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Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of research studies are done at UMMC?

The word “research” has many different meanings. Researchers study a wide range of topics, and each research study is different. Some studies involve medical procedures or treatments while others may involve a survey. As a UMMC research partner, we may ask you to complete a task, take an experimental medication, or provide information that may lead to new medical discoveries. There are a wide variety of research studies conducted at UMMC:

  • Interventional research studies: Participants receive specific interventions, such as an investigational medication, procedure, and/or device done according to a research plan or protocol. The research team then seeks to determine if the intervention provides a better treatment option.
  • Observational research studies: Researchers assess health outcomes in participants according to a research plan or protocol. Researchers may observe participants’ health for days, weeks, months, or even years. During this time, participants may receive interventions or procedures as part of their routine medical care, but participants do not receive interventions from the researcher.
  • Behavioral research studies: Researchers seek to predict, prevent, and manage illness by attempting to understand how certain behaviors are related to those illnesses.
  • Diagnostic and screening studies: Researchers evaluate and seek to improve ways in which we screen for and diagnose diseases.

Should I participate in clinical studies?

You should talk with your health care provider and the specific UMMC research team representative to be sure that you understand everything involved in a particular study. Participating in a research study may or may not benefit your health. However, it may help you become more aware of your own health, provide access to investigational treatments, and help form safer and more effective treatments for your community and for future generations.

Am I eligible to participate?

A UMMC research partner may be completely healthy or living with illness. Researchers need people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities to participate. Researchers use specific inclusion and exclusion criteria for each study to determine eligibility. If you don’t qualify for one study, you may qualify for another.

Should I enroll my child in a research study?

As in making the determination for yourself to participate in a study, you should talk with your child’s health care provider and the UMMC research team representative to ensure you understand everything involved in the particular study. Children may have different treatment needs or diseases than adults, so it is important that we learn as much as we can about their needs, experiences, and how their bodies react to different types of therapy and medications as they grow and develop. As with adults, research studies involving children may or may not benefit their health. It may, however, help you become more aware of their health, provide access to investigational treatments, and help form safer and more effective treatments for your community and for future generations.