveness of breathing training exercises taught by a physiotherapist by either instructional videos/DVDs/internet download or by face-to-face sessions in the management of asthma in adults

Addressing priority 7: NIHR research published. Many people with asthma are interested in non-drug treatments, particularly in breathing exercises. Teaching these breathing exercises face to face works well. This study showed that breathing retraining exercises improve quality of life in adults with asthma and at lower cost than usual care, with delivery by DVD having equivalent outcomes with lower cost than face-to-face training.

“It has been a great privilege to be involved in a research project like BREATHE, which had its roots firmly embedded in the wishes and priorities of patients with asthma and their families. We knew from the work of the James Lind Alliance, and our own clinical experience, that breathing techniques were of great interest to people with asthma.

We also knew that there were not enough NHS physiotherapists with the specialist skills needed to teach these techniques. BREATHE was developed out of these two key facts – and has resulted in a trial assessing the effect of physiotherapy breathing retraining learned through two different delivery methods – a) face to face with a physio, and b) digitally using a DVD plus booklet at home. We have found that both delivery methods were equally effective for our participants.

The interventions were developed iteratively with feedback from patients and clinicians, and this has helped to make sure they are not only effective, but also acceptable, and therefore more likely to be used in practice. We can honestly say that without the input of clinicians, patients and their families, we would not have been able to design, develop, test, and now implement, our new digital intervention.”

Anne Bruton, Co-investigator of the BREATHE study

Behavioural intervention to treat anxiety in adults with autism and moderate to severe learning disabilities

Addressing priorities 1 and 4:

Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA programme.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for treating anxiety in adults with autism

Addressing priorities 1 and 4:

Commissioning brief advertised. The UK’s NIHR and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) are collaborating on this research priority and will consider joint funding for any collaborative research proposals submitted.

Intensive behavioural interventions for young children with autism: A systematic review and cost-effectiveness analysis

Addressing priority 24: NIHR research in progress

Autism is a complex life-long condition that impacts on development in different areas including intellectual, communication, social, emotional, and adaptive skills for daily living. The proportion of children diagnosed with autism has increased considerably over the last two decades, and it now affects approximately 3 in 200 children born in the UK. This study aims to find out whether or not intensive early interventions based on applied behaviour analysis (ABA) can help young children with autism, and whether it represents good value for money.

Psychosocial intervention to address the mental health needs of parents/carers of children newly diagnosed with autism

Addressing priority 6: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme.

Managing Repetitive Behaviours: Clinical and cost effectiveness trial of a parent group intervention to manage restricted and repetitive behaviours in young children with ASD

Addressing priority 6: Research in progress

Challenging restricted repetitive behaviours (RRB) such as repetitive movements, routines, restricted interests, and resistance to change can interfere with an autistic child's ability to engage in everyday living activities, reduce social opportunities and prevent learning new skills. Parents report they need strategies and advice on how to manage their child's challenging RRB. This study will assess the effectiveness of a Managing Repetitive Behaviours intervention.

Why are autistic people more vulnerable?

Addressing priority 1: Autistica-funded research in progress

Treating anorexia in autistic women

Addressing priority 1: Autistica-funded research in progress

Understanding suicide in autism

Addressing priority 1: Autistica-funded research in progress

Anxiety and depression in autistic people who speak few or no words

Addressing priority 1: Autistica-funded research in progress

Language and Communication Skills

Addressing priority 2: call for research proposals in November 2017. An announcement about the research funded from this call is expected in August 2018.

A personalised anxiety treatment for autistic adults

Addressing priority 4: Autistica-funded research in progress

Coping with uncertainty

Addressing priority 4: Autistica-funded research in progress

Sensory reactivity and anxiety

Addressing priorities 4 and 9: Autistica-funded research in progress

Incredible Years for autism

Addressing priorities 1, 4, 5 and 6: Autistica-funded research in progress

A family toolkit for everyday life with autism

Addressing priorities 1, 4, 5 and 6: Autistica-funded research in progress

Active management vs conservative management for brain cavernoma

Addressing priority 1: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme.

Pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for non-respiratory sleep disturbances in children with neurodevelopmental disorders: a systematic review

Addressing priority 10: NIHR research published.

Bryony Beresford and her team brought together the evidence which already exists from lots of previous studies about sleep disturbance, to determine how well different treatments work. The review showed that it was not possible to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions for managing sleep disturbance and although there was some benefit with melatonin, the degree of benefit is uncertain.

Therapy interventions for children with neurodisability: a scoping study of current practice and perceived research needs

Addressing priority 1: NIHR scoping study published.

