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What to expect when you participate in a study

Although every mental health study is different, most follow this basic process:

  1. As a first step, you’ll speak with a study coordinator about the goals, activities, and possible risks and benefits of the research.
  2. You’ll be able to ask any and all of the questions you may have.
  3. If you decide to participate, you’ll be asked to sign an Informed Consent Form, indicating that you understand the information presented by the study coordinator.
  4. At this point, you may be asked to complete psychological tests or tasks, fill out a questionnaire, or answer interview questions. Some studies look at the brain using imaging technologies (like MRIs or PET scans), or collect saliva or blood samples for DNA analysis.
  5. Some research studies involve talk therapy, medication, or another treatment like exercise. The study coordinator will tell you in advance what activities will be included.

If you feel uncomfortable with a study activity or simply don’t want to continue participating, you can withdraw from the study at any time, for any reason.