Last updated September 2011. Planned review date: September 2013
Taking part in prematurity research
You may be asked if you would consider taking part in research into premature birth. We explain what this might involve.
There is still so much we don't know about why premature birth happens, what the consequences are, and how to deliver the best care to premature babies. Scientists are searching for answers and they need parents' help.
Finding out more about premature birth
At some point, one of the healthcare team may ask you if you would consider involving yourself or your baby in a study. If this happens, they will explain the study to you in detail and will ask you to sign a consent form.
How it works
Any research must follow strict ethical guidelines. Participating in a study is voluntary, and you don't need to agree to anything without being given full information. You can also change your mind at any point.
Why your input will help premature babies
Taking part will give you the opportunity to help develop knowledge and contribute to the care of babies in the future. Whether or not you decide to participate will not affect the care of your baby in any way.
Read about Tommy's research projects into premature birth.
In this section
Your baby's time in hospital:
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The following organisations can give you more information about the topics covered in this section.
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'Our baby is part of a research programme. The researchers follow his progress and keep up with his medical records. There's still so much unknown, and so much trial and error, any help you can give to improve the statistics is great.'