Families and professionals agree that there needs to be more research on therapy interventions (physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy) for children with neurodisabilities. To aid decisions about what, or whether, to fund research on this topic, the National Institute for Health Research commissioned a small scoping study. 

A pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial of Sensory Integration Therapy versus usual care for sensory processing difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder in children: impact on behavioural difficulties, adaptive skills and socialisation (SenITA)

Addressing priority 13: NIHR research in progress.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a common lifelong condition affecting 1 in 100 people. A team based at Cardiff University is investigating whether Sensory Integration Therapy, provided by trained occupational therapists, improves a child’s behaviour, socialisation and daily functioning, compared with the usual care they’d receive.

Interventions to improve eating ability in children with neurodisability

Addressing priority 20: NIHR research in progress.

Young children with developmental difficulties may also have eating, drinking and swallowing problems. Eating and drinking difficulties may lead to a restricted diet, poor growth, and impact on development, in addition to general physical health risks such as choking or chest infections. This research team wants to find out what treatments are currently recommended by health professionals. They will then decide which of these potentially useful treatments should be tested in a future study.

Identifying appropriate symbol communication aids for children who are non-speaking: enhancing clinical decision making

Addressing priority 2: NIHR research in progress.

It’s a challenge to identify suitable communication aids and language representation systems for each child, and getting it right means that long-term successful use is much more likely. This team of researchers is exploring current provision of symbol communication aids. They aim to provide guidance to support clinicians, parents and others in their selection of the most appropriate aids.

Clinical and cost effectiveness of a parent mediated intervention to reduce challenging behaviour in pre-schoolers with moderate to severe learning disability: a randomised controlled trial

Addressing priority 14: NIHR research in progress

Cost-effectiveness of earlier provision of powered wheelchair interventions for children with mobility limitations

Addressing priority 4: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme

Improving continence in children and young people with neurodisability

Addressing priority 7: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme

Cystic Fibrosis

Addressing a broad range of the priorities: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme.

Optimising acute care for people with dementia - a mixed-methods study

This research was informed by a number of service uncertainties throughout the whole list of questions identified by this PSP: NIHR research in progress.

Numbers of people with dementia who are admitted to general hospitals are increasing. This research team aims to help us understand what works best in hospitals when providing quality care for people with dementia.

Evaluation of specialist nursing support for carers of people with dementia

This research was informed by a number of service uncertainties throughout the whole list of questions identified by this PSP: NIHR research in progress.

We need to know more about how to provide specialist nursing support to carers of people with dementia, effectively and efficiently. Gillian Parker and her team are looking at the costs and benefits, what kinds of help leads to the best outcomes for carers and what the outcomes are that carers want?

Investigating the best ways to put dementia care research into practice

Addressing priority 2: Alzheimer’s Society funded research

Research has given us a growing list of things that can be done to improve dementia care, but there is a gap between what we know and what actually happens. This project looks at how we can best communicate the practices that have been shown to improve care.

Care planning intervention for people with dementia who do not have regular contact with an informal carer

Addressing priority 10: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme.

Physical exercise for depression in adolescents

Addressing priority 18: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor to prevent depression following traumatic brain injury

Addressing priority 1: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme.

Pragmatic, primary care, multi-centre, randomised superiority trial of four emollients in children with eczema, with nested economic evaluation and qualitative study

Addressing one of the top 4 priorities: NIHR research in progress

1 in 5 children in the UK have eczema There are many different emollients (moisturising treatments applied directly to the skin) to relieve skin dryness and hardly any research comparing them. This research team wants to do a fair test of the four most commonly used types of emollients.

Surgical interventions for Meniere’s Disease

Addressing priority 5: Cochrane Review was updated in February 2013. The review looks at existing studies about surgical treatments to see what the reported benefits are.

Surgery for early osteoarthritis

Addressing any of the priorities in the Surgical Top 10: Evidence synthesis commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme

Intensive day patient versus inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa in adult specialised eating disorder services

Addressing priority 5: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme

Management of isolated or incidental subsegmental pulmonary embolism

Addressing priority 23: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA programme


Addressing priority 8, 16 and 29: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme

Management of Diarrhoea in patients with stable ulcerative colitis: multi-arm multi-stage trial of low FODMAP diet, amitriptyline, ondansetron or loperamide (MODULATE)

Addressing priority 6: NIHR funded research

We want to find out whether treatments used for diarrhoea in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can help people with stable ulcerative colitis (UC) and diarrhoea, with no sign of active bowel inflammation. In IBS, a low FODMAP diet improves diarrhoea, because some poorly absorbed sugars (FODMAPs) increase small intestinal water content. Drugs like ondansetron (an anti-sickness drug), amitriptyline (an old-fashioned anti-depressant drug), or loperamide (an anti-diarrhoeal drug) can also be effective in IBS with diarrhoea. This is because they change bowel activity, and can relieve tummy pain. These treatments may therefore help people with UC with diarrhoea who have no active bowel inflammation, but we are unsure as there are no large studies. This project is due to commence April 2019 and end December 2022

Optimal treatment strategies for fistulising perianal Crohn's disease

Addressing priority 5Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme.

