Volunteering in Research

The Department of Veterans Affairs(VA) ranks as one of the nation’s leaders in health research. Thousands of studies are conducted at VA medical centers, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes each year. This research has significantly contributed to advancements in health care for Veterans and other Americans from every walk of life.


What is a research study?

A research study is an organized way of learning more about a problem or answering a question. A research study may be done to:

• Understand health needs, concerns, or feelings people have about an illness or their general health.

• Test if a product, such as a drug or piece of equipment, is safe and effective.

• Determine the best way to treat or prevent an illness.

• Find out what health care practices work best.

Like your medical record, the information in your research record will be kept confidential.

Are there benefits to being in a research study?

There may or may not be a direct benefit to your health or health condition if you take part in a research study. No one can predict the exact outcome of a research study or how it might affect you. The study may not help you personally, but your participation may provide information that will improve the lives of others in the future.