Understanding Health Research

This section of Community Connect to Research will help you become more familiar with the health research process and how you might get involved. Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions, including:

You may have heard the term health research—or other terms, such as clinical trials, medical research, or medical studies—in the news or on television, and you may even know someone who is conducting or participating in research. While we may not always be aware of it, health research affects our daily lives. It has led to many improvements in our health.

Because of the outcomes of past health research, Community Connect to Research is able to provide you with high-quality health information. For instance, the information about diabetes located in the Health Topics section is due to the research discovery of insulin by scientists years ago. In 1922, insulin was given for the first time to save a young boy's life. Insulin has since improved the lives of countless people with diabetes around the world. Without continued progress in health research, we would not be able to further our knowledge of the causes, treatments, and cures of diseases. This website allows patients and families like you to have access to the most current health information.

When you visit your doctor or drug store, the advice and treatments they provide have been shaped by past research. Knowing how research is conducted can therefore help you understand why certain advice and treatments are offered. As a result, you can become a more informed patient. We hope this will help you feel more confident about the health decisions you make.

Health research impacts our everyday life. For instance, daily walking has been shown in health research to be an important factor in preventing the onset of many diseases. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from "Stories of Prevention Research"