Crohn’s Disease

Addressing any of the relevant priorities in the Top 10forCrohns and Core announced a joint call for research projects on Crohn’s Disease, which should reflect at least one of the Top 10 from the PSP in IBD

Getting it right: the continuing support and service needs of ICU survivors

Addressing priority 2: In 2015 the Intensive Care Foundation gave a £50,000 ‘JLA Award’ to Dr Brenda O’Neill and Dr Bronagh Blackwood of Queen’s University Belfast, who led a UK-wide collaborative project proposal aiming to improve the assessment of ICU survivor’s support needs across the continuum of care.

Mesothelioma and Radical Surgery 2: a multicentre randomised trial comparing (extended) pleurectomy decortication versus no (extended) pleurectomy decortication for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MARS 2)

Addressing priority 10: NIHR research in progress

In the UK, over 2,000 patients are diagnosed yearly with pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the chest wall and lung mainly due to previous (40 to 60 years ago) exposure to asbestos. This trial compares surgery (extended pleurectomy decortication) versus no surgery with respect to overall survival in patients with pleural mesothelioma.

Horizon scanning review

Addressing priorities 5 and 6:

In March 2017, the NIHR published the results of its horizon scanning review, which looked for new and emerging technologies for hearing loss. The review identified 55 new technologies. Patients, clinicians and researchers highlighted the technologies of interest to them which, if successful, would have the potential to change the cochlear implant landscape for patients, improve patient experience and use of hearing aids, and would affect service delivery and provision.

Hysteroscopic removal of uterine cavity abnormalities to improve fertility

Addressing priority 1:

Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme

Exercise therapy for fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis

Addressing priority 3: A Cochrane Review published in September 2015 brought together the best available evidence looking at whether exercise therapy is an effective and safe way of reducing fatigue in MS.

Read more from Evidently Cochrane.

MS-STAT2: A phase 3 randomised, double blind, clinical trial investigating the efficacy of repurposed simvastatin compared to placebo in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, in slowing the progression of disability

Addressing priority 1: Research in progress

In 2014, the MS-STAT1 clinical trial of 140 people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis followed for 2 years showed promising results in those taking simvastatin (dose-80mg/day) compared to placebo (a dummy drug). This MS-STAT2 trial is based on the original MS-STAT1 trial, but is a larger clinical trial. Patients will be followed for 3 years to investigate whether there is confirmed slowing of disability progression or not.


Supporting people with palliative and end-of-life care needs “out of hours”: a mixed-methods study of needs, demands and experiences to inform person-centred service developments

Addressing priority 1: Research grant awarded to Professor Scott Murray, University of Edinburgh, in March 2017, by Marie Curie and the Chief Scientist Office Scotland.

Ensuring proactive efficient and effective out of hours palliative care provision: examining the role, contribution and impact of the HCA

Addressing priority 1:  Research grant awarded to Dr Felicity Hasson, Ulster University, by Marie Curie.   

Understanding and improving community-based palliative care outside of normal working hours

Addressing priority 1:  Research grant awarded to Professor Richard Harding, Kings College London, and Dr Fliss Murtagh, Hull York Medical School, by Marie Curie.   

CARer-ADministration of as-needed sub-cutaneous medication for breakthrough symptoms in home-based dying patients: a UK study (CARiAD)

Addressing priority 1 and 4: NIHR research in progress Most people want to be cared for and die at home. As people get weaker in the last weeks or days of life, they usually can’t swallow. In the UK, when this happens, it is standard practice for medicines to be given by a drip under the skin to relieve symptoms. If, despite a drip being in place, distressing symptoms still occur, a family member is advised to call a healthcare professional to give the patient an injection under the skin. This can take time. In Australia, family members are trained to give such an injection. This feasibility study aims to find out more about how acceptable and effective this would be in the UK and how feasible a large-scale trial would be.

Nutrition, hydration and care for people with dementia at the end of life: How can we best support family carers?

