Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
The AC DC Study, is a pilot feasibility study, observing patients consulting in general practice and completing an automated check-in screen prior to their booked appointment, to confirm their attendance. The main aim of this study is to assess patient acceptability for answering brief research questions in the general practice waiting room, using an automated check-in screen.
Who can participate?
Adults attending an appointment at any of the study centres who can read and speak English
What does the study involve?
Participants will be asked to complete two extra research questions whilst completing their appointment check-in at an automated check-in screen.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The potential benefit for the patient of participation is the ability to take control of their choices and how their personal data are managed. There are no known risks to participants taking part in this study.
Where is the study run from?
Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences at Keele University and 11 GP practices in the UK (unknown at present, but they will be within the NIHR Clinical Research Network: West Midlands)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
April 2018 to December 2019
Who is funding the study?
NIHR Trainees Co-ordinating Centre (TCC) (UK)
Who is the main contact?
Automated Check-in Data Collection Study
It is acceptable to collect brief research information from patients, whilst they are self-completing an automated check-in screen prior to any general practice consultation.
London - Westminster Research Ethics Committee, 30/08/2018, ref: 18/LO/1506
Observational cohort study
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details to request a patient information sheet
People attending GP surgeries
All patients are required to confirm their attendance at the general practice by using the automated check-in screen. If the patient completing the automated check-in screen is 18 years of age or over, the additional two research questions will appear for completion. The questions are as follows:
1. “How much bodily pain have you had during the past 4 weeks?”, with options for completion of: “None”, “Very mild”, “Mild”, “Moderate”, “Severe” and “Very severe”.
2. “Would you be happy for your practice to contact you about any future research studies which are relevant to your health, to improve care for patients in the NHS?”, with options for completion of: “Yes, I would be happy for you to contact me about research of relevance to me.” and “No, thank you.”
The two additional research questions will not appear on any subsequent appointment check-in screen during the recruitment period for those participants who have already completed the questions. The additional 2 questions for each patient will be a burden in terms of time (less than 1 minute), however it has been agreed that for the extra time taken to answer the questions, the patient receives the ability to take control of their choices and how their personal data are managed. Pseudonymised data only will be downloaded from participant check-in data entry, which will allow the study team to answer the research questions.
Primary outcome measure
Patient acceptability for answering brief research questions in the general practice waiting room, using an automated check-in screen, assessed by observing the percentage of completed automated check-in screens with entered research data at the time of appointment check-in.
Secondary outcome measures
Check-in completion of self-reported pain and willingness to be contacted about future research studies of relevance, assessed at the time of appointment check-in. Reported severity of bodily pain experienced over the last 4 weeks and the proportion of patients agreeing to be contacted about future research studies of relevance, will be observed from data from the check-in screens.
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Aged 18 years or older
2. Attending participating general practices for a consultation with any healthcare professional
3. Registered with the participating general practice during the specified recruitment period
4. Able to read and respond in English
Target number of participants
Planned Sample Size: 9800; UK Sample Size: 9800
Total final enrolment
Participant exclusion criteria
Does not meet inclusion criteria
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences
University of Keele
Directorate of Research
Innovation & Engagement
Innovation Centre 2
Keele University Science & Innovation Park
+44 (0)1782 732000
NIHR Trainees Co-ordinating Centre (TCC)
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Planned publication in a high-impact peer reviewed journal for research methodology in 2020.
IPD sharing statement:
The data sets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are pseudonymised and available upon request from Sara Muller (firstname.lastname@example.org). Requests will need to be made as per Keele University guidance.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Available on request
Basic results (scientific)