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Friday, August 1, 2014
There are many kinds of studies looking for a variety of volunteers, including healthy volunteers. Some studies are observational and are looking for a large number of participants who represent the general population who may or may not be affected by a specific condition or disease. Other studies test a new treatment or prevention approach. Still others might be done through a review of medical records, an interview, or filling out a survey. So, as a completely healthy person, you can make as significant a contribution to research as any person with a specific condition.
You can get involved with the research studies that matter most to you and your loved ones. To find a research study that is a good fit, see the information below.
Whether you're looking for studies on ClinicalTrials.gov or helping researcher find you on ResearchMatch, always keep the following in mind:
1. Your health status - both healthy volunteers and those with medical conditions are needed in the research effort.
2. Your location - finding studies close to home is often a requirement to be able to take part.
3. More information about you - studies are done using groups based on their gender, ethnic group, and age, among other things. What makes you unique is what's needed the most.
Why ResearchMatch? Fact: Recent surveys show that few Americans (less than 5%) know where to find out about research studies that are a good fit for them. Fact: Research volunteers are medical heroes. Why? Because behind every medical breakthrough and new treatment are thousands of people who take part in research studies.
ResearchMatch is one way to help match medical heroes with research studies. How? Think of posting your resume on line. Like a resume helps employers look for people to fill a role in their company; ResearchMatch is your research resume with details about you. This allows researchers to look for volunteers who may be good fit for their study.
The NetWellness feature ResearchMatch and You - Making a Difference One Discovery at a Time gives a step-by-step guide about how ResearchMatch works and what you can do to take part in research. Once you put the details of your profile in ResearchMatch, it is kept secure. These details will only be shared when you agree to take part in a study.
Many people want to take part in research studies. Finding a study that is the right fit for you or your loved one can be a challenge. ClinicalTrials.gov helps speed up the search by having a list of studies offered in the United States.
The search tool on ClinicalTrials.gov allows you to look for research studies that are as unique as you. This lets you search by your gender, race, ethnicity, age, and condition. In any search that you do on ClinicalTrials.gov, it is important that you include your city and state in your search so that you can find trials that are happening close to home. The NetWellness feature How to Find a Clinical Research Study/Clinical Trial helps guide you to get the best results for your search.
This article is a NetWellness exclusive.
Last Reviewed: May 16, 2011
Susan Wentz, MD, MS
Director, Area Health Education Center
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University