How Research is Different than Care
Clinical research can look a lot like regular, or standard, medical care. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.
Here are some of the ways they may be similar:
- The researcher and your health care giver can be the same person.
- The setting may be your regular clinic.
- The treatments may seem the same.
Research is done to help find out if a treatment or procedure is good for a large group of people with a certain disease or condition. Research helps to answer questions for the future health of those populations. Standard medical care, however, focuses on individual needs in the present.
When considering enrolling your child in a study, make sure you understand the difference between the regular care your child gets at the doctor and what’s involved in research. Even when the place and healthcare providers are the same as your regular health care team, find out what makes it a research study.
Make sure you ask: How is this different from standard care?
- Will I see different doctors and nurses for the study?
- Will I go to a different hospital or clinic for the study?
- Will the doctors and nurses ask me a lot more questions about my child’s condition?
- Will there be more paperwork or additional tests when we are in the study?
- Will there be more rules and deadlines in the study?
Here is an example of how some things in a clinical study are the same as in regular care, while some are different.