1. What are clinical trials?
Clinical Trials are a type of research that studies new tests and treatments in order to determine dosage, safety, and efficacy. There are many different types of trials: some involve medication or treatment while others do not.
2. How do I know if I qualify for a clinical trial?
The best way to determine if you are eligible for a clinical trial is to contact the research site since each study has its own unique eligibility criteria.
3. What are the benefits and risks to participating?
Just like routine care and daily living activities, clinical trials involve risks. Most risk in clinical trials is minor or short term discomfort, but there is also potential for complications that require medical attention. Each clinical trial has a document called the Informed Consent document, which describes specific risks associated with the research protocol. This document and all of its details are reviewed with study personnel before enrollment in a study. You cannot be enrolled into a study without signing this document, but it is not a contact and your consent can be revoked at any time, removing you from the trial.
Well designed and well executed clinical trials allow for patients to:
- Take an active role in their health care.
- Receive regular and careful medical attention from a research team that includes doctors and other health professionals.
- Gain access to new research treatments before they are readily available.
- Contribute to medical research and thereby helping others.
4. Can I participate in multiple trials at once?
Most of the time, no. Generally speaking, you can only participate in one study at a time, although once participation in one study is complete, you can inquire about participating in another.
There are sometimes exceptions to this rule. If you currently participate in a study that is in an elongated follow-up period, you may inquire with your research site about the situation. Studies that do not involve treatment, such as donation studies or observational studies, may also be available to you.
If at any time you have a question regarding your study enrollment, contact your research site staff.
5. What does “compensation may be available” mean?
In addition to the patient care that accompanies your visits and helping to further medical advances and research, studies may offer compensation for time and travel. Each study is unique, so contact your nearest research site to find out more.
6. How long will the visits last?
It depends on the clinical trial. The average time for a study visit is 30-45 minutes, but they can be longer or shorter depending on the needs of that visit. You can expect the first visit to take the longest because it is when your information is gathered, the trial is explained, and baseline tests are performed. Typically there is very little time spent in the reception area since research sites see fewer people daily than the average physician’s office.