slideshow widget

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How to join an asthma study

The following was originally published at on July 24, 2015.

Should You Join An Asthma Study

One of the neat things about living with asthma today is there are a ton of studies going on to make things better for us; to find better medicines; to find an eventual cure. We should all at least think about participating in one of these, as the wisdom obtained can make breathing easier not just for us, but for asthmatics of the future.

Thirty years ago, as an asthma patient as National Jewish Health, I volunteered to participate in a study. At the time I was diagnosed with “High Risk Asthma.” As part of the study, basically all I did was do pulmonary function tests once a week for two or three months. Of course I was a kid at the time, so I have no idea what the study entailed. Yet, I felt it was my duty as an asthmatic to help out the cause.

More recently, my good friend Stephen Gaudet, author of, told me about his experience as a participant in the Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP), and tried to convince me to participate. I was actually accepted, except at the time I just couldn’t arrange for a babysitter and to get off work. It kind of makes me sad, because I really wanted to help.

Severe asthma is a type of asthma that doesn’t respond well to traditional asthma treatment, and before SARP very little was known about it. The study, which is complete now, was nice because it gave current severe asthmatics an opportunity to help out future severe asthmatics, and perhaps themselves too.

Stephen highly recommends that all asthmatics consider participating in a study. He said:

“It’s time to end the suffering that this horrendous disease causes. There’s a lot of promising research going on right now, but they can’t go forward without human test subjects. I know it can be difficult to find the time required to get involved, but many of these studies will compensate you for your efforts…some will even pay your travel expenses.”

There are a couple websites dedicated to helping you find a study that is right for you.
If you are interested and have never participated in a study before, Stephen offers the following advice. He said, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • What is required of me?
  • What is my role in the study?
  • Will the study directly help me?
  • Will the study benefit others?
  • Are there risks? If so, what are they and what are the chances that they will occur
  • What discomforts are involved?
  • What is the total time involved?
  • Are there other inconveniences?
  • Have I discussed participation in the study with those who are important to me, such as family and friends?
  • Do I wish to participate in this study?
We, as asthmatics, are in a unique position today compared to the past. In the past our disease was relatively ignored in favor of other diseases. Today, however, especially in light of the fact that asthma rates continue to climb, asthma is a disease that is in the forefront.

Scientists, researchers, pharmaceuticals are working overtime to help us and future asthmatics live better with asthma. They need our help so they can better do their jobs. So please consider participating in one of the many ongoing asthma research programs.

Stephen concludes by saying: “If volunteering is not for you and you have a few extra bucks, consider making a financial contribution to an asthma research program of your liking. Scientific research requires money… and lots of it!"

Oh, and if you have ever participated in an asthma research program, please let us know how it went and what you learned in the comments below. If we've peaked your interest, we'd like to know that too. Thank you!

To learn more, check out the following:

No comments: