The CTRU is one of the leading clinical trials units in rehabilitation research in stroke and has rapidly developing portfolios in mental health, obesity and older people. The Division has a strong track record and a scientific strategy covering the design, delivery and analysis of evaluations of complex interventions both within secondary care and the community. The scientific strategy mirrors the core infrastructure funding and is based mainly on Institute of Health Science priority areas and expertise and NIHR priority areas.  The portfolio encompasses national patient recruitment and spans feasibility/pilot studies and phase III clinical trials (including cluster trials).

During the period 2006-2009 project grant successes total £14.5m. The grants include three large scale trials evaluating rehabilitation strategies in stroke/vascular patients. An EME funded phase III trial will build upon promising pilot studies which indicate that combining certain drugs with physical and occupational rehabilitation therapy may improve the recovery of motor function in stroke patients. Three NIHR Programme Grant successes underpin research in stroke, older people and obesity, enabling the development and conduct of pilot/feasibility trials of complex interventions which will lead to large scale, national, cluster trial evaluations. Obesity research focuses on children with the aim of maximising the potential for benefit and includes funding from the National Institute of Health, USA, for the development of new measurement tools which aim to more accurately assess the effect of interventions.

The mental health portfolio is leading on the evaluation of therapies for the treatment of self harm and is developing research on the psychological treatments for patients with chronic diseases.

Key achievements have included;  

  • the first MRC trial grant for rehabilitation research in stroke
  • research funding for the largest ever trial within the field of self harm
  • identification of the best strategy, in terms of limiting maternal anxiety, for delivery of amniocentesis results to women
  • development of approaches to improve the quality of consent to research in incapacitated adults

Research Leads

Prof Amanda Farrin, Director Complex Interventions Division

Dr Maria Bryant, Senior Research Fellow and NIHR Career Development Fellow, Portfolio Lead Diet & Obesity