Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the Eye Institute

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

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Clinical and Translational Research Studies FAQ

Physicians and scientists are working hard to discover better treatments for blinding eye diseases, but none of their discoveries would be possible without the volunteers who take part in research programs worldwide.
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What are research studies
Research studies are carefully conducted tests of a treatment, device or new method within a patient population. Studies are conducted to better understand how to prevent, manage or treat different conditions. Nearly all major medical advances arise through research.
Why should I participate in a research study
Research studies provide ways to help improve vision care. When you take part in such programs, you are actively contributing to a better understanding of eye disease, which may help to develop more effective treatments in the future. Ultimately, the decision to participate in a study is a personal one.
What does the Eye Institute do to oversee study conduct and promote patient safety
An institutional review board (IRB) must review and approve every research study before it can begin. The IRB oversees all studies to make sure they are conducted properly, protect subject rights and well-being and follow applicable regulations.
Who can participate in Eye Institute research studies
All research studies have criteria explaining who can and cannot participate. These criteria may include factors such as age, gender, the type and severity of the eye condition, whether a person has received any previous treatments and whether they have any other medical conditions.

Many types of people can participate in research studies. While most people who participate have some type of eye condition, many studies also include healthy volunteers as comparators or to help us to establish databases on the structure and function of the visual system.
What are my responsibilities in a research study
In clinical trials investigating new treatments, study volunteers are monitored closely with thorough examinations on a regular basis. In order to provide the best care while keeping patient safety a priority, you are responsible for following study visit schedules, communicating with the study team, and providing updates on any changes in health.
What do I need to know before I decide to participate
Before you agree to volunteer for a study, information about the study will be given to you in writing and thoroughly reviewed with you so you can ask any questions before deciding to participate; this is called informed consent. You will be given time to review the information and discuss your choices with family or friends before making a decision to participate.
What if I decide not to participate in a research study
You should know that you will receive the customary, high standard of medical care whether or not you choose to participate in a research study. The decision to participate is yours to make. If you choose to take part in a study, you can leave at any time - just tell the study doctor.
How are my costs covered if I participate in a research study
Each study is different, so it is best to check with the study coordinator and with your insurance company to find out about any costs.
How do I find a research study that is appropriate for me
Ask your doctor about clinical trials and other research studies that are currently available for your condition. Since all studies have specific patient eligibility requirements, your care team can tell you if you qualify to participate.

Questions?

Please call (414) 955-7862 to speak with Eye Institute Clinical Research staff.