There’s no doubt about it, when you mention kids and clinical research in the same sentence, you can be sure there will be a certain amount of misunderstanding and stigma that follows. Clinical research studies help us find better ways to detect, prevent, and treat different medical conditions. The volunteers that participate in studies help determine if these potential new options are safe and effective. Our goal in this blog is not to convince you to have your child participate in a study. Instead, we hope to help you understand children’s vital role in research by answering some commonly asked questions.
Why are Research Studies for Children Needed?
Children’s needs differ from that of adults. They need different dosages, device sizes, and therapeutic approaches that match their growing bodies and minds. There are also child-specific diseases that don’t affect adults.
What are the Reasons Children are Enrolled in Studies?
If a disease doesn’t have a standard of care for a child, any treatment would be based on adults’ plans. Clinical research studies help create standards of care specific to children where there was previously none. Also, families with chronic illnesses may genuinely desire to help improve options for their disease. Most studies offer diagnostic testing and care at no cost, where those may not have been an option before.
What are the Benefits and Risks of Participating?
Research studies are conducted because the best treatment for the disease is unknown, or it is believed the new therapy may work better than current options. Because of this, benefits and risks will vary with each study.
Possible benefits include:
- May provide information that improves the future healthcare of children.
- Potential access to new therapies not available to everyone. These may be better than the current options.
- Gain a better understanding of their condition.
- Possibility of experiencing adverse side effects.
- The treatment may not be effective.
- May not have the schedule for all needed study visits.
Pediatric Clinical Research at Cedar Health
Participating in clinical research may not be for every family. Here at Cedar Health, we take pride in our state-of-the-art facility and care with every patient’s safety a priority. Our pediatric research department is led by principal investigators Dr. Kravitz and Dr. Fink. Here is a little more about them:
Dr. Michelle Kravitz is a board-certified physician specializing in pediatrics. As Principal Investigator at Cedar Health Research and over 25 years of pediatric practice experience, Dr. Kravitz brings her vast expertise, knowledge, and passion to the team.
Ezekiel Fink M.D. is a Harvard trained physician with triple board certifications in neurology, pain medicine, and brain injury medicine. Dr. Fink’s clinical research pain fellowship focused on developing objective markers for pain in various disease states including pediatric pain syndromes. Since completing training, he has published, trained, and lectured on the assessment of nerve diseases.
To learn more about involving your child in research studies, or to get more information on our upcoming pediatric migraine study here at Cedar Health, call (214) 253-8170.