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Why do people participate in research or clinical trials?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), healthy volunteers participate in research trials to help others and to contribute to moving science forward. Participants with an illness or disease participate to help others as well, but they can also benefit by possibly receiving the newest treatment options. Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.

What is research?

Clinical research is medical research that involves individual or groups of people. According to the NIH, people volunteer to participate in carefully conducted investigations that ultimately uncover better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose and understand human disease. Clinical research includes trials test new treatments and therapies, which provides valuable information about how disease and health progress.

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are part of clinical research and play a major role in all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect or treat disease. Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment is safe for patients while delivering a positive outcome. Clinical trials can also look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses. 

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