Learn more about observational studies

When you join an observational study, you help researchers learn more about dementia and its impacts. You can expect interviews, tests, questionnaires or other kinds of information-gathering.

A group of adults in a circle, talking and listening

There are many different types of studies on dementia.

Observational studies are a very important type of research study. And observational studies are often looking for people to join.

Participating in these kinds of studies can help advance dementia research. But there are important factors to consider first.

What are observational studies?

Observational studies involve interviews and/or tests.

Participants in observational studies do not receive an intervention, therapy or drug.

Participants may be observed for a period of time. Or, they may be asked to complete tests and questionnaires related to what the research team is trying to investigate.

Risks and benefits of participating in an observational study

There are potential risks and benefits to participating in any kind of research. It's important that you understand these before participating in a research study.

Ethics issues to think about

To protect your dignity, rights safety and well-being, it is important that researchers adhere to ethical principles.

Research ethics boards are set up to ensure that studies conducted in Canada follow appropriate ethical standards.

The research ethics board requires the researcher to complete a detailed, multi-page form regarding all aspects of the proposed study so that the ethics of the study can be assessed.

For example, the researcher must answer questions about:

  • the purpose of the study
  • who will lead it
  • how it will be conducted
  • where and when the study will be implemented

To help ensure the safety of participants, a research study cannot begin until the research ethics board has approved the project.

Find a study near you

Ready to participate in an observational study?

Find a research study near you using our portal at alzheimer.ca/find-studies.

Our portal includes online-only and in-person studies. It also includes opportunities for people living with dementia, carers, family members and others.

Our study portal is frequently updated with new opportunities. If you don't find what you are looking for today, check it again soon at alzheimer.ca/find-studies.