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Information for Research Volunteers

What does it mean to be a volunteer?

The health of millions has been improved because of advances in science and technology. These advances would not have been possible without the altruism and willingness of thousands of individuals who have volunteered to take part in clinical research. This information is prepared to help prepare volunteers who wish to understand what is involved in participate in clinical research.

Volunteer participating in clinical research

The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) is one of the nation's foremost centres for psychiatric research, studies involving volunteer subjects (patients and clinical research volunteers) are carried out in IMH. Volunteer subjects at IMH become partner in a special relationship with members of the research teams in their search for a better understanding of mental illnesses, and for better ways to treat them.

What is clinical research?

Healthy volunteers, as well as volunteers who have a particular illness or condition, can help research doctors and scientists better understand, diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure mental illness. Research studies may involve drugs, devices, interventions or tests designed to prevent, treat, cure or diagnose diseases. The research is planned to help others and may not benefit any one individual directly. Volunteers will be compensated for their time.

What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a means of developing new treatments and medications for diseases and conditions. There are strict rules for clinical trials, which are monitored by the National Healthcare Group-Domain Specific Review Boards (NHG-DSRB) and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), the drug-regulating body of Singapore, where applicable, especially when the research involves new drugs.

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