Communicating the results is an essential step in any clinical research study because:
- Sharing information about specific findings of the study with participants can help to inform their future health decisions or improve their health status
- Sharing information about potential treatments or interventions with the medical community enables health care providers to change their clinical practices, a process that ultimately helps patients and families
- Sharing research data and findings with other researchers allows them to answer related scientific questions or ask new ones for further study
- Sharing information about risks associated with certain conditions or from interventions used in those who have certain features with the general public can empower people to adopt healthy lifestyles and reduce their own health risks
Communicating study findings can occur in different ways, including (but not limited to) publishing a report, noting a finding in a community newsletter, issuing a news release, holding a news conference, presenting at a meeting or conference, publishing an abstract, or creating a brochure.
For most federally funded researchers, publishing an article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal is their primary way to communicate their results. To go through the peer-review process, other experts in the field review the data to make sure the findings are scientifically sound and that the research was conducted within the applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines before the paper is accepted for publication. This process is yet another way to ensure that research is appropriate and conducted ethically.
Resources for communicating the results
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