Addressing priority 4:  Research grant awarded to Dr Nathan Davies, University College London, by Marie Curie

A prospective observation of secretion problems in motor neurone disease (ProSec)

Addressing PSP priorities 6 and 8 from the Top 10: Research grant awarded to Dr Christopher McDermott, University of Sheffield, in March 2017, by Marie Curie and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The palliative care needs of people with motor neurone disease (MND) and their informal care givers

Addressing PSP priority 6 from the Top 10 and number 33 from the long list of questions identified: Research grant awarded to Dr Kate Flemming, University of York, in March 2017, by Marie Curie and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Enabling tailored and coordinated support for family carers of people with MND through adaptation of a Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) Intervention

Addressing PSP priorities 4, 8, and 10 from the Top 10 and numbers 36, 37, 42 and 45 from the long list of questions identified: Research grant awarded to Professor Gunn Grande, University of Manchester and Dr Gail Ewing, University of Cambridge, in March 2017, by Marie Curie and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

ENeRgy: Exercise and Nutritional Rehabilitation in patients with advanced cancer: a single centre, randomised (1:1), open label, feasibility study of a rehabilitation programme (exercise and nutrition) versus wait list control, in patients with advanced cancer

Addressing PSP numbers 18, 21, and 73 from the long list of questions identified: Research grant awarded to Professor Marie Fallon and Dr Barry Laird, University of Edinburgh, in March 2017, by Marie Curie and the Chief Scientist Office Scotland.

A phase II RCT of topical menthol gel versus placebo in cancer chemotherapy-related peripheral neuropathic pain

Addressing priority 19:  Research grant awarded to Professor Marie Fallon, University of Edinburgh, by Marie Curie

Research Assessment Outcome Measures for Malignant Bowel Obstruction

Addressing priority 19:  Research grant awarded to Professor Simon Noble, Cardiff University and Dr Jason Boland, Hull York Medical School, by Marie Curie

ACCESSCare II - bereavement outcomes for LGB (lesbian, gay, and bisexual) and heterosexual bereaved partners: a population-based cross sectional mixed methods study

Addressing numbers 47, 48, 49 and 50 from the long list of questions identified: Research grant awarded to Dr Richard Harding and Dr Katherine Bristowe, King’s College London, in March 2017, by Marie Curie.

The development of evidence-based good practice guidelines and resources to support children and young people pre-bereavement

Addressing priority 26:  Research grant awarded to Professor Richard Harding and Dr Steve Marshall, Kings College London, by Marie Curie

Development and pilot testing of a web-based decision aid for people with Motor Neurone Disease considering a gastronomy

Addressing priority 28: Research grant awarded to Dr Sally Wheelwright, University of Southampton, by Marie Curie.   

The effectiveness in alleviating pain, anxiety and enhancing wellbeing, and the expectations and experiences of palliative care patients of aromatherapy, massage and reflexology: A multi-level synthesis

Addressing number 80 from the long list of questions identified: Research grant awarded to Dr Bridget Candy, University College London, in March 2017, by Marie Curie.

Accessing and delivering person-centred care in advanced non-cancer conditions: developing and testing a Support Needs Approach for Patients (SNAP) with advanced COPD

Addressing PSP priorities 2 and 6 from the Top 10 and number 64 from the long list of questions identified: Research grant awarded to Dr Morag Farquhar, University of East Anglia, in March 2017, by Marie Curie.

A multi-perspective qualitative study to understand the experience and impact of the Child and Young Person’s Advance Care Plan (CYPACP)

Addressing PSP priorities 3 and 4 from the Top 10: Research grant awarded to Dr Karen Shaw, University of Birmingham, in March 2017, by Marie Curie.

A phase III trial of Rivastigmine to prevent falls in Parkinson's Disease

Addressing priority 1 NIHR research in progress

Taking positive steps to prevent falls

Addressing priority 1: Katherine Baker hopes her Parkinson's UK-funded study will shed new light on the complex relationship between physical activity and falls in Parkinson’s. And that the new knowledge this study produces will empower people with the condition to manage their condition more effectively and reduce their risk of falling.

Mindfulness to tackle anxiety and depression

Addressing priority 2: In this Parkinson’s UK-funded study Angeliki Bogosian and her team have tested a mindfulness course to assess how helpful it is.

Exploring anxiety in Parkinson’s

Addressing priority 2: Researchers are investigating whether anxiety in Parkinson’s is similar to anxiety in people without the condition and then test whether this anxiety can be reduced with a simply computer training task in this Parkinson’s UK-funded study.

A combined therapy for dyskinesia

Addressing priority 3: In another Parkinson’s UK-funded study, a team led by Riccardo Brambilla has been looking at what makes nerve cells become overactive when taking Levodopa, resulting in uncontrollable movements..

