Clinical Trials & Research

Clinical trials are a key research tool for advancing medical knowledge and patient care. They can help researchers discover new treatments for diseases of all kinds, and identify ways to detect, diagnose, and reduce the chance of developing the disease. Clinical trials also help doctors decide if the side effects of a new treatment are acceptable when weighed against the potential benefits. Because researchers don’t know what the results will be, participants may find it difficult to decide whether or not they want to participate. Some individuals participate because they want to be part of the search for new solutions; some individuals participate because they hope the study’s treatment will improve the condition they experience. Trials and studies that only gather information about family history, life style, prior experiences, etc. will not likely have any therapeutic or adverse effects on the participant, but the data collected will help researchers in their work.

The first step in considering whether or not to participate in a trial or study is to clearly understand its purpose and process, what your commitment will be, and the potential positive outcomes and/or negative risk factors. Use the following links to help you better understand what to consider before contacting a clinical trial site. at the National Institute of Health  

This checklist of questions to ask the study site is provided by the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation.

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