What Happens if I Take Part?

If I take part in the ADVANCE Study what will happen?

Taking part in the ADVANCE Study means spending a day with us at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Stanford Hall, near Loughborough in the East Midlands.

When you arrive at Stanford Hall you will be directed to the ADVANCE Study unit and shown where you can leave your things and where the shower and toilets are. One of our team of nurses will discuss the study with you and answer any questions you may have. We will then go through the consent form with you and confirm you are still happy to take part in our research.

As you arrive in a fasted state (nothing but water to drink from midnight the night before your visit), we complete the first of the day’s assessments before serving breakfast. Firstly we will take a blood sample from you and then we perform a painless test of arterial stiffness using a Vicorder device. Then breakfast is offered, including hot and cold drinks.

During the rest of the day, the following assessments will be performed, with a break at midday for lunch in the mess:

  • 6-minute walk test
  • lung function test called spirometry
  • DEXA scan looking at bone mineral density and lean muscle and fat distribution
  • X-ray of the pelvis and knees (if applicable)
  • hearing test (discharged personnel only)

There are also two confidential questionnaires for you to fill out throughout the morning.

We aim to make your visit to DMRC Stanford Hall an enjoyable and informative experience, and the team are on hand to answer any questions you may have and ensure you understand what is happening every step of the way. The day starts at 8 am and we try to get participants on their way home or back to base from around 2 pm.

If I take part in ADVANCE how will it benefit me?

ADVANCE is a 20 year study, and you will be asked to visit 6 times across that 20 year period. Each time, accommodation and travel expenses will be provided, and you will have assessments on your bones, heart and lung health. These include tests that are not routinely completed on the NHS. All of this you will get for free, and as a thank you for taking part, you will receive £100 for each visit, as well as a chance to enter a prize draw.

If I take part in ADVANCE how will it benefit others?

Your participation in ADVANCE will help us understand how injuries from Afghanistan affect people across their lifespan. There is no other research being conducted anywhere in the world that is looking into this issue in as much depth. Our research will help shape future healthcare and policy on both physical and mental health of service personnel and veterans.

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