Clinical research

Clinical research is conducted on people to better understand, diagnose, prevent and treat diseases. Participants are usually patients, but may also include former patients and people who are well.

See Clinical trials for more information.

The different areas of clinical research

Human participation – Studies require contact with patients and/or healthy volunteers. Examples include clinical trials and surveys of people using questionnaires.

Record-based studies – These access personal data without involving any face-to-face contact. An example is an examination of patients’ medical records.

Clinical samples – Laboratory studies examine human material such as blood or tissue obtained during surgery, from tissue sampling (biopsy) or in a post-mortem (autopsy).

Technology development – Researchers develop or adapt technology for diagnosis and therapies.

This information was last reviewed in May 2015
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