Towards treatments for Parkinson’s dementia

Addressing priority 5: In this Parkinson’s UK-funded study Roger Barker and his team are working to further understand the changes that happen in the brain if people with Parkinson’s go on to develop dementia so that new treatments may be developed in future.

Developing a simple test for Parkinson’s dementia

Addressing priority 5: Michele Hu wants to develop a simple blood test which could help diagnose and predict the risk of a person with Parkinson’s developing dementia. This Parkinson’s UK-funded study aims to find biomarkers that predict the risk.

Understanding how genes are involved in dementia with Lewy bodies

Addressing priority 5: Researchers are looking at the gene activity in different parts of the brain in people affected by dementia with Lewy bodies and with Parkinson’s. They will then compare gene activity levels to those found in healthy people to understand the differences in this Parkinson’s UK-funded study

Learning new movements with rewards

Addressing priority 6: This Parkinson’s UK-funded project could find ways to improve the long term benefits of therapies where people with Parkinson’s learn new movements.

The New Monument Discovery Award

Addressing priority 7: This largest ever research grant given by Parkinson’s UK brings together a world-class team of researchers to betters understand Parkinson’s.

Understanding the causes of pain in Parkinson’s

Addressing priority 23: More than half of all people with Parkinson’s experience chronic pain. This Parkinson’s UK-funded study aims to increase our understanding of this symptom.

Solution for swallowing problems in Parkinson’s

Addressing priority 24: Shaheen Hamdy and his team are looking at three different techniques for treating swallowing problems in this Parkinson’s UK-funded study

Get it on time: What’s the evidence

Addressing priority 25: This Parkinson’s UK-funded research aims to find out if people with Parkinson’s will recover more quickly and spend less time in hospital if they are given their medication on time.

Surgical treatment of pressure ulcers

Addressing priority 11: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme.

Patient and lay carer education for preventing pressure ulceration in at-risk populations

Addressing priority 2: Cochrane Review protocol published in December 2015. This review will look at how well patient and carer education about preventing pressure ulcers works.

Dressings and topical agents for treating pressure ulcers

Addressing priority 8: Cochrane Review published in June 2017 brought together the best available evidence to help health professionals and people with pressure ulcers make decisions about the use of dressings or topical agents as treatments.

Clozapine for children and young people with treatment resistant schizophrenia

Addressing priority 1: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme.

EMPOWER: Early Signs Monitoring to Prevent Relapse and PrOmote Wellbeing, Engagement and Recovery

Addressing priority 2: Joint research through NIHR and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council in progress

Relapse in schizophrenia is a major cause of distress and disability among patients and their families. Teams based in the UK and Australia are working together to build an intervention that refines existing smartphone technology for the monitoring of early warning signs. They will assess the acceptability of this to service users, carers and health professionals and look at the feasibility of a larger scale trial of its acceptability and safety.

Training to recognise the early signs of recurrence in schizophrenia

Addressing priority 2:

Cochrane Review was published in February 2013. It looked at all previous evaluations of how effective early warning signs interventions are and what kind of future research we need in this area.

REMEDY: Randomised Evaluation of Management of sExual Dysfunction

Addressing priority 4: NIHR research in progress.

A number of drugs improve the mental health of people with psychosis; these are called 'antipsychotic' drugs. Up to a half of people who take them experience sexual side effects including reduced desire for and pleasure from sex. These side effects lead some to stop taking their medication making a relapse more likely. This study will compare the effects of switching a person's medication to an equivalent dose of an alternative antipsychotic drug that is believed to result in fewer sexual side effects. This study started in May 2018 and is due to end in January 2021.

Strategies for managing sexual dysfunction induced by antidepressant medication

Addressing priority 4: Cochrane Review was published in May 2013. It looked at the results of previous studies around this relatively common side effect of antidepressant medication to find out what management strategies are effective and what the adverse effects and acceptability of them are.

Management of sexual dysfunction due to antipsychotic drug therapy

Addressing priority 4: Cochrane Review was published in November 2012. It pulled together the results of previous studies looking at the effects of different treatment options.

STEPWISE: Structured lifestyle Education for People WIth Schizophrenia

Addressing priority 10: NIHR research published.

Obesity and problems with weight are two to three times more common in people with schizophrenia. This project created a lifestyle education programme (based on an existing one for Diabetes around diet and physical activity) and evaluated how it could support weight loss in around 5,000 adults, within 10 mental health trusts across the UK. Despite the challenges of undertaking clinical research in this population, the trial successfully recruited and retained participants, indicating a high level of interest in weight management interventions; however, the STEPWISE intervention was neither clinically effective nor cost-effective.  Further research will be required to define how overweight and obesity in people with schizophrenia should be managed. The trial results suggest that lifestyle programmes for people with schizophrenia may need greater resourcing than for other populations, and interventions that have been shown to be effective in other populations, such as people with diabetes mellitus, are not necessarily effective in people with schizophrenia.

