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Medical research needs kids, but two-thirds of parents unaware of opportunities
Date:11/26/2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. To improve healthcare for children, medical research that involves kids is a must. Yet, only five percent of parents say their children have ever participated in any type of medical research, according to a new University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

However, in this month's poll, nearly one-half of parents said they are willing to have their children take part in research that involved testing a new medicine or a new vaccine, if their child had the disease being studied. More than three-quarters of parents are willing to have their children participate in research involving questions about mental health eating or nutrition.

The poll surveyed 1,420 parents with a child aged 0 to 17 years old, from across the United States.

According to the poll, parents who are aware of medical research opportunities are more likely to have their children take part. But awareness is an issue: more than two-thirds of those polled indicated that they have never seen or heard about opportunities for children to participate in medical research.

"Children have a better chance of living healthier lives because of vaccinations, new medications and new diagnostic tests. But we wouldn't have those tools without medical research," says Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., director of the National Poll on Children's Health and professor of pediatrics and internal medicine in the University of Michigan Health System..

"With this poll, we wanted to understand parents' willingness to allow their children to participate in medical research. The good news is that willingness is far higher than the current level of actual engagement in research. This means there is great opportunity for the medical research community to reach out to families and encourage them to take part in improving medical care."

In the poll, the willingness to have children take part differed by the type of studyhigher for studie
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Contact: Mary Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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