Clinical trials give researchers and scientists the opportunity to learn more about how human bodies function and to test out potentially life-changing new medicines and therapies. However, there are many misconceptions surrounding clinical studies. Read on to dispel five myths about participating in a clinical study today.
1. Participating in Clinical Trials Is Dangerous
Most clinical studies do not present a risk to your life – in most cases, you’re given samples to test, asked to undergo evaluations, or encouraged to try out non-drug related treatments such as physical therapy or rehabilitation services.
2. There Is No Research Taking Place in the Area I Live In, so I Can’t Take Part
It’s true that if you live in a particularly remote region, far away from a university or clinic, there may not be any research studies taking place right on your doorstep. However, this doesn’t mean clinical trials aren’t available to you. In fact, thanks to modern technology and improved delivery services, it’s possible to take part in clinical trials without even leaving your home.
3. Participating in a Clinical Study Will Not Benefit Me
Patients who participate in clinical trials often get access to the most up-to-date medications and treatments. Patients who engage in clinical trials are often at the forefront of any new breakthroughs in treatment options. That’s why clinical trials are sometimes seen as a last resort when there are no other therapies available or when earlier interventions have failed to work.
4. If I Participate in a Clinical Study, I Give up Control Over My Personal Information
Informed treatment decisions are made possible by the sharing of clinical data among doctors, patients, and healthcare providers. Researchers are often able to build on previous studies when they share data with each other, meaning you have to be prepared to provide some personal information during a clinical trial. However, maintaining the privacy of all participants and ensuring that clinical trial data is shared in a responsible way is always a top priority.
5. Clinical Trial Participants Serve as Human Test Subjects
Clinical research is subject to strict regulations and there are legal protections in place that help keep patients safe. Before taking part in a research study, you will be provided with detailed information on its purpose, duration, any procedures that will be carried out throughout the study, any predicted risks or possible advantages, how your information will be gathered and shared, and your rights as a participant.
You must understand and consent to all of these facts in order to be allowed into the trial, which is accomplished via a procedure known as “informed consent.” This process will be readdressed throughout the duration of the research, and you will have the option to withdraw from the study at any point.