Information about taking part

What does the study involve?

Brief Overview: To join the study, patients will be asked to complete a consent form confirming their agreement to take part, and a questionnaire which will ask about their general health, pain severity, and have their mobility assessed. In some cases, if a patient is unable to complete a consent form themselves, we will ask a personal representative (such as a carer, relative, or other suitable legal representative) on their behalf.

Participants will be allocated to one of two treatment groups through a process called randomisation (i.e. they will have an equal chance of receiving either treatment); half of the participants will be in one group and half in the other.

    • In one group, patients will have pain killers (like paracetamol and/or morphine) prescribed in the usual way and their usual treatment will not change (“Usual Care” group).
    • In the other group, patients will have pain killers (like paracetamol and/or morphine) prescribed in the usual way. In addition, they will have a patch containing numbing medication placed over their broken ribs. This treatment will start in the Emergency Department and last for 3 days, or until they are discharged from hospital, whichever is sooner (“Usual Care + Lidocaine Patch” group).

Participants will be monitored closely for the next 3 days (or until time of discharge if sooner), including measuring pain severity every 4 hours (not if they are asleep), levels of confusion, mobility, and overall health.

At 30 days, participants will be asked to complete a final questionnaire about their health and wellbeing. They may also be asked if they would be happy to talk to a researcher by telephone about their experiences of taking part in the study; this is optional. Researchers will also look at participant’s medical records to monitor their health over the 30 days. This will be the end of the study.

Further details about taking part in the RELIEF study can be found in the Information Sheets. Click on the relevant header below (or link in the ‘Navigation Menu’) to find out more: