Skip to content

Why participating in research matters

Note: This post is written by the team of The ONE Group (Oncology – Nutrition – Exercise) at Penn State College of Medicine as part of a first-person blog about their work. Learn more about the group here.

The Community Health Equity and Engagement in Research (CHEER) team supports research across Penn State. CHEER makes sure that community voices, like patients, caregivers, advocates, and others, are part of the research process. This helps researchers study things that will benefit all communities.

Research would not be possible without our participants. However, you may be wondering, is research right for me? Perhaps the term “research” brings up uncomfortable thoughts or feelings. This is understandable – not all research has been conducted the way that it should, and we can’t ignore the past. The good news is that there are lots of rules in place now to protect research participants and ensure their safety. Also, not all research involves taking a new medication or wearing a device. You can participate in something as simple as filling out a survey, talking in a group with others who have had similar experiences or even doing some exercise – it all can help researchers understand thoughts, behaviors and biology that can lead to healthier lives. While not all research may have a direct benefit to you, you can contribute to tomorrow’s health discoveries. There’s a lot of power in that.

Participating in research is COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY. Even after you agree to participate, you can stop participating at any time. And while you are part of the study, you may receive compensation for your time. The information gathered about you during your participation will be kept confidential. This means that measures are put in place to keep your health information private.

There is a lot of research being conducted to help patients with cancer. Hear what some of our past study participants have to say about cancer research at Penn State:

“The Oncology, Nutrition and Exercise (ONE) Group at Penn State College of Medicine/Penn State Cancer Institute offers support physically, but also emotionally. I feel empowered as I take an active role in staying mobile and strong, regardless of my prognosis or current physical condition. Ms. Kanski’s prescribed plan is personally tailored to my ability, and she continues to modify and adjust as needed during my cancer treatment. I truly appreciate her flair for supporting clients with cheerful patience and compassion. Studies are proving better outcomes with movement, and it is exciting that current research is being applied and offered here. Thank you!”

Thinking about getting involved? Check out our volunteer repository on Study Finder, a one-stop shop to learn about research opportunities at Penn State. Signing up is easy. The only required information is your name, email address and date of birth. There are options to provide additional information if you are interested. Consider contributing to a healthier future today.

More from The ONE Group

If you're having trouble accessing this content, or would like it in another format, please email the Penn State College of Medicine web department.