700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Exploring Pediatric Clinical Research

Oct 10, 2023
Nationwide Children's Hospital Researcher

Clinical research may sound like a complex topic, but it all starts with a simple question. Clinical research involves the study of people, data or tissue samples to understand children’s health and diseases. It’s the foundation for medical advancement and plays a large role in improving health outcomes for children, teenagers and families. The goal of clinical research is to find better ways to detect, diagnose, treat and prevent illness.

Pediatric Clinical Trials

Children aren’t miniature adults; they have unique healthcare needs and sometimes have different diseases. Pediatric clinical trials allow healthcare providers to tailor treatments specifically to children, considering their distinct physiological and developmental characteristics. These carefully designed experiments test new therapies and treatments to determine their safety and effectiveness in pediatric populations.

Due to the vulnerable nature of this population, additional safety and ethical considerations are taken into consideration for pediatric clinical trials. Children may struggle to grasp the purpose or risks of participation, so researchers obtain informed consent from parents, prioritizing the safety and well-being of their young participants.

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Participating in Clinical Trials

Researchers often have specific requirements when enrolling participants, and recruit patients from a variety of places. If you are interested in enrolling your child in a clinical trial, speak with your doctor and care team for more information. They can refer you to the appropriate investigator.

Benefits of Clinical Research

  • Deeper understanding of diseases and conditions in children: Pediatric research deepens our knowledge of diseases or conditions that affect children and aids care teams in more accurate diagnoses and treatments.
  • Better treatments and care, designed especially for children: Clinical trials can lead to the discovery of new, more effective treatments for pediatric diseases. This translates to children receiving better care and treatments that are adapted to suit children’s specific healthcare requirements, with fewer side effects.
  • Prevention of disease and injury to help children stay healthy: Clinical research benefits not only healthcare professionals but also parents and families, contributing to better care and support for children. It drives medical advancement, ensuring a healthier future for generations to come.

Sharing Results of Clinical Research

Sharing research is essential to the progress of pediatric medicine. This includes publishing in scientific journals, presenting findings at conferences and using social media to share information quickly to the public and medical communities. This helps ensure that groundbreaking research reaches the families and communities that need it the most.

Pediatric clinical research is a pathway toward providing the best possible healthcare for children. It relies on the participation and dedication of patients, families, clinical teams and researchers who understand the importance of advancing pediatric medicine for the future of children’s healthcare.

Research at Nationwide Children's Hospital
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Featured Expert

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional
Cynthia A. Gerhardt, PhD

Cynthia A. Gerhardt, PhD, is a psychologist in the Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital, director of the Center for Biobehavioral Health at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, and a Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Myeshia Harmon

Myeshia Harmon is the Director Clinical Research Operations at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

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Pediatric News You Can Use From America’s Largest Pediatric Hospital and Research Center

700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.