Why participating in research can be a rewarding experience

At the outset, many people may experience apprehension when considering joining a clinical trial. Opting to participate in a research study is a personal one — but it can also be quite gratifying. Various types of clinical studies play a pivotal role in ensuring the approval of life-saving medications and treatments. For this to happen, we need volunteers to take part. In this blog, we’re examining why participating in a clinical trial can be a rewarding experience for patients, and provide guidance on how potential volunteers can discover relevant studies.

Reasons to participate in research studies

It helps advance scientific research. 

Clinical trials play a critical role in advancing scientific research, and are a required part of the approval process for any new medication. As part of a clinical trial, researchers obtain data and analyze results to determine the safety and efficacy of any new medical treatment. While these substances are always tested on animals initially, understanding how they interact with humans is essential — and for that to happen, volunteers have to enroll in these studies.

It helps others living with the condition.

Medical research is happening every day for a variety of diseases. Not only do researchers aim to learn more about causes and cures for common conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and arthritis, but they also study treatments for rare diseases that may have no known therapy. Every research study has an important impact on those living with the condition — not only do those who participate in the study gain access to potential new treatments and personalized care, but the data obtained can help medical professionals gain knowledge that helps a broader population.

It is a safe way to give back.

One of the main concerns for potential clinical trial participants is the safety of taking part in research, but it’s important to note that there are protections in place for all research volunteers. Every trial’s protocol and other materials are approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), made up of doctors, scientists, and other experts, to ensure trials are ethical and protect patients’ rights. Additionally, the FDA reviews trials before patient volunteers are able to enroll, and participants are provided with an informed consent form that outlines all the details about the trial. Furthermore, participants are free to withdraw from the study at any time for any reason.

The research team is a valuable resource.

We surveyed nearly 4,000 patients to find out what would make patients who take part in research feel like partners, not just participants. In response, patients across a number of therapeutic areas and socioeconomic statuses stated that they are extremely interested in talking with a variety of parties, including doctors, clinical trial coordinators and nurses, other patients, and the hospital or company responsible for the research. Fortunately, this is a possibility, as the research team is a valuable resource that can answer any questions that potential participants have.

Once you’ve made the decision to participate in a clinical trial, finding the right one is key — and we make this easier with our state-of-the-art clinical trial search tool. To see what trials are currently enrolling, click the button below.