Over 500 Oregonians throughout the state are registered with the Center for Healthy Aging Research as potential research volunteers. All aged 50 and over, these volunteers are part of the LIFE Registry, which links our research community to interested study participants.
This human subject registry was created in 2006 to assist Center investigators in locating volunteers for a variety of studies. For the past 4 years, volunteers have participated in studies ranging from evaluating new technology products, such as tracking devices, to exercising on platforms to measure the impact of vibration on strength and balance. Volunteers have donned fancy headgear to allow measurement of switching attention between tasks and have had blood drawn to assess the impact of stress on hormone levels. They’ve had their gait analyzed to determine certain factors in preventing falls and they’ve shared information on social supports for physical activity. Over 100 volunteers recently worked with an interdisciplinary team of researchers to examine the interplay of personal goals, individual level variables, and the dynamics of daily life. These volunteers used computers to record information on psychosocial factors such as goals, social relationships, affect, health and sleep for 100 days. A current interdisciplinary investigation includes computer scientists and biochemists in studying the impact of lipoic acid and certain vitamins on general activity levels.
Research volunteers participate through on-line and mailed surveys, interviews, focus groups, and a variety of activities in their homes, the community and on campus at Oregon State University. Interested volunteers are asked to fill out a simple form providing basic demographic and contact information. This information is shared only with Center researchers whose individual projects have been approved by the Oregon State University Institutional Review Board, which is responsible for protecting human subjects. Center researchers, who agree to certain research protocols including confidentially, may ask potential study participants for additional information. If you reside in Oregon and would like to consider joining the LIFE Registry, see our website.
Volunteers participate in research for many reasons. They may be interested in the research science involved or wish to have access to new procedures and products. Many simply want to help future generations achieve healthier lives and still others want to help young researchers achieve their goals. Whatever the reason for participation, researchers at the Center for Healthy Aging Research are grateful for this level of engagement. Human research is a vital link in bringing research from the lab to practical applications for improving the lives of older adults.