What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are research studies with people that aim to provide a medical solution to the public. Clinical trials are the primary way that researchers find out if a new treatment (like a new drug or a new medical device, such as a pacemaker) is safe and effective for the public. Clinical trials help to prevent, diagnose, and cure illnesses. They can also dramatically improve the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses.
There are many reasons why people choose to join clinical trials. Some join a trial because the treatments they've tried for their health condition in the past haven't worked. Others choose to participate because there currently is no treatment or cure for their health condition. By joining a clinical trial, they can be first in line for new treatments before they're available to the public. Other studies are designed for healthy people who don't have a health condition but want to find ways they can help prevent a disease, such as one that runs in their family or took the life of a loved one.
For some people, participating in a clinical trial is a way to play a more active role in their own health care without paying out of pocket for new treatments. Others say they want to help researchers find cures for common diseases. Whatever the reason for participating, people who enroll in clinical trials are on the forefront of medical breakthroughs and help power new scientific discoveries that lead to better treatments.
By participating in a clinical trial, you are contributing to research and helping to bring new treatments one step closer to being available to patients worldwide. New treatments that come out of clinical trials are often life-saving! Whether you're healthy or live with a health condition, everyone can participate.
What is it like to participate in a clinical trial?
First, people who are interested in participating fill out a survey.
Next, these people are contacted by the research team for more information. If they are still interested and qualify for the study (based on health information and history), a pre-screening appointment is scheduled. A pre-screening appointment is similar to a routine doctor's appointment. You will be asked questions about your health and conditions that are relevant to the study. Based on this information, a member of the research staff will determine if you qualify to enter the trial.
If you are accepted into the trial, an appointment with a certified physician will be scheduled at no cost to you. This appointment is called a "baseline" appointment in which the research doctor will conduct cognitive and/or physical tests to determine your current state of health before beginning the study.
After that, you will be randomly assigned to either a treatment or a control group. The doctor conducting the study will give you detailed information and a treatment plan that you'll need to follow closely.
During the treatment, you may need to visit the research site for regular follow-up appointments where staff will measure your progress and closely monitor your health and wellness. During these visits, staff will ask you detailed questions about how you're feeling to gather information on your health and well-being. You may also continue seeing your regular physician for routine care during treatment.
At the end of the trial, your research doctor will be able to give you more detailed information into the treatment you received and provide helpful insights into your health and condition.
What happens after I sign up?
By filling out a survey, you are not entering the research study - you are simply providing the basic information that the research team needs in order to find out if you may qualify for the study. After you submit your survey, our research partner will contact you to give you more information about the study and find out if you are a candidate based on additional information you provide. After that, you will have time to discuss your decision to participate with your family or friends. If you decide to move forward, a medical professional will then help you to schedule a pre-screening appointment to determine if you are eligible for the study.
When will I be contacted?
After you submit a survey, the research study team will have your contact information and reach out to you. Typically the research team will contact you within 72 hours to ask some additional questions before scheduling an on-site screening appointment. However, on weekends and holidays this wait may be slightly longer. If you do not hear from the research team or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're always happy to help connect you with the research team and answer any questions you may have about participating in medical research.