Every day, possible new ways to detect, prevent, treat, and cure different medical conditions are discovered. These new insights are gained through the extensive efforts of clinical research, which can take many years. New devices, procedures and treatments are first studied in every possible scenario to ensure they meet the needed safety criteria to move to a trial. There is a lot to take in when it comes to participating in clinical trials. Luckily, we’ve got some of the most FAQs covered.
1. What Happens During a Clinical Trial?
Each trial has a “manual” to follow called the protocol. This document outlines the study’s purpose, information about the intervention being studied, visit schedule, number of participants needed, and any reported adverse effects, for example. Participant criteria are also included, which determines who can be in the trial. Not all clinical trials involve medical intervention or device. Other types include screening, quality of life, diagnostic, and prevention, to name a few.
In the initial contact, the volunteer will learn about the trial, and if they are interested, they will move onto the first part of the screening. The health history and demographic information will be gathered along with some initial trial criteria, typically done by phone. If the initial criteria are met, an on-site screening visit will take place. Here, all information is confirmed, the informed consent is reviewed, the rest of the trial criteria are checked, and any lab or screening tests are done.
If the participant has met all criteria and agrees with and understands the involvement needed, they will be enrolled in the study and follow the schedule of visits and required treatment until they have reached the end of their participation.
2. Why Should I Participate?
Playing a personal role in the advancement of medicine is one of the countless reasons people participate in clinical trials. Although each person’s “why” may be different, some of the other shared reasons are:
- Taking control of your health and learning more about your condition.
- Potential access to new options that may be more effective and have fewer side effects than currently available options.
- Many trials now offer reimbursement for time and travel.
3. What is a Healthy Volunteer?
Clinical trials need both healthy volunteers and volunteers with the specific condition that the trial is investigating. A healthy volunteer is a participant with no known significant health problems. Healthy volunteers are needed in clinical trials to help set a baseline or control group of the “normal range” compared to volunteers with the specific condition being studied.
The safety and well-being of our participants is our number one priority. After all, without volunteers participating in clinical trials, advances in medicine wouldn’t be possible. If you would like to speak with someone to learn more about participating in clinical trials, our friendly, helpful staff can be reached at (678) 430-3232. To view and apply for currently enrolling opportunities, click here.