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Understanding Clinical Research: Guide Home

What is Clinical Research

Clinical research looks at health and illnesses, with there being two different types of research: observational studies and clinical trials. Observational studies monitor people in regular settings and researchers will compare changes over time as they gather information. They do not involve medical intervention but can be used to identify new treatments or prevention strategies. Clinical trials, on the other hand, are research studies that test medical, surgical, or behavioral intervention in people. These trials are used to determine if a new treatment or prevention strategy is safe and effective. They are also used to determine if a new treatment is more effective and has less harmful side effects compared to existing treatments.

Why Conduct Clinical Research

Clinical research is important because it helps to:

  1. Diagnose diseases earlier even when no symptoms are present.
  2. Find new ways to prevent health problems, especially for individuals who are at an increased risk.
  3. Discover new ways to improve quality of life for those with chronic illnesses.
  4. Study the role of caregivers.
  5. Test new types of surgery.
  6. Test new medical devices.
  7. Discover ways to change health behavior.

Why Participate in Clinical Research

There are many people who participate in clinical research and for a variety of reasons. People participate because they want to help aid in discovering new treatments or prevention strategies to help others in the future. They also participate because they want to take a more active role in their own health, especially if they have tried treatments that have not worked for them. They might also participate because they have a health issue where there currently is no treatment, so participating in research can help in the discovery of treatment or other strategies.

Participating in clinical research can help those conducting the studies discover things that will be useful for generations to come and will help them have healthier lives. These research studies are how medical breakthroughs happen and those who participate play the most vital role. Clinical trials have participants of any age, as there are illnesses at all ages and each one is important.

Clinical researchers determine participation eligibility by ascertaining if the participant has certain characteristics, such as being in a certain stage of a disease, to have the most effective trial results. Depending on the trial being conducted, participants may be excluding depending on their heath conditions or if they are on medication that might interfere with the treatment being tested.

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