Research has brought us amazing medical discoveries and treatments. But research is also a continual process if we are to pursue better health.
Asthma and allergies are complex conditions. Research gives us a better understanding of them. This can lead to new medicines, ways to improve quality of life, and hopefully, cures. And research can be most effective when it centers around the qualities and needs of the patients it aims to serve.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) supports patient-centered research. It gives you, the patient, and caregivers a stronger voice in research. This will result in better treatments based on what is important to you and your families.
Patient-centered research is exciting. You get to be an important part of driving future knowledge and treatments that can not only make life easier for many people with asthma and allergies but can actually save lives.
Ways You Can Get Involved in Asthma and Allergy Research
Now that you know how important you are to asthma and allergy research, you may be wondering how you can get involved. Here are some ways you can take part.
Watch AAFA’s “Promoting Asthma Patient Engagement in Research” Video Series
With funding support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), AAFA created a research program called Promoting Asthma Patient Engagement in Research (PAPER). The goal of the program is to increase awareness of asthma and research and to increase patient participation in research.
Take the first step to get involved by watching the PAPER videos. You can start with our video “Influencing the Future of Asthma Research.”
Learn about asthma basics and the value of asthma research in the rest of this video series. There are 11 videos in the PAPER project. Topics include:
- Asthma basics
- Asthma treatment
- Finding accurate research
- Understanding clinical research and trials
You can watch each individual part of the series or the full program. Patient-centered research is valuable in improving all areas of our health and well-being. So even if you don’t have asthma, this video series can still help you learn about the research process.
Join AAFA’s Online Communities
When you join AAFA’s online community, we’ll keep you informed of research opportunities through our blog, emails, and on our online community forums. You’ll also become part of a community of other people managing asthma and allergies who support each other in a positive, encouraging environment.
If you have a child with food allergies, you can also join our Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) online community. KFA is the food allergy division of AAFA.
By signing up for our communities, you will:
- Receive information about managing yours or your child’s condition(s)
- Get social support for conditions that can feel isolating at times
- Receive up-to-date research news
- Opt in to learn about:
- Becoming an advisor on important research, working with AAFA/KFA, scientists, and/or researchers
- Chances to take part in surveys that study the impacts of asthma and allergic diseases on quality of life
- Potential research studies (including clinical trials) you may qualify to join
- Be able to share your opinions and feedback with AAFA/KFA
Take Part in Clinical Trials
Clinical research (also called clinical studies or clinical trials) studies health and illnesses in people. Experts can then use the research to find out what causes diseases and symptoms. They also look for medical ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and illnesses.
Clinical Trial: COVID-19 Vaccines and Allergies
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is recruiting for a clinical trial to help determine the risk of allergic reactions to the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
Participants will initially receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Moderna vaccine, or a placebo. All participants will ultimately receive a full two-dose course of either the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna vaccine.
AAFA is not directly involved in this clinical research. We are sharing this information from the NIH with our community.
Clinical trials test medical approaches to see if they work. During these trials, they may test treatments, medicines, procedures, or changes in behavior. Before these medical approaches can be approved for the public, they are tested through clinical trials usually made up of four phases.
By being part of clinical research or a clinical trial, you can help advance treatments for asthma and allergic diseases.
We hope you’ll consider being a part of asthma and allergy research. Research has already brought us many treatments and medicines, but we still have a long way to go. More than 65 million Americans have asthma and allergies, and the burden of these disease is heavy and costly. Together, we can be part of a better future for people with asthma and allergies.