Clinical research is a scientifically sound approach to understanding human health and illness and methods that may be effective in resting a person to health. The focus of clinical research is on human beings who participate as the subjects of observation or novel medical interventions. When clinical research is applied to the evaluation of new diagnostic methods, treatments or medications, the research is called a clinical trial. For more extensive information about clinical research and clinical trials, please see the following website: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/clinicalresearch/.
Individuals who volunteer to be in clinical studies do so for a variety of reasons. Because most clinical research involves testing new treatments for particular diseases, study participants might gain early access to new therapies.
New therapies, however, do not always work or work as well as the study doctor hopes. Participants in clinical research studies often volunteer to be in a study for the benefit of society in general, even though they know that the research may not benefit them directly.
Additionally, not everyone can be in a clinical study. These are only available to persons who are qualify to participate in a specific study. The things that make someone appropriate for participation are called “inclusion criteria.” A research doctor may invite you to participate in a study, but you will not be automatically accepted for participation. Things that would keep you out of a study are called “exclusion criteria” and these criteria exist to protect you and to make the research better.