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Participating in Health Research Studies

Countway Library Guide to Participating in Health Research

Is Health Research Right for Me?

Deciding whether or not you should be in a research study is a personal decision that can be hard to make. It is often helpful to talk to the research team, as well as your doctors, your family, and friends. There are no right or wrong choices. Whether to participate in a research study is your decision, and you should not be pressured into doing so unless you feel comfortable about it. You should have as much time as you need to make up your mind.

To help you in making your decision, there are several questions that you might want to ask and think about before joining a study. These include:

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Why is the research being done?
  • What procedures, tests, and drugs are part of the study?
  • How long will the study last and what will the time commitment be?
  • Is there a possibility that I may benefit from the research?
  • What are the risks of the study?
  • What other options do I have to treat my health condition?
  • Will the research cost me anything?
  • What will the researcher do with my personal health information?
  • Who pays for the procedures of the study and if I am injured in the study?
  • Who should I call if I have a question about the research?

It is your choice. You can change your mind at any time about being in a study. Any decision you make will not affect the care you will receive by your doctor or your hospital.

Further Resources

To view a series of videos and brochures about becoming a research subject, see the Research Subject Advocacy Program at Harvard Catalyst.