A Randomised, single masked, non-inferiority trial of Femtosecond Laser Assisted vs Manual Phacoemulsification Cataract Surgery for Adults with Visually Significant Cataract: The FACT trial

Addressing Priority 7 in the Cataract Top 10: NIHR Research in progress.

Read more information about this study.

Mark Wilkins, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, is leading a team comparing two forms of cataract surgery. The trial will include more than 800 people, from Moorfields Eye Unit at St Ann’s Hospital in North London, and Wolverhampton Infirmary. They’re looking at the benefits of making some of the steps of surgery more robotic.

KERALINK: Efficacy and safety of cross-linking in children with Keratoconus

Addressing priority 6 in Corneal and External eye conditions: NIHR Research in progress.

Read more information about this study. Keratoconus is a long term eye disorder that impairs the ability of the eye to focus and reduces vision. Frank Larkin, a consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital, and his co-investigators will test a treatment known as ‘collagen cross-linking to find out if it’s safe and whether it works in children and young people.

Horizon scanning review

Addressing priority 1 in Inherited Retinal Disease:

In June 2014, the NIHR published the results of its 'horizon scanning review', which looked for any new and emerging technologies for inherited retinal disease. The review found 40 new and emerging technologies.

Horizon scanning review

Addressing priority 1 in Corneal and external eye conditions:

In September 2016, the NIHR published the results of its horizon scanning review, which looked for any new and emerging technologies for the treatment of corneal disorders. The review identified 130 new and emerging technologies and procedures.

The effect of light therapy on birdshot uveitis

Addressing ocular inflammatory priority 1:

Participants in this study are given a course of experimental light therapy in one eye only, in addition to their existing treatment, to see if this can reduce inflammation in the eye caused by auto-immune activity.

The world’s first birdshot uveitis database

Addressing ocular inflammatory priority 5:

This biobank of samples from patients with birdshot will ultimately enable a great variety of statistically-valid studies to be performed on large numbers of patient samples.

Can we develop a fast, reliable and cheap way to monitor Birdshot’s progress?

Addressing ocular inflammatory priority 7:

Omar Mahroo and colleagues test a portable device that measures electroretinogram activity to find out whether it can reliably monitor Birdshot’s progress.

Can supercell analysis diagnose Birdshot uveitis

Addressing ocular inflammatory priority 3 and 5:

In this project, a research team from Birmingham explores a machine learning method known as ‘supercell analysis’ to see if it can help speed up diagnosis and ultimately lead to a reliable diagnostic test.

Are there any early signs or symptoms that can predict Birdshot’s course?

Addressing ocular inflammatory priority 3:

In this project, Mark Westcott and team at Moorfields Eye Hospital look for which clinical signs that appear early in the condition are good predictors of poor prognosis later on.

A patient-friendly way to measure flare-ups of birdshot uveitis

Addressing ocular inflammatory priority 3 and 5:

This team based at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham tests a light-based imaging device to see how good it is at detecting ‘flare-ups’.

How many new cases of birdshot are there each year?

Addressing ocular inflammatory priority 7:

This project is a 2-year national survey of the demographics, signs and symptoms of each new case of birdshot in the UK.

Studying birdshot using stem cells from patients

Addressing ocular inflammatory priority 1 and 5:

It would help our understanding of birdshot to study cells and tissue from patients, but donor tissue is in short supply. This team aims to develop a suitable layer of tissue from certain stem cells that come from patients.

Are the genetics of birdshot related to iron overload in the eye?

Addressing ocular inflammatory priority 5:

This research team studies genes to find out whether iron overload is related to birdshot and can therefore be helped by standard therapy for iron overload.

Prevention of recurrent Symptomatic Urinary Tract Infections in Patients with Chronic Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction: PReSUTINeB study

Addressing priority 4: NIHR research in progress. There is no clear agreement among experts on how to detect urinary tract infection in people who have loss of bladder control. Also many scientific studies disagree on the correct definition of a urinary tract infection. Stoke Mandeville National Spinal Injuries Centre is seeking to answer these questions by working with patients and reviewing the current evidence. The results will help doctors better understand how to treat these infections.

WILL (When to Induce Labour to Limit risk in pregnancy hypertension) - a multicentre, randomised controlled trial

Addressing priority 8 : NIHR Research in progress.

