How much time and effort do you have to invest when signing up for clinical trials?
As you have learned in the last couple of weeks, clinical trials are important for medical advancements and part of every medical research team’s process of finding new cures or treatments for diseases. The goal of a clinical trial is to find new or better treatments, new preventative measurements, new diagnostic methods, or even find a cure for specific illnesses. They also aim to find out if a new treatment (e.g. a drug) works the way it should work and is safe to use.
But what does it mean to take part in a clinical trial when it comes to the time and effort you, as a participant, have to invest? Today, we will give you an overview of how much time and effort it takes for participants and highlight the benefits of doing so.
Your time investment when participating in clinical trials
The time you invest when participating in a clinical trial always depends on the research study, but one thing is clear - you should be flexible and willing to put in the time required by the clinical trial if you decide to participate, as they usually run between 6 and 24 months.
Before the trail
Once you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, you will have to undergo a screening process in order to determine if you actually qualify. This is based on the studies' protocol, which determines who can and cannot participate based on a set of criteria. The screening process takes up some time, as you first undergo a pre-screening, which usually happens via phone. Once you have passed the pre-screening, you will be invited to an on-site screening visit, to give you more information about the trial and to usually perform a physical exam.
During the trial
Some studies may require you to visit a doctor weekly or once a month, while others only need you to check in with a health professional every 6 months. In addition, some clinical trials require you to go to the gym 3-4 times a week, write in a health diary, or fill in surveys. This information will be given to you before the trial starts during your conversation with the research team. Please keep in mind that you can always opt-out at any time if these requirements are not working for you, but it is important to know them beforehand and to make a well-thought-through decision if signing up really fits your schedule.
Clinical trial compensation
Clinical trials make sure to match with volunteers that are closest to their research site. However, sometimes it requires a bit of driving to get there. But do not worry - usually, you will be reimbursed for your travel expenses and your time commitment in the form of vouchers or even cash. You can ask about the details of the compensation during your first conversation with the research team assigned to you.
Benefits of participating in clinical trials
Even though clinical trials may require a certain level of time, the benefits of participating are worth the effort. Taking part in a research study allows you to have access to a team of health professionals and medical care - free of charge. In addition, you will have access to the newest treatment which is not yet open to the public and may improve your own health condition. But the biggest benefit of all is, that by participating in a clinical trial, you are making a huge difference for yourself and millions of other people living with the condition each day.
Be part of medical history
Do you want to join thousands of volunteers and make a difference in medical innovation? To sign up and learn more about the importance of clinical trials, the benefits, and risks, click here.