I’m a believer in participating in clinical research, and I have been for some time. My first study was in optometry at Ohio State, years ago.
Researchers were investigating how nearsightedness, or myopia, progresses in adults. Maybe it’s my background – my dad is a retired gastroenterologist – or maybe it’s working in an educational setting, but I just see participation in research as something akin to civic duty. More like healthy human being duty – because really, don’t we all know someone who is managing or has managed a difficult disease? Isn’t it in their best interest, and our own, to help scientists improve the quality of life for everyone through research discoveries?
My dad had a heart transplant 18 years ago and is a happily retired full-time gardener and grandpa. My mother has Alzheimer’s disease. One grandparent died of cancer, two others of heart disease. This family history of mine is not all that unusual. Without the clinical research of the past, doctors wouldn’t know how to transplant organs. Without current and future clinical research, we can never hope to better treat, or ideally cure, Alzheimer’s. I want to be part of the solution.
When Ohio State began its relationship with ResearchMatch, I signed up right away.
ResearchMatch is a service that makes it very easy to be a research volunteer. You complete a basic history and, based on that information, the service sends you an email when a study is identified that might match your characteristics. If it doesn’t appeal to you, you can quickly reply and say you do not want your personal information to be released to the researcher. And that’s it. If the study does sound appealing and you feel you might be eligible, you enable the service to release your contact information to the researcher.
The process can stop there if you lose interest or find the study isn’t right for you after all. But if you are interested, communication begins between you and a research study coordinator and a research volunteer is born.
|Emily Caldwell science writer and co-editor|