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Event: St Cross Special Ethics Seminar: The role of therapeutic optimism in recruitment to a clinical trial: an empirical study, presented by Dr Nina Hallowell

On Thursday 12 May 2016, Dr Nina Hallowell delivered the first St Cross Special Ethics Seminar of Trinity Term.  The talk is available to listen to here

Title:  The role of therapeutic optimism in recruitment to a clinical trial: an empirical study

Abstract: Hope, or therapeutic optimism, is an important aspect of the provision and experience of medical care. The role of therapeutic optimism in clinical research has been briefly discussed within the empirical and bioethics literature, but the concept, and whether it can be transferred from care to research and from patients to clinicians, has not been fully investigated. Interviews with clinical staff involved in a peripartum randomised placebo-controlled trial– the Got-it trial  – revealed that therapeutic optimism has an important role to play facilitating clinical staff engagement with trial work. In this paper I will unpack the concept of therapeutic optimism in trial settings, describe how it is sustained in practice and outline some of the ethical risks and benefits.

About the speaker: Nina Hallowell is a medical sociologist who has recently been appointed to a research post in Ethox Centre in NDPH; where she will be responsible for developing a programme of research on ethical issues arising in big data research.  She has over twenty years’ experience of undertaking empirical research on the ethical and social issues generated by genetic testing in clinical and research contexts and different stakeholders’ views and experiences of research participation, at Cambridge, Edinburgh and Newcastle Universities. Recently, she has been involved in researching clinical staffs’ experiences of delivering RCTs and the ways in which they manage some of the ethical dilemmas they encounter.



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