Frequently Asked Questions For Parents

A research study is a scientific way to improve or develop new methods of health care. Studies are designed to answer specific questions about how to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases and disorders. Many types of research studies exist. For example, clinical trials test new medicines or devices. Other studies use interviews or surveys to understand health or behavior.
Before a medicine, device, or treatment can be used in the general population, it goes through a lot of safety testing. Then it is tested in adults to see how well it works. Because children are smaller and their bodies aren’t fully developed, medicines that benefit adults may not always work the same way in children. Some conditions, like arthritis, don’t look the same in children as they do in adults. Other diseases only affect children. Research is the best way to advance medical care for children so we can learn how to better diagnose, treat, and prevent the diseases that affect them.
Studies listed in Pitt+Me need participants of all ages. Parents must enroll their children who are under the age of 18 for Pitt+Me.
  • All research studies in the United States must be approved and monitored by a group of people called an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is made up of scientists, doctors and community people. They review studies to help make sure that study participants will be as safe as possible.
  • Participants must be given complete information about the research study. They must also give their informed consent before taking part in the study.
  • The University of Pittsburgh has a Human Subject Protection Advocate (1-866-212-2668). Study participants can contact the Advocate for answers to questions about their rights as study volunteers.

These methods of protection do not eliminate all possibility of risk. They do help to ensure study participants will be as safe as possible.