Participating in Medical Research
Many people are curious about participating in medical research, but are worried about safety issues or are afraid of being "experimented on." It's important to remember that before you even begin a research study, you must meet certain guidelines to make sure that it is safe for you to participate. Also, your healthcare team will do whatever is necessary to protect your privacy and well-being throughout the study.
What's It Like to Be in a Medical Research Study?
Some people are unsure about participating in a medical research study. They're afraid they'll be experimented on, and are concerned about their safety. Understanding what happens in a research study can help ease these concerns.
First, patients in a study receive care in the same places that standard treatments are given -- such as in doctor's offices, university medical centers, or hospitals.
You will work with several professionals during the study, such as doctors, nurses, social workers, and other healthcare professionals from many different specialties. These people are working together for your good, and will do whatever necessary to protect your privacy and well-being.
Second, if you join a medical research study, you will be closely monitored and cared for. Data about your health and participation in the study will be carefully recorded. You will be given specific instructions about the things you need to do during the study, and when you should return to the clinic for follow-up appointments.
As part of the study, you may receive more medical examinations and tests than usual. This is to follow your progress, as well as to collect study data. Of course, some tests can carry certain risks, benefits, or discomforts of their own. Although they can be inconvenient, these tests and exams help ensure that your research team knows exactly how you're doing throughout the study.