Participating in a research study can be overwhelming and intimidating. Here are our Top 10 Reasons to Participate in a research study and how YOU can make a difference.
10. You may be compensated for your study participation
Many studies offer monetary compensation to study volunteers in return for time and travel during their participation. Pay is often provided following every completed study visit. Money from study participation is often used to make ends meet at the end of the month. It can also provide supplemental income for college students, stay-at-home parents, or the retired.
9. Your participation is always at-will
Participation is completely voluntary and consent to participate can be withdrawn at any time the volunteer is no longer comfortable with continuing, or is no longer able to participate. This can give volunteers ease of mind if there are other constraints in their lives, such as caring for small children or aging parents, or employment with long hours that coincide with study visits.
8. You do not need insurance to receive medical care
Many people suffer terribly due to lack of medical insurance to help cover the costs of diagnosis and treatment of their condition. In a clinical trial, insurance is NOT required to participate. In fact, in most clinical trials study volunteers are compensated for their time and participation while in the study.
7. You may receive diagnostic tests, ECGs, lab work, radiological tests and medical exams dependent upon the particular study in which you qualify to participate
Diagnostic tests are performed during preliminary study screening, and some may receive a full physical. This can be a great way to check up on one’s own health, but it may also alert the volunteer to health conditions that may require further testing or treatment to prevent or control, such as high blood pressure or type II diabetes.
6. You will have access to doctors without having to wait months for an appointment
Many doctors, particularly doctors specializing in fields such as dermatology or psychiatry, are booked for months and are not immediately available to see new or even existing patients. Many people cannot afford to wait months to receive a diagnosis or treatment. During a clinical trial, the study volunteer will meet with a board-certified physician and receive one on one medical care. Volunteers also interact with highly-trained and skilled research staff.
5. You may have access to new medications or procedures before they are widely available
Research participants oftentimes struggle to afford expensive medications even if they have insurance. In clinical trials, volunteers may have access to new and innovative medicines and treatments. Study medications are provided to research volunteers at no cost.
4. You may have access to currently approved medications and testing supplies
In certain studies, volunteers are provided with medications which are already FDA approved; this may be to compare an available medication to an investigational medication or to compare it to another approved medication. Volunteers may also receive other medical supplies that greatly benefit them. For instance, diabetics receive test strips and a glucose monitor in many studies, while women’s health studies may provide some form of contraception. Some psychiatric studies – such as a study for depression — may also provide an approved antidepressant.
3. You have an opportunity to learn more about your illness or condition and options for treatment
Trial volunteers will learn about their condition, its symptoms and options to treat it. In some instances, participants can receive a diagnosis of their symptoms by having diagnostic testing and/or through an evaluation by a physician. This can provide relief to someone who has been struggling with the difficulties of an unknown illness, and can open avenues for them to pursue help and treatment. Diabetes studies often provide education regarding diet, exercise and blood sugar control.
2. Your quality of health and life may improve
By participating in a clinical trial, you can play an active role in educating yourself about your health. This can result in an improvement in the quality of your life. Research volunteers gain a sense of gratification from their contributions to society, and hope that the future will be brighter due to a wider range of options in medicine. The patient also has the privilege of assuming an active role in their health care, and taking responsibility for their health is empowering!
1. You will contribute to the wellbeing of society, and the advancement of medical research
When study volunteers participate in research, society benefits, bringing new hope for patients afflicted with different conditions/diseases. Future generations, potentially even the volunteers’ children or grandchildren, may benefit from the volunteers’ choice to further medical research. Additional knowledge is also gained about the way the human body functions and processes medications, as well as how our bodies can heal more efficiently.