Have you ever thought you'd like to participate in a chronic pain or fibromyalgia clinical trial but didn't know how to find a study you would qualify for? Now it's as simple as filling out a form online, then sitting back and waiting for the appropriate research project to contact you.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have announced the formation of the first national research study recruitment registry. ResearchMatch.org is a not-for-profit secure Web site, designed to provide people who are interested in participating in research the opportunity to be matched with studies that may be the right fit for them. It offers an easy-to-use, free and safe way for volunteers to connect with thousands of researchers who are conducting research on a wide range of diseases.
"Participant recruitment continues to be a significant barrier to the completion of research studies nationwide — recent NIH data indicates that just 4 percent of the U.S. population has participated in clinical trials," said National Center for Research Resources Director Barbara Alving, M.D. "ResearchMatch is a tool that can improve the connection and communication between potential participants and researchers providing opportunities for the public to contribute to advancing new treatments."
Turning a lab discovery into a treatment option for patients is complex, time-consuming and costly. ResearchMatch promises to make at least one step in that process – patient recruitment – simpler, faster and less expensive. According to NIH data, 85 percent of trials don’t finish on time due to low patient participation, and 30 percent of trial sites fail to enroll even a single patient. ResearchMatch aims to improve those statistics significantly.
How ResearchMatch Works
ResearchMatch will match any interested individual residing in the United States with researchers who are approved to recruit potential research volunteers through the system. After an individual has self-registered to become a volunteer, ResearchMatch’s security features ensure that personal information is protected until volunteers authorize the release of their contact information to a specific study that may be of interest to them. Volunteers are notified electronically when they are a possible match and then make the decision regarding the release of their contact information. Even after you sign up with the registry, there is no obligation to participate in any particular study.
For the first year of the project, only researchers affiliated with the 52 participating Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) institutions are eligible to use ResearchMatch. However, plans are in place to make ResearchMatch available beyond the CTSA consortium by 2011. You can view a list of these participating institutions here: CTSA Institutions
To learn more about ResearchMatch and to register as a volunteer, visit: ResearchMatch.org.
Source: NIH News. 2009, November 10. NIH Announces First National Research Study Recruitment Registry. http://www.nih.gov/news/health/nov2009/ncrr-10.htm.
Published On: November 11, 2009