This trial tests whether planned delivery at 38 weeks is better than monitoring women and babies until at least 40 weeks. The WILL trial will run for 3 years in about 30 UK hospitals. We will ask women to take part if they have reached 36 or 37 weeks of pregnancy and have high blood pressure and no other current problems. This trial started in June 2018

Care and support for bereaved parents

Addressing priority 7: Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme.

What is the value of undertaking a study to determine the clinical and cost effectiveness of late pregnancy ultrasound to prevent adverse perinatal outcome in nulliparous women?

Addressing priority 2: NIHR Research in progress.

Currently, women are offered a scan at 20 weeks, but are not offered any scans after that unless a problem is identified. It is currently known that some babies with problems are not picked up by the usual abdominal examinations during antenatal check-ups. As babies that are small, large or not head first prior at birth are more likely to be sick at birth or not survive, it is thought an extra scan in late pregnancy may be helpful and improve outcomes for babies. The trial will evaluate existing evidence, consider and determine the level of appropriate support for women for whom a late scan identifies a problem, evaluate financial costs vs benefit of a screening programme and finally, taking into account all the evidence, design a study of scanning in late pregnancy. HTA will then be able to judge whether or a not a trial of scanning in late pregnancy for all women should go ahead.

Management of partial thickness rotator cuff tears

Addressing one of the Top 10 priorities:  Commissioning brief advertised to researchers by the NIHR HTA Programme.

Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty versus Hemiarthroplasty versus Non-surgical care for acute 3 and 4 part fractures of the proximal humerus in older adults - The PROFHER-2 Randomised Clinical Trial

Addressing one of the Top 10 priorities: NIHR research in progress

Breaking (fracturing) the upper part of the arm at the shoulder (proximal humerus) most commonly occurs in people over 65 years old after a simple fall. Fractures are considered more serious & complex when the bone is broken into more than 2 parts or are widely separated This study will assess which is the most effective treatment for these more severe fractures.

Why do people with tinnitus use apps?

Addressing priority 1: Research in progress, supported by The British Tinnitus Association Head of Research.

Currently available tinnitus apps suggest a range of ways in which they might be effective for managing and treating tinnitus, including masking, neuromodulation, relaxation etc. Many allow customisation and personalisation of sounds used. Despite increasing popularity of apps it is unclear what proportion of people use apps for tinnitus management and which apps are the most popular. Also deeper and independent assessment of tinnitus apps that would assess quality of apps (including accuracy of content and usability) and mechanisms of action is lacking. In this ‘horizon scanning’ study, Magdalena Sereda at the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit will identify apps that people use for tinnitus management, evaluate their content, and assess their potential strengths and limitations through an online survey.

Manualisation and feasibility study of audiologist-delivered counselling for tinnitus

Addressing priority 2: NIHR research in progress funded by the NIHR RfPB Programme.

In the UK, emphasis is placed on audiologists meeting tinnitus patient needs but few receive the necessary training to provide patient counselling and few audiology departments have counselling-trained audiologists. In this feasibility study, NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit staff led by Derek Hoare will develop a manual for audiologists which defines standard care and counselling. Feasibility study objectives include evaluating acceptability of the counselling intervention, compliance, and whether there is sufficient interest and need for a randomised controlled trial.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for tinnitus-related insomnia

Addressing priority 3: Research in progress commissioned by the The Tinnitus Association.

Sleep disturbance is one of the most common complaints from people with tinnitus affecting between 50-70% of people attending tinnitus clinics. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psychological talking therapy which has been shown to help manage insomnia. CBTi is now part of the NICE guidelines for the management of long term insomnia (NICE 2014). This study, led by Dr Laurence McKenna and Dr Liz Marks, University College London, will investigate the effectiveness of CBTi as a treatment of tinnitus-related insomnia. Sleep Hygiene (an approach commonly used in the tinnitus clinics) will be used as a control.

Evaluating the Tinnitus E-Programme, an internet-based self-help programme for tinnitus

Addressing priority 4:  NIHR research was funded through the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit PhD studentship.

Until a cure for tinnitus is found, people need support to manage their tinnitus and reduce its impact on their everyday lives. Self-help programmes provide one way of achieving this. A systematic review was published in May 2016 which identified the self-help techniques used in self-help interventions for adults with chronic tinnitus and assessed their effectiveness. From 5 previous studies 15 behaviour change techniques and eight self-management components were identified but confident conclusions could not be drawn regarding efficacy. The PhD project has also evaluated the Tinnitus E-Programme (, an internet-based self-help programme for people with tinnitus.

