Participate in a Research Study
About research participation
The research studies we conduct at the CPFRC fall into two main categories: mechanistic studies, which explore the pathophysiology of these illnesses; and intervention studies, which explore how symptoms respond to various forms of treatment. The purpose of all our studies is to improve our understanding of fibromyalgia and related chronic multisymptom illnesses, and to advance treatment interventions.
We do not encourage patients to participate in research primarily with the hope of obtaining treatment and/or relief of symptoms. We cannot guarantee, nor do we promise, that any individual who participates in one of our intervention studies will receive the treatment at hand. The nature of research is to follow strict protocols with respect to random assignment and blinding.
- Random assignment: Simply defined, participants are assigned by the virtual flip of a coin to either the group that receives treatment or the group that does not receive treatment. Participants do not choose the group to which they would like to be assigned.
- Blinding: This technique ensures neither the researchers nor participants know who is receiving the study treatment and who is not until all participants have completed the study.
These methods are in place to prevent researchers and participants from biasing or skewing the results. While good and necessary, these methods remove the ability to choose who gets what treatment.
That said, many of our past volunteers have described feeling satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment after participating in one of our research studies. And they should! Their contribution makes a huge difference, and we appreciate every one of our volunteers who devoted time and honest effort to our research endeavors. Without willing volunteers, research and advances in medicine would be nearly impossible.
For general information about research participation, including protection of research participants’ rights, additional resources about informed consent and reasons to participate in research, visit the U-M Institutional Review Board site for Research Participants.