Article Text

Download PDFPDF

What is the impact of research champions on integrating research in mental health clinical practice? A quasiexperimental study in South London, UK
  1. Sherifat Oduola1,2,
  2. Til Wykes2,3,
  3. Dan Robotham2,3,
  4. Tom K J Craig1,2
  1. 1 Department of Health Service and Population Research, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, London, UK
  2. 2 South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
  3. 3 Department of Psychology, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sherifat Oduola; sherifat.oduola{at}


Objectives Key challenges for mental health healthcare professionals to implement research alongside clinical activity have been highlighted, such as insufficient time to apply research skills and lack of support and resources. We examined the impact of employing dedicated staff to promote research in community mental health clinical settings.

Design Quasiexperiment before and after study.

Setting South London and Maudsley National Health Service Foundation Trust.

Participants 4455 patients receiving care from 15 community mental health teams between 1 December 2013 and 31 December 2014.

Outcome measures The proportion of patients approached for research participation in clinical services where research champions were present (intervention group), and where research champions were not present (comparison group).

Results Patients in the intervention group were nearly six times more likely to be approached for research participation (Adj. OR=5.98; 95% CI 4.96 to 7.22).

Conclusions Investing in staff that promote and drive research in clinical services increases opportunities for patients to hear about and engage in clinical research studies. However, investment needs to move beyond employing short-term staff.

  • recruitment
  • mental health
  • consent
  • psychosis
  • research participation

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Contributors All authors conceived the study; SO analysed data and drafted the manuscript with guidance and input throughout from TKJC, DR and TW. All authors offered comments on revisions.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The SLaM BRC Centre Clinical Register Interactive Search System (CRIS) was approved as an anonymised dataset for secondary analysis by the Oxfordshire Research Ethics Committee (reference 08/H0606/71) for mental health research.18 A local permission was obtained from a service user-led oversight committee (reference CRIS- 920) that provides governance for and monitor all projects conducted using the SLaM CRIS. The SLaM C4C model was reviewed and approved by the National Information Governance Board for Health and Social Care (NIGB, now known as Confidential Advisory Group) and Ethics and Confidential committee (reference ECC 2–08/2010).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.