Clinical Research

What is Clinical Research?

The National Institutes of Health defines “clinical research” as research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual.Clinical research includes:

  • Patient-oriented research – This type of research involves a particular person or group of people, or uses materials from humans. This research can include 1) mechanisms of human disease, 2) therapeutic interventions, 3) clinical trials, and 4) development of new technologies
  • Epidemiological and behavioral studies – These types of studies examine the distribution of disease, the factors that affect health, and how people make health-related decisions.
  • Outcomes and health services research – These studies seek to identify the most effective and most efficient interventions, treatments, and services.
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