Clinical Research – Why Volunteer?
People often ask what clinical research is and what it means to take part in a clinical research study.
Below are some common questions.
What is a clinical research study?
A clinical research study is a way we can learn to improve medical treatments and provide care.
There are many different types of clinical research studies, such as:
- Intervention studies (also called clinical trials) test if there are better ways to treat a disease or condition than what is already available. These types of studies may help discover new treatments or ways to provide care. They may involve testing new medications (drugs), procedures, devices, and/or surveys.
- Prevention studies test ways of preventing people from getting a certain disease or condition.
- Diagnostic and screening studies look for better and more efficient ways to diagnose diseases.
- Behavioral research tries to figure out how behaviors are related to a many different diseases or conditions, and how these behaviors can be changed.
- Quality of life studies try to find better ways to improve the quality of life for people who have a disease or condition.
- Observational studies follow individuals over time (weeks, months or years) to see how their health changes.
Clinical research has led to important medical discoveries that make our lives better.
Some examples of clinical research discoveries are:
- New treatments for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease
- Better ways to exercise
- MRIs, CT Scans, X-ray machines, and diagnostic tests
- Improved medical procedures
- Improved ways to diagnose conditions or diseases
Volunteers are important to help find new and improved treatments and better ways to provide care. It’s important to also remember, however, that not all studies lead to better treatments or new ways to care for a disease or condition. In some studies, results show that doctors are already doing what is best.
When studies are completed, researchers share the information with other doctors around the world. The results from these studies often help doctors provide better and improved care to their patients. Even when a research study does not find a better way to provide treatment and care right away, it still can help researchers to come up with new ideas to study a disease or condition.
There are ways to get involved in clinical research at Western Sky Medical Research
You can like us on Facebook to stay informed of clinical research studies at Western Sky Medical Research that are looking for research volunteers or contact us. Our website has a list of the current studies we are enrolling in too.
To learn more about clinical research in general and/or studies taking place at Western Sky Medical Research,
- Call 915-544-2557
Talk to your doctor; let him or her know that you are interested in clinical research. Your doctor may be able to help you find clinical research studies that may be appropriate for you.
Some studies may ask very little of your time. Others may require more frequent visits (such as more than once a week over several months).
If you need more information about the time and/ or visits required, contact the study coordinator or investigator.
Will I receive some type of payment or reimbursement like money, lunch, parking fees paid, gifts, etc. for my time and effort as a volunteer in a clinical research study? Will I have to pay anything?
Some studies offer some type of payment or compensation to study participants, and others do not. The type and amount varies from study to study. Some studies fully pay for all study-related clinic visits and activities (tests, exams, co-pays, etc.), and others pay only part. Every study is different, be sure to ask the study coordinator for full details.
You can quit a research study at any time and for any reason. While your participation is very important to the study’s doctors, it has to be right for you. It is your choice.
If you want to stop, you should tell the study doctor. Sometimes it is not safe to stop a study drug all at once. Your doctor will talk to you about how to safely end your participation.
It is also important to know that the researcher can choose to end your participation in a study. This decision is usually made when continuing in the study is not in your best interest, if you did not follow the rules of the study, or if the study was discontinued (stopped). You will be told why your participation was ended. You will also be given the chance to ask questions in order to help you understand.
- Research participation is voluntary.
- A research study may or may not help you personally.
- You must be given the chance to read the consent form and ask questions before any study activities take place.
- In the future, the results could help others who have a health problem or condition.
- You can agree to participate in a study, sign a consent, and you still have the right to quit a study at anytime.
- You can bring a friend or a relative with you to your clinical research study visits.