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Friday, December 6, 2013
At every stage of life, our physical, mental and emotional health needs are different. Certain diseases are more likely at certain times of life, medicines for a condition might need to be adjusted and we might need ways to stay healthy. There are many medical studies focused specifically on seniors to learn the best ways to prevent and treat disease and how we can age successfully throughout our lives. This area of research is particularly important as scientific progress has led to longer, more productive and more active lives for many people. As a result there are a lot of new things we need to learn through research. Because people are living longer, for example, more people have long-term, or chronic, diseases. Doctors need better ways to understand and care for these conditions. We need to increase our knowledge of prevention too, and how to best support mental and emotional health as we continue to grow throughout our lives.
You can take part in research studies that matter most to you and your loved ones. To find a research study that is a good fit for you, see the information below.
Whether you're looking for studies on ClinicalTrials.gov or helping researcher find you on ResearchMatch, always keep the following in mind:
1. Your health status - both healthy volunteers and those with medical conditions are needed in the research effort.
2. Your location - finding studies close to home is often a requirement to be able to take part.
3. More information about you - studies are done using groups based on their gender, ethnic group, and age, among other things. What makes you unique is what's needed the most.
Why ResearchMatch? Fact: Recent surveys show that few Americans (less than 5%) know where to find out about research studies that are a good fit for them. Fact: Research volunteers are medical heroes. Why? Because behind every medical breakthrough and new treatment are thousands of people who take part in research studies.
ResearchMatch is one way to help match medical heroes with research studies. How? Think of posting your resume on line. Like a resume helps employers look for people to fill a role in their company; ResearchMatch is your research resume with details about you. This allows researchers to look for volunteers who may be good fit for their study.
The NetWellness feature ResearchMatch and You - Making a Difference One Discovery at a Time gives a step by step guide about how ResearchMatch works and what you can do to take part in research. Once you put the details of your profile in ResearchMatch, it is kept secure. These details will only be shared when you agree to take part in a study.
Many people want to take part in research studies. Finding a study that is (a good) (the right) fit for you or your loved one can be a challenge/hard. ClinicalTrials.gov exists helps speed up the search by having a list of studies offered/listed in the United States.
The search tool on ClinicalTrials.gov allows you to look for research studies that are as unique as you. This allows you to search by your gender, race, ethnicity, age, and condition. In any search that you do on ClinicalTrials.gov, it's important that you include your city and state in your search so that you can find trials that are happening close to home. The NetWellness feature How to Find a Clinical Research Study/Clinical Trial helps guide you to get the best results for your search.
This article is a NetWellness exclusive.
Last Reviewed: May 16, 2011
Susan Wentz, MD, MS
Director, Area Health Education Center
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University