Clinical Research Department
To improve symptom management and quality of life.
The research department was founded in 2005 as a way to enhance the services Four Seasons provides to the residents of Henderson, Buncombe, Transylvania Counties and surrounding communities. Through clinical research we have the ability to provide medications and/or services that might otherwise not be available.
In keeping with our mission of Co-Creating The Care Experience, studies are chosen based upon the potential to improve symptom management and quality of life. In addition, all research is conducted according to federal guidelines that are designed to protect and benefit the patients. Our research department is top-notch, collaborating on studies with prestigious medical institutions such as Duke University Medical Center and MD Anderson, and pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Wyeth. We have seen remarkable results in improved pain and symptom scores from our previous trials and are committed to offering these services to our patients.
What is a clinical research study? A clinical study is a research study in human volunteers to answer specific health questions. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people and ways to improve health.
Who can participate in a clinical study? Study participants include current hospice and palliative care patients, as well as referrals we receive from physicians in our service areas. Participation in a research study is completely voluntary. Anyone who volunteers to participate is fully informed about the details of the study including the purpose, procedures, possible risks and discomforts, possible benefits, costs, payment, alternatives, and confidentiality of information. All patients who decide to participate must give their written consent by signing a study specific Informed Consent form prior to enrollment. Because participation is voluntary, any patient may decide to refuse to participate or to withdraw from a study at any time. A decision to decline participation in a research study will never impact a patient's health care with our staff or that of any other physician in our community.
What happens during a clinical study? The clinical study process depends on the type of study being conducted. The clinical research team checks the health of each participant at the beginning of the study, gives specific instructions for participating in the study, monitors the participant carefully during the study, and stays in touch after the trial is completed. The research team members conduct patient visits based upon each study's requirements. We maintain frequent communication with active study participants to assess any issues that may arise, and we work closely with the patient's nurse and physician to keep them informed about each patient's participation. This helps to ensure the patient gets the best care possible.
Why participate in a clinical study? There are many different reasons to participate in a study, some of them are as follows:
- Patients feel they are leaving a legacy,
- Participating in research studies may help patients gain access to new treatments that are not otherwise available.
- Research treatments may improve quality of life by reducing pain or other symptoms,
- Study participation contributes to medical knowledge, which aids in improving treatments to future patients and helps to define best clinical practice.
Types of studies available
The types of studies vary but generally are focused on improving pain, shortness of breath, constipation, fatigue, and other symptoms commonly associated with advanced illness. At any given time we have 6-7 studies for which we are actively seeking volunteers.
How to reach us
If you would like more information about clinical research, please contact our Clinical Research Team at 828.692.6178. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.