Regional Health Research
Research within Regional Health is conducted by physicians serving as principal investigators and/or sub-investigators to conduct clinical research trials with patients. Patients who take part in clinical trials have a unique opportunity to learn about advanced treatment in addition to the normal standard of care. It also means, as a volunteer, you are helping the development of medical therapies and treatments.
Research can be used to study the impact of a new medication or treatment, or be used to study the psychological impact of and help improve patient comfort and quality of life. Patients interested in clinical trials are encouraged to discuss this option with their physicians.
Current Clinical Trials:
Regional Health conducts research in the above areas through the following programs: Black Hills Cardiovascular Research, Regional Health Clinical Research, John T. Vucurevich Regional Cancer Care Institute and the Walking Forward Program at the Cancer Care Institute.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions on research and questions that may arise when thinking of participating in research. If you have more questions or want to speak to someone direct, call one of the research areas above and an experienced research personnel will help you with your questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Research Study?
A research study, also known as a trial or research experiment, is a way for physicians, researchers and scientists to collect and study information about a specific topic or concept.
Why is a research study important?
Research provides opportunities to build the foundation for the future of health care. The knowledge gained from research provides crucial insight into the development of new treatments. The vaccines that help prevent diseases, new cancer treatments, and medications that help manage diabetes or blood pressure are all examples of widely used medical treatments that are the outcome of clinical research. We would not have these medications available to us today without the efforts of research.
What benefits will I receive for participating in a study?
Most advances in research are made possible by the willingness of individuals to participate in research studies. Research studies need a variety of people to volunteer. Volunteering to be involved in a research study means you may receive new treatment options. While it is possible that you will not directly benefit from the study, you will be helping the development of medical therapies and treatments for people in the future.
What is informed consent?
Informed Consent is a process that starts prior to your actual participation in a research study and continues throughout your participation. The informed consent process is conducted to ensure a participant is provided information such as:
- purpose of the study;
- associated risks and benefits;
- treatments or alternative procedures that are available;
- length of the study; and
- rights of each participant
Part of the process includes an informed consent document. Reviewing the informed consent will also give the participant an opportunity to ask any questions or discuss concerns that might arise. If the participant agrees to all the information discussed, then the participant will sign the informed consent form.
Who can be a participant in a research study?
Most research studies have specific requirements or criteria the participant must meet before being able to participate in the study. The criteria are not used to reject people, but are used to identify the right person for the study and help keep them safe. The criteria also help researchers ensure they will be able to answer the questions they intend to study.
Who reviews a research study?
An Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is responsible for protecting the rights and welfare of people involved in research.
What is the Institutional Review Board?
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee of scientific, non-scientific and community members who volunteer to review and approve research studies. The IRB considers the risks and benefits to those who participate in research. The main goal of the IRB is to protect the rights and welfare of participants in research.
Can a participant leave a research study after it has begun?
Yes. A participant can leave a research study at any time. The process to withdraw from a research study is outlined in the informed consent form.
Who is involved in research studies?
All research studies are led by a Principal Investigator (PI). A PI is a medical professional who is overseeing the treatment and safety of patients in the research study. The PI may also have a research team. These members can include research assistants, nurses, data coordinators, statisticians and other skilled individuals. All research team members are educated in the protection of the research participants.
What kinds of procedures are involved in research studies?
Research studies can involve a wide variety of procedures. These might include answering questions, taking trial medicines or using new equipment. A research study can take a few minutes or several years. All procedures, processes, as well as the duration of the study, will be discussed in detail with the participant during the informed consent process.
What are the benefits to participating in a research study?
Not every participant will personally benefit from the research study. In some studies, you may directly benefit from the study drug or procedure. In other studies, you may be in the control group and receive a placebo drug and not notice any benefits. However, research studies provide valuable information, which helps researchers gather information about diseases or conditions. That information may benefit health care as a whole.
What are the risks to participating in a research study?
Research studies may involve some degree of risk. Some studies will have a minor risk; for example, filling out a survey with personal questions that may make you feel uncomfortable. Other studies may have higher risks; for example, taking study drugs with possible side effects. The research team will explain in detail during the informed consent process, the possible risks to you before you decide to participate in the study.
Where can I find more information about clinical research studies?
Research Participant's Bill of Rights
If you are interested in medical research about a specific disease or condition, you should speak with your physician about research studies for which you may qualify.