There’s a new and improved way for people to get involved with clinical trials at Washington University School of Medicine. Volunteer for Health, the university’s organization for clinical study recruitment, is now using an improved web site backed by a more sophisticated database management system. Called the Research Participant Registry (RPR), the new system offers volunteers better access to clinical trials and gives researchers more powerful tools for recruiting participants.
The School of Medicine has more than 1,500 clinical trials under way at a given time, and 1,000 new trials begin each year. Participants who are healthy and those who have medical conditions are needed from every race, ethnicity and age group to advance medical care for everyone. The RPR is an ideal way for people to connect to studies that fit their needs and interests.
Potential volunteers can register at vfh.wustl.edu where they will complete a 15-minute questionnaire listing contact information, health history and current medications. With that data, the registry can match volunteers with appropriate studies. Then interested individuals can either wait to be contacted as studies come up, or they can choose from a list of studies matched to them.
“Becoming a trial participant certainly has many benefits,” says Katherine J. Mathews, MD, medical director of Volunteer for Health.
“People can learn more about their own health through diagnostic screenings that are part of an individual study. But above all, it’s an important way for people to help their families, communities and others by ensuring continued progress in preventing, diagnosing and treating disease,” Dr. Matthews says.