Before deciding to participate in a clinical trial, it's important to weigh the benefits and risks.
Clinical trial volunteers may have access to potentially new treatments before they are widely available. Trial participants are closely monitored by the physician investigator and research staff. Participating in a clinical trial is also an opportunity to help others by contributing to medical research that helps find better treatments for many diseases and conditions.
Clinical trial volunteers may experience unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening side effects resulting from treatments. The treatment may not be effective and participation in the trial may be more time consuming than receiving standard care.
Questions to ask before participating in a clinical research trial
- What is the purpose of the study?
- What treatments will be used?
- Are the treatment(s) investigational or have they already been approved for use?
- Is there a possibility I might get a placebo (an inactive treatment)?
- How long does the trial last?
- Who will be in charge of my care while I'm in the study?
- If the treatment works for me, can I keep using it after the study?
- Will I receive any follow-up care after the study has ended?
- What are the benefits of participating in this study?
- What are the risks of participating in this study?
- What are my alternatives to being in this study?
- Will I receive compensation for my participation?
- Do I have to pay for any part of the trial?
- Will the results of the trial be provided to me?