When you participate in research studies near me, you become an important part of a team that is attempting to improve people’s lives and impact the path of healthcare.
Volunteers for research projects are critical in influencing the future of medicine. Whether it’s a clinical study of an experimental treatment, a comparison of many therapies, or data collection from people with a similar health condition or genetic background, community members help researchers transform scientific discovery into lifesaving therapy.
Participants of various ages, both healthy and those with specific medical challenges, are sought for research initiatives at Ohio State. You may sign up to engage in research, browse Ohio State’s active studies, and learn more about the possible consequences of research and clinical trial involvement on your health and access to healthcare.
What exactly is a clinical study?
A clinical study is a research endeavor that employs participants (sometimes known as volunteers) as human subjects to further medical knowledge. The two main types of clinical research are clinical trials and observational studies.
Participants in a clinical trial, also known as an interventional study, receive specific treatments in line with the research plan or protocol set by the investigators. These interventions may take the shape of operations, medical goods such as drugs or devices, or changes in the participants’ behavior, such as dietary changes.
Clinical trials may compare a new medical approach to an existing standard or to a placebo, which may not include any active ingredients or therapeutic intervention. Some clinical trials pit established treatments against one another. During the evaluation process, it is often uncertain if a new product or technique will be useful, destructive, or identical to current choices (including no action). The researchers seek to assess the intervention’s safety and efficacy by following particular participant outcomes. For example, researchers may provide a medicine or other kind of treatment to persons with high blood pressure to see whether their blood pressure drops.
Phases are often used to describe clinical trials used in pharmaceutical development. These procedures are outlined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Nota bene: Certain people who are disqualified for clinical trial participation may be able to get experimental pharmaceuticals or medical equipment via an extended access program.
In an observational study, researchers utilize a process or research plan to assess the health outcomes of participant groups. Participants may get treatments as part of their usual medical care, which may include medications, devices, or operations, but they are not randomly assigned to any specific intervention (unlike in a clinical research). For example, researchers may monitor a group of older adults in order to learn more about how particular lifestyle choices influence heart health.
Why are clinical trials conducted?
Clinical studies often seek to further medical knowledge on the treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of diseases or disorders. The following are some common reasons for conducting clinical studies:
- evaluating one or more therapies for a sickness, affliction, or condition (such as medicine, equipment, surgical procedures, or radiation therapy)
- determining how to prevent an illness or condition from arising in the first place or from reappearing. Medication, immunizations, and lifestyle changes are examples of such interventions.
- evaluating one or more therapies aimed at detecting or diagnosing a certain ailment or condition
- Techniques for detecting a disease or its risk factors are being studied.
- exploring and assessing methods for improving the comfort and quality of life of people with chronic diseases
What makes clinical studies so important?
Participation in clinical trials enhances medical understanding. The outcomes of these research may have an influence on how future patients are treated by explaining the benefits and drawbacks of therapeutic, preventative, or diagnostic products or approaches.
Clinical trials are used to discover and sell new drugs, biological products, and medical technologies. The safety and effectiveness of the experimental technique or application may not always be fully appreciated at the time of the investigation. While some studies may provide participants the opportunity to get immediate medical benefits, others may not. Most clinical trials entail some risk of participant harm or injury, although these risks are often not greater than those associated with regular medical therapy or disease progression. (For studies that have been approved by institutional review boards (IRB), the IRB has concluded that the risks of participation have been minimized to a bare minimum and are bearable in light of the predicted benefits.)
Many studies, according to the study protocol, need volunteers to go through additional procedures, tests, and assessments. The informed consent document for a given study will provide this information. A potential volunteer should discuss these concerns with members of the research team as well as his or her regular doctor.
Who may participate in a clinical study?
A protocol, which is a research plan, is followed during a clinical experiment. The protocol’s aims are to deliver specific research responses while also protecting participant health. It contains the following information:
- the research’s reasoning
- Who is qualified to participate in the study (the eligibility criteria)?
- The necessary number of participants
- The diagnostic, treatment, or pharmaceutical administration schedule
- The length of the research
- What particular information will be acquired about the participants?
Who may participate in clinical trials is defined by eligibility conditions, which are specified in the protocol. Some studies seek participants who have the illnesses or conditions being studied. Other studies are looking for healthy people. Other studies restrict participation to a certain demographic of people who have been solicited by researchers.
Exclusion criteria are those that prohibit someone from participating in a clinical study, and inclusion criteria are those that allow someone to participate. These are determined by factors such as age, gender, illness kind and stage, past treatment history, and other medical issues.
What questions do I need to ask regarding a certain study?
Anyone thinking about participating in a clinical trial should learn all they can about the study and feel free to ask the research team any questions they have about it, the accompanying procedures, and any associated fees. The following questions may be beneficial in such a discussion. Some of these questions are addressed in the informed consent agreement. Though some of these questions apply to observational research as well, many of them are unique to clinical trials.
- What is being researched?
- Why do researchers believe the experimental intervention will be effective? Why would it fail to function? Has it been tested before?
- What kinds of interventions may I encounter throughout the trial?
- How (for example, by chance) will it be selected which therapies I will receive?
- Who will know about the experimental intervention I receive? Will I be aware of it? Will the members of the research team be aware?
- How do the possible risks, side effects, and benefits of this research compare to my existing treatment plan?
- What must I complete?
- What tests and methodologies are involved?
- How often should I visit the hospital or clinic?
- Will a hospital stay be required?
- How long will the research take?
- Who will pay for my participation?
- Will I get reimbursed for any extra expenses?
- This experiment includes what form of long-term aftercare?
- Will I be able to continue receiving the intervention after the trial concludes if I benefit from it?
- Will you provide me the study’s results?
- Who will be in charge of my medical care while I am in the trial?
- What options do I have if I get injured while doing the research?