- Purpose of this document
- What is clinical research?
- Why do people choose to participate in research?
- What are the different types of clinical research?
- What are the risks and benefits of participating in research?
- What rights do I have?
- What are the possible financial costs?
- Who can participate in clinical research?
- What is randomization?
- What is informed consent?
- What else should I consider?
- How do researchers make sure that participants are safe?
- What kinds of results will come from the research?
- How can I enroll in clinical research?
- What kinds of questions should I ask the researcher?
- For more information on clinical research and clinical trials
Why do people choose to participate in research?
People participate in research for several reasons. Some hope to get the most advanced treatment available for mental and behavioral illnesses. Others participate because they want to assist scientists in developing better ways to help people.
Research is our best hope for understanding and treating mental illnesses. Thanks to help from volunteers, medical researchers are learning more and more about the causes of mental and behavioral disorders, and are finding new ways to treat and prevent illnesses. Without this important relationship between research participants and those studying their illnesses, it would be much more difficult to improve health treatments.
Volunteers of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds are needed. By having a variety of volunteers participate, researchers can learn how different people react to medications and other treatments. For example, by studying the differences in men and women, researchers discovered that these groups have very different warning signs for a heart attack.
A comparison: participating in clinical research and seeing your doctor for treatment
Participating in clinical research is not the same as seeing your doctor. Here are some differences:
|Participating in Clinical Research||Seeing Your Doctor|
|The researcher’s goal is to learn about your illness.||Your doctor’s goal is to treat your condition.|
|The researcher must use standardized procedures. You will probably be removed from the study if your illness worsens.||Your doctor will change your treatment as necessary.|
|You will be randomly assigned to a group taking a standard treatment or placebo, also known as an inactive pill (control group), or a group taking a new treatment (treatment group).||Your doctor will usually offer standard treatment for your illness.|
|The results from your participation may help researchers develop new treatments and may be published so that other researchers can learn.||Your treatment is designed to help you, not to help the doctor learn how to treat people with your illness.|
|In some cases, costs of the study may be covered, and you may receive additional compensation.||You will likely need to pay or use insurance for treatment.|
|With your permission, researchers may check in with your doctors to learn about your conditions and past treatments.||Your doctor usually won't share your information with researchers. (In some cases, he or she may ask permission to share information).|