Studies provide a way to improve current treatments, and to find new approaches to treat or even prevent mental illnesses and addictions. Study participants are important in contributing to these goals.Click the questions to get to the answers below.
What are the benefits of taking part in a study?
What is it like to participate in research?
How has research been used to improve care?
Why join a study that offers no health benefits or treatment?
Are there any risks?
Some of the positive experiences of participating may be:
Playing a more active role in your health care
Receiving a treatment that works for you
Learning more about your condition
Receiving regular and careful attention to your health from an experienced team
Accessing new treatments before they are widely available
You can read stories of some of the people who participated in research in CAMH.
If you think about the wide range of treatments available for health problems in general – from headaches to cancer to diabetes – they all have one thing in common. We know they work because people participated in research in the past.
At CAMH, we have hundreds of studies underway at any given time, which are helping us to advance our understanding of mental illnesses and addictions and improve treatments. You can read two examples of research studies that are leading to changes in care for people with depression and individuals with schizophrenia.
The reason we do research into mental health and substance use problems is because the treatments we have today don't work for everyone. In some cases, the studies taking place now could help you personally.
Other studies may have no immediate benefit, but they contribute to making treatments better in the future and increasing our understanding.
While we encourage anyone who is interested to take part in research, remember that the decision to participate is yours. Your decision should be based on your needs, interests, beliefs and expectations.
If you join a study, the research team will outline any specific risks or drawbacks. Depending on the kind of study, these experiences may include:
Receiving a treatment that may not work for you
Side effects that cause discomfort or more serious consequences
Receiving a sham or current treatment, rather than a new intervention, if you are part of the comparison (control) group
Completing many clinic visits, questions or assessments, which could be time-consuming and invasive
No personal or immediate health benefits
No long-term therapeutic relationship