What is a Research Study?
A research study is a scientific way to develop new methods of health care or to improve upon already existing methods. Researchers come up with a specific question they want to answer – this might be about ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases and disorders. There are many different types of research studies. For example, clinical trials may test new medications or medical devices on a group of participants. Other studies use interviews or surveys in order to learn about the health or behaviour of participants. Other studies may follow groups of participants over a very long period of time, such as months or years, in order to examine changes over time. The design of a research study depends on the specific question that is being asked, and in order to find the best answer there is very careful planning involved in designing research studies.
Why are Research Studies Important?
Research studies are important because they contribute to our knowledge of diseases and disorders, and can impact the best ways to treat and manage such health issues. Carefully conducted research is necessary to make sure that ideas are supported by evidence and that treatments and therapies are safe and effective.
What Sort of Research Does the Offord Centre Do?
The Offord Centre is a multi-disciplinary research institute, meaning we have researchers working in many different areas. For example, we have had researchers examine the mental health of immigrant students; another team has followed a group of survivors of extremely low birth weight; and another team studying a drug to treat symptoms of autism. For a list of all the studies currently underway by researchers at the Offord Centre, please click here.
What Are the Steps Involved in Conducting Research?
While every research study is different, all research has to follow the same basic steps. To learn about the research process, please click here.
How Can I Participate in Research?
One of the best ways to help support the Offord Centre for Child Studies and the research we do is to participate in a research study yourself! Research is dependent on volunteers willing to participate; their participation helps us gain important knowledge that can be used to help others in the future. Please click here for a list of studies currently recruiting participants.