The ultimate outcome of overall survival or a better quality of life is the end results of a clinical research which includes a complex interaction between the patient, treatment and the healthcare unit.
Defining and measuring the benefits of clinical research is the core purpose of any healthcare system for supporting a research infrastructure and this is very challenging. Healthcare professionals, makers of policies and the public recognize that clinical trials and studies are significant, and are broadly supportive, about the same.
Some mechanisms via which outcomes can be improved in clinical research settings:
Improvements in infrastructure
Infrastructure means the attributes of the setting in which the care is given to the accommodation, equipment and personnel. To run a clinical research needs physical infrastructure like space and specialized devices and services to perform research-based activities. While the infrastructure is used for research-related activities, it is to mention that once the research is over, the infrastructure remains.
Participation in clinical trials might get you to an early access to new technologies like novel surgical techniques or medications, which might be applied to non-research participants earlier than in institutions which didn’t participate in the research.
The other things about infrastructure are human capital. Doctors, nurses and other related health professionals who practice in research environments might be systematically different than their peers in non-research settings and might deliver better care.
Processes of care
The methods of care towards the patient can have a real impact on the outcomes and it is possible that such methods differ a lot between research-related and non-research related settings or practitioners.
Other benefits of research activity
The value of negative research is often overlooked, but some are quite important in terms of the costs, resource utilization, and side effects which are commonly associated with new, more technological or more complex interventions.
Moreover, the execution of clinical research programmes in an institution, region or nation is thought to be helpful in keeping excellent and gifted clinical experts and scientists, who might otherwise move in other fields or sectors.
The evaluation approaches
Knowing the connection between clinical research and its impacts is quite nascent and hence is a rich field for novel assessment approaches. An essential thing is that we must not be making assumptions about real representations. Opinion-based making of policies is the dominant culture and that holds evidence about a positive relationship between research activity and better outcomes.
Cancer research provides a rich area for studying the need of changes associated with infrastructures like surgery-imaging-pathology; medicines; radiotherapy and organizational aspects like the multi-disciplinary care.
Assessment the link between care and research is complicated. But several quantitative and qualitative approaches like cultural transmission, scientometrics, and tools of social systems exist but need ‘translating’ into the study of cancer research and patient outcomes. Cultural transmission theory could also be used to assess how research and healthcare professionals forward the knowledge laterally and horizontally and how this can change clinical management.
In short, how complex systems keep their integrity appears dependent on their capacity to co-adapt through good feedback loops. As a system, the relationship between cancer research and patient outcomes is neither linear nor necessarily positive.
Impact of patient characteristics
Patient and disease characteristics impact strongly on outcomes and it is possible that there are systematic differences as well. Social determinants of health like education and income are related to results in many areas of medicine. Often, patients with poor or lesser education, have worse outcomes: they might at a later stage, have worse health or have less reach out to care or simply do not navigate the system well. To mention, to make adjustments for case-mix, which includes both medical and social characteristics, will be essential in any studies that assess differences in outcomes of care between institutions in connection to research activities.
It is significant to measure the benefits related to clinical research but little empiric work has been yet done in this area. With mention about the costs of research, additional studies to realize the impact of research on health care results are essential and offer an opportunity for the use of innovative evaluation methods.
With this, we conclude.
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