There is no substitute for the people who participate in clinical research. Volunteers like you are the only way for new treatments to become available to the public.
On a more personal level, why should you volunteer for a clinical study? There are many reasons:
You may help develop new treatments for a condition that affects yourself, a loved one, or friend.
You may be offered treatment options for a condition that are not normally available.
Some studies provide free treatment (i.e., eye exams, contact lenses) or reimbursement for time.
Many people participate because they want a future with better vision health for everyone.
You don’t have to have problems with your eyes to participate in clinical research. Some studies need healthy volunteers.
For more information:
Phone: (212) 938-4052
Benefits – Clinical trials that are well-designed and well-executed are the best approach for eligible participants to:
Risks – There may be risks to clinical trials:
The clinical trial process depends on the kind of trial being conducted. The clinical trial team can include optometrists and nurses as well as social workers, students and other health care professionals. They check your health at the beginning of the trial, give specific instructions for participating in the trial, monitor the participant carefully during the trial, and, depending on the study, may stay in touch after the trial is completed. Some clinical trials involve more tests and clinic visits than you would normally have for an illness or condition. For all types of trials, participants work with a research team. Clinical trial participation is most successful when the protocol is carefully followed and there is frequent contact with the research staff.
Informed consent refers to the process by which volunteers discover the details of their clinical study. Participants must be given all the facts about a trial before giving consent to participate, including treatment details and possible risks and benefits. The informed consent form must be signed by volunteers prior to participation. The informed consent process continues throughout the clinical study.
There are many individual and personal reasons to participate in research studies. Treatments and medications on trial today could go on to become the treatments and licensed medications of the future, and benefit you or family members. Some participants also enjoy the social interaction with fellow volunteers and staff that they experience while participating in clinical studies.
Clinical studies vary in length depending on what vision problems or treatments we’re researching. Some studies involve only one visit. Some studies involve participants coming in for visits for several years. Study staff will explain the length of participant involvement before asking you if you want to volunteer.
People should know as much as possible about the clinical trial and feel comfortable asking the members of the health care team questions about it, the care expected while in a trial, and the costs and benefits of the trial. The following questions might help you to discuss the study with the health care team. Some of the answers to these questions are found in the informed consent document each research participant must read and sign when volunteering.
For more information about clinical trials, you can visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.