What to expect in a research study

The first step to participating in a research study is a brief phone interview, which will help us determine whether any of our studies might be appropriate for you. If eligible, we would invite you in for an initial screening visit. Please call the appropriate program for this phone interview.

The initial visit for all of our studies typically takes two to three hours and involves a medical and psychiatric history, as well as lab work to ensure that you are healthy and eligible for the study. At this visit, the research staff will review the specific risks and benefits of entering research.

The type and number of visits after the initial appointment varies depending on which study you enroll in. Our studies currently range from eight weeks to six months in length. You will typically be asked to come in about once a week to meet your doctor for assessment or treatment. The length of these visits depends on the study. You may also fill out some questionnaires and have your vital signs taken to ensure that you are healthy.

See more here about what it means to participate in research.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will my privacy be protected if I enroll in a research study at your clinic?
We are committed to protecting your privacy. All study data will be labeled with a unique study ID code, rather than any information that could be used to identify you such as your name or date of birth. Signed consent forms and any correspondence containing your name or information that could be used to identify you will be stored in a locked cabinet. At your first appointment with us, we will give you the Partners Notice for Use and Sharing of Protected Health Information, which gives more details about how your privacy is protected. The consent form of the study in which you are participating will also contain this information.

Will my participation in a research study go on my medical record?
No. If you choose to enroll in a study at our clinic, information from your hospital or office health records within the Partners HealthCare System that are reasonably related to the conduct and oversight of the research study may be accessed during the course of the study. If health information is needed from your doctors or hospitals outside Partners, you will be asked to give permission for your medical records to be sent to us.

Will my insurance company be notified of my participation in a research study?

Is there any cost to me for participating in a research study?
No, there is no cost to you or your health insurance company for you taking part in a study.

Is there compensation for participating in a research study?
Evaluation and study treatment are provided at no cost. Some but not all studies additionally provide nominal compensation for your time.

Can I be seen through your clinic as a private patient?
Our clinic provides treatment through research studies. If you are interested in being seen outside of research, please call Psychiatric Triage: 617-724-7792. Please note that generally you must have a primary care physician at MGH to be seen in the outpatient clinics (non- research) in the Psychiatry Department. If you do not have a primary care physician at MGH, please see our list of referrals.

Can children or adolescents be seen at the clinics?
Most patients we treat are 18 or older. If you are under 18 or looking for treatment for your child, you can find more information here.



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