Health research studies find the answers to our most pressing health care questions. If you have a health condition, you’re uniquely equipped to share information about that condition that no one else can. Even if you’re perfectly healthy, researchers often need to compare their results with a typical healthy person.
WHAT’S THE CLINICAL RESEARCH DATABASE?
The clinical research database offers a wide range of opportunities to participate in research studies. The information about these studies comes from the universities, institutes, and people who are running the studies.
Interested in other ways to get involved apart from participating in studies? We recommend learning more about health research opportunities.
WHAT TYPES OF STUDIES ARE THERE?
In an observational study, researchers collect information from patients about a health condition, but they don’t try to address that condition. They often compare their findings with data from healthy volunteers.
The purpose of the study is to help researchers see if there are any differences between patient groups, and if so, if the difference relates to the condition they’re studying. Your role could be as a participant with a condition or as a healthy volunteer.
In an interventional study, researchers examine a new procedure, treatment, or method to find out how safe or effective it is. It could be anything from a surgical procedure to a new medication or therapy. Depending on the study, the time commitment can be as much or as little as you want.
Like observational studies, interventional studies also compare two or more groups to see if there’s a difference after the intervention. As a participant, you would receive a treatment and be studied for its effects on you.
WHY SHOULD I TAKE PART?
Taking part in a research study helps you understand your health, your body, and your health conditions, if you’re living with any. Every study provides new information about treating conditions and providing better medical care.
What you get from a study depends on how close we are to understanding the condition. Participating in an observational study could help move forward our understanding of your condition, while participating in an interventional study could give you access to new treatments before anyone else.
When you take part in research, you learn how your health care system works, how we can create better medicine, and how you can change your own health. And you discover how you can help others in Alberta, throughout Canada, and around the world.
“There might be a cure out there around the corner.”
A Type 1 diabetic since he was 15, Kerry Eliott is passionate about diabetes research. He participated in a clinical study with Dr. James Shapiro for a potentially life-changing diabetes treatment involving insulin-producing stem cells.
HOW CAN I TAKE PART?
Right now there are thousands of active research studies happening in Alberta. Check out the clinical research database and talk to your doctor about participating.