Jellybeans research trial event is kids’ stuff

Nate Eaton, 2 years, from Blackpool with his ‘I Am Research’ sticker

Patients, visitors and staff took part in special research events at Blackpool, Clifton and Fleetwood hospitals to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day.

A mock research trial involving jelly beans was set up by the Trust’s Research and Development Team on May 22 to illustrate the process of research trials.

Michelle Stephens, Manager of the Research and Development Department, explained: “We used ‘BeanBoozled’ jellybeans. Some tasted nice, others less so!

“For example, the black jelly bean tasted of either chocolate pudding or canned dog food. The light blue bean was either blueberry or toothpaste. All were safe to eat as they were artificially flavoured. It showed the public the process of taking part in a clinical trial. A nurse spoke about the ‘study’ and visitors will read through the information. There were two jellybeans in a pot — one of which tasted good and one which tasted awful.


The research stand at Clifton Hospital

“Our visitors ate one of them. This demonstrated ‘randomisation’ (where neither the researchers nor the patients knew what they were getting to prevent bias).  In trials you have one that contains the drug and one is a placebo. We then looked at ‘efficacy’ – for example, did it make you spit it out? We also asked if it was a ‘drug’ we would want to keep using and so on.”

International Clinical Research Day is celebrated on or around May 20 — the anniversary of James Lind’s first clinical trial in 1747 which aimed to find a cure for scurvy.

The team was also at Clifton Hospital in St Annes on May 23 and was at Fleetwood Hospital on May 26.

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