About Clinical Research

In order for our researchers to better understand mental illness, it is often critical for them to work closely with the people who are living with it. 

Research conducted at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR) largely depends on volunteers from our community, who become important partners in clinical studies.

These studies help bring researchers closer to unlocking the mysteries of the human brain, which can lead to new and effective ways to prevent, detect, identify, manage and treat depression and related conditions.

Help us to improve mental health care at The Royal and around the world: Participate in research today.

 

Who can participate in a clinical study?

Our researchers recruit both healthy volunteers and those living with mental illness for their studies. 

Why participate in a clinical study?

Healthy volunteers often say they participate to help others, to contribute to moving science forward, and to help play a role in shaping the future of mental health care. 

Those living with mental illness also participate to help others and to help shape the future of mental health care. Participation in research can also mean potential access to some of the latest, cutting-edge treatments; the opportunity for participants to play a more active role in their own mental health care; and in some cases, the opportunity to try a new therapy option that may compliment current treatment. 

What's involved in a clinical study?

Clinical research can take many forms, and participation can involve anything from completing a questionnaire or survey, to taking part in a drug or device trial. 

Clinical research also recruits participants to better understand non-drug, non-invasive treatment alternatives, and can involve participation in brain imaging studies, aerobic exercise programs, cognitive therapies using virtual reality technologies, and much more.

Is clinical research safe?

Clinical research conducted at The Royal is closely monitored and regulated to ensure the safety of all participants. 

Each clinical study is closely reviewed by our Research Ethics Board (REB) to ensure that the study respects and protects the welfare of research participants. 

Our REB adheres to the three core principles of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans:

  • Respect for Persons
  • Concern for Welfare
  • Justice
What is consent? How does it work?

Ethical research requires that participant consent be informed, voluntary and ongoing. This means that people can only consent (agree) to take part in a study if they understand the research, and what is being asked of them. It also means that people understand the benefits and potential risks of participating in research. 

All clinical research studies at The Royal ask for voluntary consent, meaning that people agree to participate without any type of pressure, and may withdraw their consent at any time. 

You may consent to participate in research at the beginning of a study, for instance, but then change your mind later. If you wish to no longer participate in a research study at any point, you may stop. You will not be required to provide any reason as to why you changed your mind.  

How can I participate?

If you would like to take part in a particular study, you may want to speak with your doctor during your next visit about referring you, to determine if you are eligible. Some studies also accept self-referral (by participants). 

Click here to view a list of our actively recruiting studies.

Individuals interested in learning more about potential research opportunities can also sign up anytime for The Royal’s clinical research registry. By adding your name to this secure registry, we can get in touch with you about upcoming research activities that you may be eligible for. 

If you have questions, or would like any additional information about taking part in clinical research, contact Tammy Beaudoin (tammy.beaudoin@theroyal.ca).

I don’t want to participate in a study/I am not eligible. Are there other ways I can get involved with research?

There are a number of other ways to get involved with clinical research at The Royal. 

In today’s mental health environment, researchers regularly look to patients, families and community members to provide insight into what important research questions most critically require answers, and what gaps currently exist in terms of treatment. 

Getting involved in research could mean participation on a committee or advisory group, or helping researchers to develop study ideas. 

Expressing interest by adding your name to The Royal’s clinical research registry is an important first step. 

How can I learn more? 

For more information and resources about clinical research, click here.