Community Connect to Research is an educational resource that can be effectively used by clinical investigators who need a high quality resource for educating patients and their families about clinical research.
Community Connect to Research was launched as a Harvard Catalyst resource in April 2009, as part of our Public Communication Initiative. The Initiative has evolved into a partnership among all four Massachusetts-based, NIH-funded clinical and translational science centers, at Boston University, Harvard University, Tufts University, and, most recently, the University of Massachusetts.
The site consists of several major sections:
- In the Health Information section, patients can read about various health topics written specifically for them and their families. Each of these health topics is linked with ongoing research studies in Massachusetts. Doctors and their patients can view the related studies while browsing through individual health topics and articles, or can search all the ongoing studies in Massachusetts. The search is a Massachusetts-focused view into the national clinical trials database, ClinicalTrials.gov. Users will also find health resources that have been provided by the hospitals that are part of the Collaborative for Community Engagement and Research, including all of the Harvard-affiliated hospitals.
- The Understanding Health Research section explains what health research is and its importance to everyone, the different types of health research there are and what research is going on right now, the risks and benefits of participating in clinical trials, and, finally, what individuals should consider if they are thinking about participating.
- The Health Research in Massachusetts section has examples of how researchers, community organizations, and community members are working together in the research process. In this section users can also search for ongoing clinical studies in Massachusetts.