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

s involving questions related to nutrition and mental illness; lower for studies involving exposure to a new medicine or vaccine.

The poll found that 43 percent of parents were willing to have their children participate in a study testing a new vaccine and 49 percent testing a new medicine. But 79 percent said they would allow their children to participate in studies on mental health, and 85 percent in studies involving eating or nutrition.

The National Poll on Children's Health has been measuring levels of participation by children in medical research since 2007. The proportion of families whose children have taken part in research has not changed over this time period from 4 percent in 2007, to 5 percent in 2011, to 5 percent in this latest poll.

"Five percent of families with children participating may not be enough to support important research efforts that the public has identified in previous polls things like cures and treatments for childhood cancer, diabetes and assessing the safety of medications and vaccines," says Davis, who also is professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

"But the results indicate that a much bigger percentage of the public does understand the importance of medical research to advancing healthcare for children."

Researchers often struggle to get enough people to participate in studies that can make a real difference in healthcare discoveries, particularly when it comes to research for children.

"This poll shows that the research community needs to step up and find ways to better reach parents about opportunities for children to participate, answer parents' questions about benefits and risks of participation, and potentially broaden the types of studies available," Davis says.


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Contact: Mary Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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