AWARE for All

 AWARE for All is a free program that aims to educate and empower the public in making informed decisions about clinical research participation. This event includes free health screenings and food, informational exhibits that feature community organizations and research centers, local physician and patient speakers, and a reception to honor clinical research participants. The AWARE events are sponsored nationally by EMD Serono and regionally by local organizations and research centers. Please email if you are interested in supporting our AWARE for All Educational Events as a regional or local sponsor.

Our lives are impacted by clinical research every day. Each medication you take was proven safe and made available with the help of clinical trials and the individuals who participated. This process and those who get involved are crucial to the advancement of medicine.

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AWARE for All Take-Aways:

  • Learn what clinical trials are and how they work
  • Learn why society needs clinical research
  • Understand the safety, benefits and risks of clinical research
  • Meet local area doctors and patients
  • Learn important questions to ask your doctor or healthcare provider so that you can make informed decisions regarding your participation

Since its inception, AWARE for All has amassed an impressive track record of engagement in cities including Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia. The program is also prominent in the research Triangle – Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, N.C.

Part of what makes AWARE unique and effective is that CISCRP engages 30 to 50 community partners in each host city. Major universities and research hospitals, community health agencies, patient advocacy groups, and grassroots entities such as churches, community centers and even neighborhood hair salons work with CISCRP to promote the program and educate the community.

According to evaluations of the programs conducted to date, the AWARE model is demonstrating its impact. More than half (53%) of AWARE attendees who never participated in a clinical study prior to the program rated their knowledge of the clinical research process as poor or fair.

After attending the AWARE program, 93% rated their knowledge of the clinical research process as good or excellent. Another significant indicator of AWARE’s efficacy is that three-quarters of attendees said they are more likely to participate in a clinical trial following an AWARE program.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), partnered with CISCRP to plan and implement a local clinical research awareness day, providing consultation and support in program evaluation by reviewing current goals and methods. NCI’s Office of Market Research and Evaluation determined that the current questions being used to test clinical trial knowledge were sound.

Why are AWARE for All events important?

Surveys have shown that 94% of the public recognizes that participation in clinical research is very important to advance medical science, however,

  • 74% say they have no ‘real’ knowledge of the clinical research process
  • 98% do not know where and how to identify and evaluate appropriate clinical studies for patients diagnosed with cancer and other chronic diseases.

There is a need for general education about the clinical research process including the risks, benefits and the rights of participants. Patients typically learn about the risks and benefits for the first time when asked to sign an informed consent document, which is required of all participants before beginning a study. This is not an ideal time for such education because the person or loved one may be under great stress due to illness. In fact, a recent survey showed that

  • 35% of people who signed consent forms said they did not understand what they signed and another
  • 10% claimed never to have read the document at all.

The purpose of AWARE for All is to address this lack of fundamental knowledge.

Through AWARE for All, CISCRP and our organizational partners help build greater awareness and understanding of the clinical research process and the important role participation plays in advancing medical science.

If you have questions regarding our AWARE for All program, please contact CISCRP at 617-725-2750 or email us.