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How to do research studies from home

Are you thinking about volunteering for research but don’t want to visit a research office or clinic? You might live in rural area, have a busy schedule, or have other reasons why going to a research office is hard. At-home studies might be for you! Although some at-home studies can be done by mail, over the phone, or include a home visit by a nurse, many will involve using your computer or smartphone for online surveys or video visits. If you don’t feel confident using a computer or smartphone, ask the study team if they can give you some support.

How do at-home studies work?

During a typical in-person research study, you would need to travel to a research site to meet with staff and complete study activities. However, research doesn’t have to happen in a lab or clinic -- it can be done from the comfort of your home, office or even while you’re on vacation. Study activities like signing a consent form, having a check-up, filling out a survey, or meeting with a study team member are done over the phone, mobile device, app, or computer. If your study involves a drug or other kinds of supplies, it can be mailed right to your home. Keep in mind that even though you may not see anyone face-to-face, the study team will check in with you. You’ll be able to contact them at any point during the study if you have questions or concerns.

Why are there more at-home studies now than in the past?

You may be wondering what’s behind the trend toward studies done from home. This type of study has been slowly increasing and, because of COVID-19, it’s gaining popularity. For years, patient advocates have been pushing for at-home studies to make it easier for people to volunteer for research. Experts believe this type of study will continue long after the pandemic.

How can I find an at-home study?

On Research for Me, these studies are listed as “can be done completely online or from home.” You’ll find a wide range of options from studies that include surveys or interviews to those that are testing medical treatments. There are studies for healthy volunteers and people with medical conditions. Find a study you like? Click on the “I’m interested” button to contact the study team and learn more about it.

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