The National Institutes of Health has created a new website, NIH Clinical Research Trials and You, to help people learn more about clinical trials, why they matter and how to participate.
From the first cure of a solid tumor with chemotherapy to the use of nitroglycerin in response to heart attacks, clinical research trials—or research studies involving people—have played a vital role in improving the health and quality of life for people around the globe.
Clinical trials are essential for identifying and understanding ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. Research has shown that among the greatest challenges to recruitment of volunteers is the lack of general knowledge about what trials involve, where they are carried out and who may participate.
"The ability to recruit the necessary number of volunteers is vital to carrying out clinical research that leads to health and medical advances," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "This new, centralized resource will make it much easier for the public and health professionals to learn about clinical trials and how people can participate in them."
Visitors to the website will find information about the basics of clinical trial participation, first-hand experiences from trial volunteers, explanations from researchers and links on how to search for a trial or enroll in a research matching program.
In addition, healthcare professionals can read about evidence-based strategies for talking with patients about trials, print audience-tested posters to help promote trials in clinics and offices and find other educational materials.
NIH supports clinical research trials across the country and throughout the world. NIH’s ongoing effort to raise awareness about clinical research and educate potential participants about trials is vital to developing public support and understanding for how clinical research drives medical discovery and improves health outcomes.