What are the benefits and risks of participating in a research study?
Benefits include access to new medications, expert medical care, and medical tests free of charge. Risks are often minimal, but do vary depending upon the nature of the research study. The purpose for the study, the study procedures, and any potential risks are detailed in the Informed Consent form. Read the Informed Consent carefully as it clearly states what your involvement in the study will be. Questions and concerns should be brought up to the clinical research staff and your own physician. Never feel pressured to begin or remain in a study if you have unanswered questions or feel uncomfortable about study procedures.
Who should not participate in medical research?
People who have serious health risks or conditions, i.e., advanced heart disease or cancer, should not participate in research studies, unless those conditions are being studied. Other factors include taking a medication that would interfere with the study or cause an adverse reaction; being scheduled for surgery before or during the study period; and not being able to fulfill the time commitment.
What types of research are there?
Medical focus groups and opinion surveys typically require little time and request your opinion about medical devices or new product packaging. Researchers might ask you to evaluate a medical device such as a digital thermometer, wrist brace, or blood glucose meter. Research studies can range in duration from a few weeks, months or years, and may involve the testing of a new drug, finding new uses for an existing medication, or comparing a medication to others already on the market.
What are the time commitments and costs?
Time commitments vary depending on the condition being studied and the study requirements. Typical study durations are 6 months, one year, or several years.
There is no cost to you to participate in a study, and all procedures (physicals, EKG’s, X-Ray’s, blood work, etc.) and supplies associated with the study are provided free of charge.
Will I be compensated for my participation?
Most all research studies provide a stipend. The amount depends on the duration and complexity of the study, but generally stipends can run from $500 to $3,000.
What are my rights as a study participant?
An Institutional Review Board composed of physicians and lay people examines all study protocols to ensure patients’ rights and safety. The Informed Consent also protects patients’ rights by detailing all aspects of the research study and informing participants of their right to leave a study at any time for any reason. Patient privacy is protected by the HIPAA Act of 1996. For more information on patients’ right and privacy, click here.
How do I get involved in a research study?
You may call MassResearch at 781-647-7200 or enter your information into our confidential study participant database. The information you provide is used solely to inform you of studies that may be of interest to you. Entering your information into our study participation database does not obligate you to participate in a study.
If you do not see a study for a particular condition that interests you or one within your area, please visit www.centerwatch.com or www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Want to Participate?
It’s easy, just enter your information into our confidential study participant database and we will get in touch with you.