Received an email lately that invites you to participate in research? If it is from a reputable source, it’s a great way to be involved in science! Participating in a research study is not the easiest way to get results, but but the experience does translate to helping a larger group of people.
Here at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, research plays a vital role in all of our programs and services. Because we are affiliated with an academic institution as part of the University of Colorado, the research we engage in here is often transferred into the foundations of our innovative programming for health, wellness, weight loss, and fitness. We frequently conduct studies to learn what techniques and products are most effective in many of these areas, and are always looking for participants! If you are interested in contributing to scientific knowledge, we encourage you to consider participating in a research study.
First, the downsides:
Restrictions and Criteria:
There are typically many criteria that need to be met in order to be eligible to be in a study. For instance, you may need to fall into a specific age range and/or BMI range. You may need to have certain medical conditions (or specifically NOT have certain conditions) based on the study goals. You will need to go through a screening process to determine your eligibility before being confirmed as a study participant.
Once eligibility is confirmed, there are typically specific study visits that need to be attended within a specific time-frame per the study protocol. As a result of these specific time based requirements, being in a study tends to be a bit more demanding and time consuming than if you were to receive care outside of a study. There may be more tests required if you participate in a study. For instance, you may be asked to have labs drawn, measurements taken, and/or to complete questionnaires which may not be required outside of a study.
It’s true, there may be risks to study participation. Since studies seek to learn more about the effectiveness of new programs or medications, it is always possible that these will not work for you or that you could experience side-effects related to the study procedures or treatments.
Now, the upsides!
While a study may be more demanding, sometimes more thorough evaluations and assessments are of benefit.
Often, study assessments such as laboratory tests are provided at no charge. Studies can offer a way for someone to receive an investigational lifestyle program, medication, or device at no cost and prior to public availability.
Yes, it’s true. Studies sometimes provide a stipend to participants to help cover the costs of their time and travel to the study site. The amount varies, and sometimes doesn’t amount to much more than a token of thanks, but it can sometimes be the thing that helps get enough participants into a program.
Most important, participating in a research study means you are contributing to scientific knowledge, whether any personal benefit is experienced or not. Without research studies, we would not have many of the medical and health advances we do today.
Are you ready to be part of the future of science and medicine? Consider participation in a research study today! Check our current list of studies to see if any of them fit your interest or needs.