What is a Medical Research Study?

Medical research studies help medical professionals test out new medicines, devices, and treatment options before they are available in mainstream medicine. The studies help to see whether or not what’s being studied is safe, its potential uses, and possible side effects.

There are two types of medical research studies. The first type is a clinical study that is comprised of two groups. One group gets the treatment and the other group gets either the current treatment or no treatment at all. The second type is an observational study. In this type of study, the researcher only observes, they do not interfere with participants by providing medicines or treatments.

Medical research studies take place at hospitals, research centers, clinics, and doctors’ offices. Study participants are volunteers that are paid or unpaid for their participation.

Phases of a Medical Research Study

There are four phases of medical research studies. Each phase helps researchers to establish if a treatment is safe to use as well as determine the correct dosage. The FDA uses information collected in each phase to determine whether or not the treatment is safe for users.

Phase 1

The first phase includes the least amount of people. Participants are usually healthy adults that do not have any condition or disease. The goal of this phase is to ensure the medicine or treatment is safe for people.

Participants in phase one are closely monitored for serious side effects. The results of this phase are submitted to the FDA. Approval from the FDA must be given in order for the study to advance to phase two.

Phase 2

Participants in phase two of a medical research study usually have the medical condition that the medicine or procedure is trying to treat. There are more participants included in phase two than were included in phase one.

This is the phase when participants are split into two groups. One group receives the treatment while the other receives no treatment or a placebo. The study may move to phase three if the treatment is beneficial in helping the medical condition being tested.

Phase 3

Phase three includes a large number of participants. In this phase, researchers look to see how the treatment works on a wide range of people with a specified medical condition. Researchers may test how much of the trial medicine works best. If a procedure or medical device is tested, they will see which steps are needed to successfully carry out the procedure or device implant.

Phase 4

The fourth phase of a medical research study might be completed once the treatment has been approved. This phase measures the long-term effects and safety of the treatment for participants.

How to Participate in a Medical Research Study

There are a few different ways to participate in a medical research study. One way to participate in a study is to go through a medical research clinic. Another way to participate in a study is to speak with your doctor. They might be aware of a study that would benefit from your participation. The final way to participate in a study is to contact the person in charge of running the study and ask to be considered as a participant.