Thomas Eye Group actively conducts ongoing clinical trials and studies for a variety of eye diseases and conditions. This gives our patients access to medications and devices in clinical development, and provides effective treatment of their particular disease or condition. The ultimate goal is to continue to improve a patient’s vision and overall quality of life.
Clinical studies have standards outlining who can participate, called eligibility criteria. These criteria are based on many factors, including age, medical history and current medical conditions. Some research studies seek participants who have the illnesses or conditions that will be studied. Other studies are looking for healthy participants. The best way to determine eligibility is by completing an examination with one of the physicians involved in the study.
Patients generally participate in clinical studies because they hope to benefit from the investigational use of a new procedure and because they want to contribute to research efforts that help find new methods to improve vision. Some patients participate to receive all study-related doctor visits, diagnostic testing and study treatments at no charge to them or their insurance company. Others benefit from the compensation involved for their time and travel.
Clinical studies conducted at Thomas Eye are monitored by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) that is charged with the protection of the rights and welfare of research participants. This independent committee of physicians, researchers, attorneys, community advocated, and others ensure that the clinical trial is ethical and the rights of study participants are protected. Before enrolling in a clinical study, patients will receive an informed consent document. This document helps people decide whether they want to enroll, or continue to participate, in the study. The informed consent process is intended to protect participants and should provide enough information for a person to understand the risks of, potential benefits of, and alternatives to the study. In general, a person must sign an informed consent document before entering a study to show that he or she was given information on risks, potential benefits, and alternatives and understands it. Signing the document and providing consent is not a contract. Participants may withdraw from a study at any time, even if the study is not over.
What are my rights as a research participant?
If you are asked to participate in a research study, you have the rights to:
At Thomas Eye Group, our study participants are very important to us, and we provide them with exceptional care and attention. We are always seeking participants for current and future studies. If you are interested in participating, please contact our research coordinator, Kathy Wynne, at 404-705-5750.