There is increasing attention and space given to the role and value of social sciences within clinical trials. Qualitative research, using innovative and novel methods and approaches, has much to offer when embedded within a randomised clinical trial. Drawing on the experience of an ongoing programme of qualitative studies within large international clinical trials in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia, I reflect on these opportunities and explore the core challenges within such interdisciplinary working. Navigating the contours and parameters of what constitutes relevant and accessible data within such studies can be fraught and reflects the tensions in generating evidence which will effectively support the design and delivery of behavioural interventions outside of trial settings.
About Dr Sarah Bernays
Dr Sarah Bernays, from the University of Sydney, runs a qualitative programme of research in adolescent global health, with a particular focus on HIV, sexual health and substance use. The programme includes a number of qualitative studies being run in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. Many of these qualitative research studies are embedded within large international clinical trials and she is developing innovative methods for conducting research with vulnerable families within interdisciplinary studies.