April 2020

MONARCH Study Recruitment Finishes

The recruitment period for the MONARCH study has ended with a total of 297 participants and has now entered a six-month follow-up phase. Null

The MONARCH study is investigating the diagnostic accuracy of three home-based vision tests that are completed by patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) at home each week. 

nAMD is the leading cause of blindness in the UK and can transition between being active and inactive. Therefore, regular visits to an NHS eye clinic is required to determine whether or not an eye is active and needs treatment. If a test completed by the patient at home was able to accurately detect if an eye needed treatment, clinic appointments could be reserved for patients likely to require treatment. This would be more convenient and less costly for the patients and the NHS. 

The three tests being investigated include two electronic tests on an iPod Touch and one paper-based test. As of 27th April, 13,579 electronic tests and 283 paper test diaries have been received. Participants in the study will continue completing the tests each week until the end of follow-up in September this year. There is also a qualitative component to the study investigating the acceptability of the tests by interviewing participants, carers and healthcare professionals. So far, 61 interviews have been completed. 

The MONARCH protocol article was published with open access in Eye on 4th May 2020.

This study is funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme (15/97/02). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. 

Study coordinator: Robin Wickens