Interested in taking part in ADVANCE? Check your eligibility and contact us here.
17th February 2020: The ADVANCE Study Secures Long Term Funding
The ADVANCE Study (ArmeD SerVices TrAuma RehabilitatioN OutComE Study), a unique twenty-year study into the health of military veterans, has secured crucial funding for the next ten years.
The Study has received a very substantial grant from the Headley Court Charity (£10M), complemented by a special grant from the Nuffield Trust for the Forces of the Crown (£1M) to mark the Trust’s 80th anniversary, and a five-year commitment from Blesma, The Limbless Veterans (£250K).
These grants will assure the future of the ADVANCE Study for the next ten years and will build on the funding from the Ministry of Defence, LIBOR fines and Help for Heroes which enabled the setup of the study and the initial recruitment into the study. To realise the full potential of ADVANCE, multiple follow-ups of the study participants over many years are essential. This will result in many significant research outcomes that will improve the clinical care of combat casualties.
These enabling grants were donated to the ADVANCE Study Charity which supports all ADVANCE activity within Imperial College London, King’s College London and the Ministry of Defence.
Group Captain Alex Bennett, Defence Professor of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation and Chief Investigator of the study, commented: ’We are hugely grateful to the Headley Court Charity, Nuffield Trust for the Forces of the Crown, and Blesma for their generous support which will secure the next ten years of research and allow us to improve our understanding of the long term outcomes of being a combat casualty.’
Lord Boyce, Chairman of the ADVANCE Study Charity commented: ‘We are extraordinarily fortunate to be the beneficiaries of the generous decisions of the trustees of the Headley Court Charity, Nuffield Trust and Blesma. Our thanks go to them on behalf of those who will benefit from the unique learning of the ADVANCE Study, and we shall look forward to demonstrating the impact their donations will enable for our wounded and their families.’
ADVANCE investigates the long-term physical and psycho-social outcomes of battlefield casualties from the UK Armed Forces following deployment to Afghanistan between 2003 and 2014. This study, costing over £1M per year to run, is a collaboration between the Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Stanford Hall, Imperial College London and King’s College London, and is the first prospective cohort study in this area. It aims to follow up and support this group of UK service personnel – 600 severely injured servicemen and 600 uninjured servicemen who act as a comparison group – for a period of 20 years. The ADVANCE Study is investigating a wide range of outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, mental health and social outcomes.
The participants will have multiple and thorough health checks over the 20 years of the study and by being involved will contribute towards world class research that will improve future combat casualty care.Participant Jonathan Grave said: ‘I have a genuine interest in health and research and really believe the study has good intentions. And more importantly, I wanted to contribute towards ADVANCE and help research that will support long-term care outcomes for serving personnel and veterans. It is vital for ADVANCE to continue researching the long-term health outcomes of battlefield casualties from 2003-2014. ADVANCE will benefit current and future serving personnel and veterans – it’s just what we need.’
Recruiting participants is one of the biggest tasks of the ADVANCE Study team. As of the end of January 2020 ADVANCE is fewer than 100 participants away from meeting its target of 1,200 participants.Over the next few months the study team will be busy recruiting those last 100 participants. It will be a big milestone to reach 1,200 participants and finish the baseline recruitment, and the subsequent follow-up visits at 3, 6, 10, 15 and 20 years will reveal the results that really will influence future care.
Interested in taking part in ADVANCE? If you were deployed to Afghanistan and sustained an injury which required you to be case-evaced to a UK hospital, or were deployed to Afghanistan without injury and would like to check to see if you are eligible to take part, please call the ADVANCE team on +44 (0)1509 251 500 (ext. 3408) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact the team via the online contact form. If you take part, the study will cover your travel expenses, offer accommodation and give you £100 as a thank you for the initial review and £200 for each follow-up visit.
14th August 2019: ADVANCE at the INVICTUS trials in Sheffield
The ADVANCE team had a great week in Sheffield in July for the INVICTUS Games Trials and the Military Rehabilitation and Recovery Symposium. At the Games we had a space dedicated to ADVANCE allowing us to spread the word about this exciting, landmark study, as well as the lovely opportunity to catch up with participants, old and new! HRH Prince Harry even stopped by to hear about the innovative work of ADVANCE during his visit to Sheffield. We also had the chance to cheer on our very own Pete Dunning as he took part in indoor rowing and wheelchair rugby, of which his team won a bronze medal – well done Pete!
At the symposium we heard all about the latest research on military rehabilitation and recovery from experts in the fields of academia, medicine and from the patients themselves. Several members of the ADVANCE study team gave presentations on the study and shed light on the importance of this research. We are now recruiting the last 100 participants for both our injured and comparison groups and look forward to presenting the results from the first phase of ADVANCE! #Last100
13th August 2019: ADVANCE on Radio 5
April 2019: Help for Heroes and the ADVANCE studyHeroes Magazine ADVANCE 2019