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What is Research?
The word 'research' means different things to different people, but it is essentially about finding out new knowledge that could lead to changes to treatments, policies or care.
Research helps us understand how to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure health problems. It focuses on people, and many clinical research studies, such as clinical trials, directly involve patients to test medicines or medical treatments.
Research helps us to understand how to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure health problems.
This type of research is based on examining and observing people with different conditions, and sometimes comparing them with healthy people. Other clinical studies may not involve patients, and instead use human samples (blood, tissue and cells). Or they might carry out tests such as X-rays, or use existing information.
"I guess we all as individuals want to know more about our world, and as a society and as different communities we want to know more about our world.Research is important because it helps to understand more about things. But it also helps because it might test out something that people are wanting to use, or a new treatment or service. Is this one going to help people more than another one? Is this treatment actually going to make people better more quickly?"
You can find out further information on research from the following resources:
- INVOLVE's Public Information Pack - Vol 1 Section 2 - Research Unravelled
- NHS Choices - Clinical Trials and Medical Research
- UKCRC - Understanding Clinical Trials
- healthtalkonline - Experiences of Clinical Trials
Page last edited: 08 July 2011