Academic journal article Creative Nursing

A Patient's Experience as a Research Participant

Academic journal article Creative Nursing

A Patient's Experience as a Research Participant

Article excerpt

The author presents a brief synopsis of an interview with a research participant, highlighting the individual's insights and recommendations both for participants and for researchers.

What is it like to be a research participant? In the news, we only seem to hear about the life of a research participant if some irrevocable harm has occurred, whereas in reality numerous individuals have been profoundly helped by research. As a research assistant I have heard many participants say their involvement in research has been a positive one. I interviewed one such individual about his insight into what it was like to participate in a study on peripheral arterial disease.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) involves buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the legs, decreasing the flow of oxygen to the leg muscles. On exercise, individuals experience leg pain, or claudication, due to the reduced blood flow. The study in which my interviewee was enrolled, entitled "Exercise Training for Claudication," was funded by the American Heart Association and the University of Minnesota's Academic Health Center, and consisted of a 12-week supervised exercise training program and a 12-week follow-up. The principal investigator, Dr. Diane Treat-Jacobson, initiated the study to examine the effectiveness of different modes of aerobic exercise in reducing pain when walking in individuals with PAD.

The interviewee's experience of participating in a research study was, on the whole, a very positive one. The most difficult aspects of the study for him were following the exercise prescription when it became more challenging and sacrificing his time to come in for training 3 days a week. …

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