Volunteering for a Clinical Research Study
Our understanding of glaucoma and its treatment are continually improving, but there is still much to discover.
Some types of research into glaucoma need volunteers with glaucoma, including genetic studies, studies conducted following glaucoma drainage surgery and clinical research studies of new tests, eye drops or surgery for glaucoma. From time to time, Glaucoma New Zealand funds glaucoma research that is dependent on volunteer participants.
The success of these studies is totally dependent on volunteer individuals being willing to take part
What do people get out of being a participant in a research study?
Some people appreciate the chance to learn more about their own health and the disease being studied. Sometimes people can gain access to newer treatments before they become widely available, or sometimes it is just the knowledge that they are helping improve the health of future generations. For some types of research there may be compensation payments/koha made to participants for expenses such as parking and/or transport costs, and occasionally for time.
Are there any risks to people being a participant in a research study?
There are some risks involved in any clinical research, as there is with everything we do in life, including our routine medical care. However, risks from being involved in a research study will have been identified beforehand. These will be described in the information sheet all participants will get to read before they agree to being involved in the research.
In order to protect the safety and privacy of study participants, all health research studies involving people in New Zealand are subject to legal and regulatory considerations and are carefully considered by ethics committees and the institutions in which the researchers work before the studies can commence.
What would I have to do for the research study?
This will entirely depend on the particular research study and will be detailed in the information sheet for that study. For example, it could be just one phone call to answer a few questions about how your eye felt after a treatment at the eye clinic the previous day, or participants may be seen regularly for 6 months to test a new formulation of eye drops, or participants may be asked to donate some blood or other tissue for analysis.
How do I know if I am suitable for a research study?
The study inclusion requirements will be different for each study, and some people may not be suitable for certain clinical studies, particularly if they have serious underlying health conditions or other eye diseases. The researchers will discuss inclusion criteria with you in more detail. Just because you are not suitable for a particular clinical study does not exclude you from other types of glaucoma research
Can I change my mind about being involved in a research study?
You can change your mind at any time before the study starts or during the course of the study. There is never any obligation to be involved, or continue to be involved, in any research study. You do not have to give any reasons for not participating and your future health care will not be affected by your decision not to participate in any study.