What is research?
Research is all about discovery. It’s about collecting information in a well-planned and organized way, to answer questions and increase knowledge.
Through research, we can discover what works best for people living with different medical conditions. This can include: diagnosis, treatment and the way health, social care and education services are provided. We can also have a better understanding of issues that affect people with medical conditions.
Why do we need research?
Research increases knowledge and understanding. It enables new innovations to be developed and tested.
Good health research helps professionals discuss the best options with their patients. All new developments are based on research that has been done in the past. Without research, we would have no evidence of what works when and for whom - we would just be guessing.
Without new research, there would be no new tests, treatments, preventions or understanding of any medical condition. There would be no understanding of how to support people to learn or live the best quality of life.
Why is epilepsy research important?
Epilepsy is a condition that is still poorly understood and there are many unanswered questions. These include issues such as:
- Epilepsy related deaths
- Diagnosis and misdiagnosis
- Achieving better seizure control
- Side-effects from anti-epileptic drugs
- Living with epilepsy and wellbeing
- Public attitudes towards epilepsy
- Social inclusion of people with epilepsy
It is only through research that can we have a better knowledge and understanding of these issues. This will lead to advances in the way they are addressed.
How can I get involved with research?
Epilepsy Action is frequently contacted by researchers who want to find people with epilepsy, or their carers, who are willing to take part in their research project.
They might invite people to complete a survey or take part in an interview, workshop or focus group.
You can find information about these, and how to take part here:
How will I benefit from getting involved in research?
Some research projects can take a long time to find answers – sometimes longer than a human lifespan. You might not benefit directly from research that is being carried out now. However, if you have ever been a patient of the NHS, you have already benefitted from research carried out in the past.
By contributing to research now, you will be adding to knowledge and the understanding of epilepsy for future generations. Some research projects might help you learn more about your own epilepsy or discover newer, better treatments that might help you.
Some people who have taken part in health research have said that it:
- Gives them hope
- Makes them feel active in their own healthcare
- Increases their sense of being valued, by contributing to findings of the future
- Lifts their feelings of wellbeing
Your support means that we can continue to fund vital research for people with epilepsy.