Questions a Clinical Trial Participant Should Ask

Written By:
Nicki C.

There are a lot of great reasons to take part in a clinical trial. Whether you are interested in improving your own healthcare and access to new treatments, or advancing medical treatments for others, clinical trial participants are a valuable part of the process.

However, participating in a clinical trial or study is a new experience for most people. One of the best ways to figure out if you’re a good fit for a specific trial - and if it’s a good fit for you - is by communicating openly with your doctor, healthcare providers Getting answers to important questions is a good way to find out if being part of a trial or study is right for you. Some questions to ask include:

Trial Design

The specific design of the trial can have an enormous effect on whether the trial is a good fit for you. You’ll want to know why they are doing the trial, if the treatment has been tested previously, etc. Moreover, understanding expectations from the start - for example how long the trial will last, or how frequently check-ins are required, can help to eliminate any future surprises.

Some questions to consider include:

  • What is the purpose of this clinical trial?
  • Has this treatment ever been tested before?
    • If yes, what were the results?
  • How many participants are included in this trial?
  • What is the expected timeline for the trial?
  • How frequent are trial check-ins?
    • Are check-ins required in person, or can they be accomplished by phone or email?
  • When will I get the results?

Risks and Benefits

Whether you are participating in a clinical trial to help with a medical condition of your own, or to advance treatments for others, it is good to understand the potential benefits - and possible risks - associated with the trial.

Some questions to consider include:

  • Why is this treatment better or different than the ones that are currently offered?
  • How will my medical information and privacy be protected?
  • What are possible side effects of the treatment?
  • Will there be any risk of interaction with medications I take regularly?
  • What are my treatment options if I decide not to join this trial?

Ongoing Communication

A trial may last a long time, depending on the type of treatment. It is important to know that all of the details may not be clear at the outset, and have a plan of action for future considerations.

Some Questions to Consider Include:

  • Are there any additional considerations or requirements for participants that haven’t been covered?
  • Will I be asked to take part in more than one trial or phase of trial?
  • How will my participation be communicated to my current healthcare provider?
  • Who should I contact if I have any further questions or need for information?

If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial or study, sign up with Research & Me! Our intuitive platform connects eligible participants with clinical trials and studies to maximize results and improve chances for trial success.

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