Clinical research is research that studies health and illness in people. This type of research helps us learn how to better care for people who are ill, and how to help healthy people stay healthy. Researchers might use a clinical research study to learn more about a certain part of health and illness, such as a medication or treatment.
If you take part in a research study, you will help researchers to learn more about health and illness, and improve the way clinicians take care of patients. Many people feel good about taking part in research because they are helping advance medicine. Some people take part in research to honor a friend or family member affected by a certain illness. They often say they feel proud to support their loved one in this way.
Beyond feeling good about helping improve medical treatment, you may also get early access to new treatment approaches, though such approaches are often not formally approved or demonstrated to be safe or effective. You may also learn more about your personal health. Lastly, you may be given money, gift cards, or other items as payment for your time.
All studies posted on Clinical Trials @ Partners must be reviewed and approved by a group of doctors, scientists and members of the public called an "institutional review board" or IRB. The IRB will require that the study minimizes the risks to people who take part in research, is ethical and will contribute meaningfully to science and medicine.
There are also federal government laws and hospital rules that studies must follow to protect the people taking part in the study. The IRB requires that the study is following these laws and rules.
Before you agree to take part in a study, someone from the study team can speak with you to answer any questions, go over the risks and benefits of participating, and go over what you might be asked to do. You can decide whether you want to take part in the study. For some studies, such as short surveys, you might feel comfortable taking part after reading about the study, without speaking with the study team. (See 'If I say I am interested in a project, am I required to take part in the study?')
If you change your mind at any time, even after the study begins, you are free to no longer take part in the study. You should let a member of the study team know if you decide to withdraw, so they can help you do so safely.
Clinical Trials @ Partners is a service to help you take part in research going on at Partners HealthCare. Whether you are looking for research in a certain health area or want to learn more about studies you might qualify for, Clinical Trials @ Partners can help you easily and quickly find the right study for you. You can also use this site to help research teams design their studies and to learn more about how research is done.
You can browse available research projects by the health topic the project is studying. You can also use search to find studies that interest you. Enter the things you are interested in. Use the filters to narrow your search down by things like location and activities that may be included in participation.
From the clinicaltrials.partners.org home page, click "Browse Healthy Volunteer Projects" (below the large search bar). You can also type "healthy volunteers" into the search bar to find all projects recruiting healthy volunteers.
After you select "I Am Interested", someone from the study team will reach out to you, usually by phone. The study team member will be able to go into more detail about the study and answer any questions you have. She or he may ask you questions about yourself and your medical history, or even ask you to come in for an initial visit. Together, you can decide whether the study is a good fit for you.
No! Before you agree to take part in a study, someone from the study team will go over the details and review any possible risks and benefits with you so you can make an informed decision. You will have time to think about the study and discuss with others if you wish to.
If you do choose to take part in a study, you are free to change your mind at any time, even after the study begins. You should let a member of the study team know if you decide to stop participating so they can help you do so safely.