As those of us who work in clinical research know, there’s always another study that needs volunteers and never enough volunteers for that study. If you’re wanting to volunteer for a study, you can always check out ClinicalTrials.gov for information about current studies worldwide. This site is a registry and results database for federally and privately supported clinical trials. This site, developed by the National Institutes of Health, was designed to provide valid and correct information about clinical studies.
In a search for other websites that provide information about clinical studies, I found one that not only provides study tips, such as stop drinking alcohol for 72 hours before your screening tests, to how to make a living as a study volunteer. Other sites are directly connected to a specific institution or entity and are designed to provide education about being a clinical trial volunteer.
So what do you do when you, or one of your family members, are asked to volunteer for a study? If you work in clinical research, you are probably already familiar with the regulatory requirements and why it’s important to volunteer for a study. But, when it comes down to you or a family member participating, what would you do?
I know that this decision is dependent on a variety of factors – is the study a Phase 1 study in which you are a healthy volunteer? Or, are you faced with a condition that could respond better to experimental rather than approved therapy? Would you check out the physician to ensure s/he has not received a warning letter for any other research they’ve conducted? Would you allow your child to volunteer?
As someone who works in clinical research, think about how you’d respond to a request to volunteer for a study. With all your knowledge and experience, how would this effect your decision? Now, think about someone who has never been involved in research and may be nervous or afraid. I guess sometimes it’s not hard to believe why there aren’t enough volunteers.
What can you do to promote truth in research and educate your study volunteers?
Photo Credit: sean dreilinger