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Searching Clinical Trials

Parents most often find out about clinical studies from a healthcare provider who is conducting a study, and sometimes your doctor or nurse may recommend a study to you. If you are seeking a clinical study, there are a few ways to search. is a database of trials in many different diseases for different age groups. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. In the search box, enter the medical condition, disease, or term you are interested in searching, such as “asthma.” This might turn up many studies.

2. To help narrow your search, click “Modify this search.” The most important fields to complete might be the following:

a. “Location”: You may pick up to three locations.

b. “Age Group”: Trials for children will fall into the “Child” category.

3. Once the form is complete, click the “Search” box at the bottom of the page.

4. The next page presents a full list of the trials. The trials are listed based by best match first.

  • Recruiting means the trial is looking for volunteers
  • Unknown means that the search system is not sure if the trial is open.
  • Completed means the trial has closed and no new participants are being taken. is a tool to match patients with appropriate studies. You must register to receive notifications about relevant clinical studies. The site will walk you through the process to register you or your child. Once registration is complete, any matches will be emailed to you with further instructions about how you can get more information about participation.

The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, America’s research hospital, is located on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. About a thousand clinical research studies are currently under way at the Clinical Center on diseases such as cancer, AIDS, heart trouble, eye problems, dental problems, depression, and nerve diseases, to name just a few. You may visit the database of studies to search for details on those studies. Or you may contact someone at 1-800-411-1222 or by email at to get more information.