HOW TO BE INVOLVED
Know Your Health
Educating yourself on ‘you’ is the first step and is the most effective way to influence medical outcomes, understanding your own health. Research shows that those who take a proactive approach to their health generally fare better than those who do not. Arm yourself with knowledge about your medical condition, risk factors, symptoms and available treatment options.
Do Your Homework
If you are dealing with a medical condition, during your next visit, you can ask your physician about potential clinical trials for which you may qualify. Participation might provide access to cutting-edge treatments and ensure your condition will be closely monitored. You can also search for clinical trials by visiting www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Your medical team is your best resource, particularly as they are familiar with your medical history. Additionally, there are a lot of patient and clinical trial advocacy groups that can provide you with information about how clinical trials work, what considerations you should know about clinical trial participation and available discussion guides that can help you talk to your doctor about current research opportunities.
One initiative addressing this issue is the Boston Scientific Close the Gap program. This initiative aims to help eliminate cardiovascular care disparities by connecting people to resources and educational materials regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status or sexual identity. The goal is to help all patients understand their medical condition and the therapies available to help them live better lives. This includes broadening clinical trial enrollment. More information can be found at www.knowyourhealth.com.
Clinical trials make medical advances possible and diverse volunteers are needed to ensure treatments are safe and work for everyone. Through your participation, you can influence better health outcomes for yourself, your family and your community for generations to come.