1. Why participate in a research study?
People choose to participate in research studies for a wide variety of reasons. Common reasons include: seeking treatment options to improve their own health; a desire to be a part of advancing scientific understandings and treatments of diseases; in order to better understand how research works; or a combination of the above. To find out more visit: Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation
2. What is a Clinical Trial?
Many of our studies are clinical trials. Clinical trials are biomedical or health-related research studies involving human subjects. There are two types of trials: interventional and observational studies. In an interventional study research subjects are given a treatment or other intervention to see what effects it has. On the other hand, observational studies are those in which individuals are observed and outcomes are measured. For more info: ClinicalTrials.gov
3. What are the risks of participating in a research study?
The nature of the risks depends on the kind of study, which is why members of the research team will make sure that you understand possible risks before you decide to participate. Some risks include: side effects from treatment, receiving placebo (inactive substance) instead of treatment, or a greater time commitment than other forms of treatment.
4. Will I get paid?
Most studies try to compensate participants for the time that they spend. The amount and form of compensation ranges from study to study. Some studies also offer travel reimbursements so make sure to discuss this with study staff.
5. What is a Placebo?
A placebo is an inactive substance or procedure that has no treatment value. In research studies experimental treatments are often compared with placebos to assess the experimental treatment's effectiveness.
6. What is informed consent?
Informed consent is the process by which researchers ensure that participants have all of the information they need to make an informed decision about research participation. During an informed consent, potential participants will learn the key elements of a study in order to make a decision on weather or not to participate. A member of the research team will explain the purpose of the study, how long it will last, what is required of participants, and the risks and benefits of participating. Participants are given an informed consent document that outlines this information and they can decide weather or not to consent to participating by signing this document. It is important to note that this document is not a contract, and participants can withdraw at anytime.