Amplification with hearing aids for patients with tinnitus and co-existing hearing loss

Addressing priority 5: Cochrane Review was published in January 2014. The team reviewed one previous trial to pull together the evidence that already exists about hearing aid interventions for tinnitus and co-existing hearing loss, and to highlight where further research is needed.

The British Tinnitus Association is funding a Head of Research fellowship that addresses priorities 1, 4, 5 and 9. Research is in progress. Dr Magdalena Sereda hopes her funded research will shed new light on the clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of NHS contracted sound therapy options for tinnitus including hearing aids and combination hearing aids.

Combined amplification and sound generation devices for tinnitus: towards creating clinical guidance and recommended procedure

Addressing priority 5: Research in progress. Supported by the British Society of Audiology Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Special Interest Group Part-funded by a BSA Applied Research Grant.

Combination hearing aids are devices which amplify sounds in the same way as hearing aids, but also can create sounds such as white noise. They are used to manage tinnitus and are a fairly new addition to use in the UK. Many audiology clinics can offer combination aids. However, there is no standard guide to help audiologists decide on who to offer the devices to or how to fit them to best meet the needs of each patient with hearing loss and tinnitus. Ongoing research led by Dr Magdalena Sereda is conducting a series of surveys to 1) identify where there is and is not clinical consensus on who should be recommended combination hearing aids (candidacy) and how those devices should be fitted; 2) explore expectations and experiences of people with tinnitus who have used combination hearing aids.

Tinnitus in children practice guidance

Addressing priority 6: In March 2015, the Paediatric Audiology Interest Group (PAIG) of the British Society of Audiology published practice guidance – a project that was undertaken by a working party of national specialists in paediatric tinnitus. The guidance offers child-friendly, practical advice for those wanting to develop their skills in the management of children with tinnitus. It is intended for a multidisciplinary audience including audiologists, medical professionals, school nurses, teachers of the deaf, and psychologists. This project was supported by the British Tinnitus Association.

People's experiences with different degrees of hearing loss and tinnitus

Addressing priority 7: People who are deaf or have profound hearing loss are often marginalised by both their tinnitus and hearing loss. The British Tinnitus Association commissioned The Ear Foundation to investigate people's experiences with different degrees of hearing loss and tinnitus (supported by the James Tudor Foundation). The report was launched in September 2015 and presents the views of 1432 participants on the treatment they have received, what helped, what didn't and their hopes for the future.

The QUest In Eliminating Tinnitus (QUIET-1): testing a novel drug for tinnitus

Addressing priority 10:

In 2015, Autifony Therapeutics Ltd sponsored a Phase IIa tinnitus clinical trial in the UK, funded by Innovate UK. Professor Jaydip Ray, Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was the national Coordinating Investigator and Professor Deborah Hall, University of Nottingham and NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit (BRU), was the academic partner. The main aim was to try to demonstrate an improvement in the severity of tinnitus symptoms and impact after 28 days of treatment with the study medicine compared to placebo. Findings from the planned interim analysis of completed participants led to the closure of recruitment due to lack of efficacy. On a statistical basis, it would not be possible to reach the magnitude of change needed to show improvement over the placebo. Nevertheless, the team gained many valuable insights about trial design and patient recruitment.

Multicentre randomised trial of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of basic versus biofeedback-mediated intensive pelvic floor muscle training for female stress or mixed urinary incontinence (OPAL – Optimal PFMT for Adherence Long-term)

Addressing priority 1 and 3: NIHR Research in progress Accidental leakage of urine is a distressing problem that affects about one in three women and the NHS spends considerable amounts of money treating it. Biofeedback equipment allows women to see their pelvic floor muscles working as they exercise. This study compares exercise with this equipment with standard exercises in around 600 women.

UVB light combined with topical corticosteroid for treatment of vitiligo

Addressing priority 4: NIHR Research in progressRead more information about this study. Vitiligo can have a devastating effect on the quality of life of those who have it, particularly where it is easily seen by others, for example on the face or hands. Over 440 people with vitiligo are involved in this study which looks at combinations of light therapy delivered at home, with steroid ointment.

Identifying High-Risk Women for Endometrial Cancer Prevention Strategies: Proposal of an Endometrial Cancer Risk Prediction Model

Addressing priority 1: This review published in December 2016 discusses a prediction model for identifying women at high risk of endometrial cancer who may therefore benefit from prevention strategies.

Interventions for weight reduction in obesity to improve survival in women with endometrial cancer

Addressing priority 10: Cochrane Review published in February 2018. This review looked at the impact of weight loss interventions, in addition to the standard management of womb cancer, on overall survival and frequency of adverse events.