A recent poll by Censuswide showed that 66 per cent of people questioned felt that the only reason to take part in a clinical trial was the chance of a new or better treatment.
However if you talk to people who have taken part in research, you learn that there can be a whole range of benefits. You might gain a better understanding of your health; you might feel a sense of contributing to the advance of medical knowledge; you could be helping to develop treatments that might benefit others; and you’ll be receiving care from experts in the field.
Today sees the launch of a new campaign by the National Institute for Health Research, Clinical Research Network to promote some of these benefits.
Research changed my life highlights the positive experiences of research participants with a collection of film, video-diary and audio stories from people living with conditions ranging from allergies to multiple sclerosis.
Mark De Block, a sports science tutor from Stoke who has MS, talks about his experience of taking part in a clinical trial. He’s found that the treatment he’s received over the last four years has almost stopped his relapses. Of course, not everyone who take part in clinical trials will necessarily receive such an effective treatment. The nature of these trials means that you might be part of a group taking a placebo or ‘dummy treatment’. However, your participation will still make a difference. For more information about the risks and benefits of taking part in MS clinical trials, and links to trials currently looking for participants, see our pages on Getting involved in research.
For more information about how you could get involved in the the Research changed my life campaign and the work of the National Institute for Health Research, Clinical Research Network visit http://www.researchchangedmylife.com