This week the NIH launched a new website, NIH Clinical Research Trials and You. In a Feb 6 press release, NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins said “The ability to recruit the necessary number of volunteers is vital to carrying out clinical research.” The idea behind the website is to help patients understand how clinical research works, and what it’s like to participate.
The site offers a menu of “basics” about clinical trials, addressing topics like:
- What are clinical trials and why do people participate?
- What is clinical research?
- Who participates in clinical trials?
- What do I need to know if I am thinking about participating?
- What questions should I ask if offered a clinical trial?
- How am I protected?
- What happens after a clinical trial is completed?
- How does the outcome of clinical research make a difference?
There’s an imperfect glossary of terms, a selection of patients’ and investigators’ stories, information for kids in research, and other resources including a link to the clinical trials database: ClinicalTrials.gov.