If you’re thinking about participating in a clinical trial, there are a few things you may wish to consider. Clinical trials are a great way for medical researchers to test new treatments, technologies, and procedures in a safe and controlled setting.
They can even help patients who don’t have access to the latest medications or need more information about how the treatments work. But before signing up, it’s important that you have all the right answers so you know if this is a worthwhile venture and if it’s right for your situation. Here are a few questions you should ask when participating in any clinical trial:
Is This a Registered Trial?
One of the first things you should do before participating in a clinical trial is to look up the trial’s registration status. Registered trials are approved by an institutional review board (IRB) and overseen by an ethics committee, which ensures that the study is ethically sound.
Registered studies are also more likely to provide more information about the trial and its outcomes. If the trial isn’t registered, you can assume the researchers are conducting their trial without following all the necessary regulations. However, this doesn’t always mean the study is unethical or dangerous.
What Is the Purpose of the Trial?
The second thing you should do is inquire about the trial’s specific purpose. Because registered trials are approved by an ethics committee and monitored by an IRB, they are required to publish their trial purpose in an official journal. So, if the trial you’re considering isn’t registered, the researchers are likely conducting a study that hasn’t published any research results.
Does the Trial Require Specific Health Conditions?
Some clinical trials require that the volunteers be under a certain age or have a specific health condition. The federal government maintains a comprehensive list of clinical trials that are open to anyone, regardless of their age or health. You can use this list to see if the trial you’re considering requires certain health conditions.
You can also ask the researchers directly. The most important thing to keep in mind here is that you don’t want to participate in a clinical trial if you have health concerns that aren’t listed on the trial’s eligibility criteria.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Taking Part?
The final thing you should do before participating in any clinical trial is to ask the researchers what risks participants may face. All registered studies are required to publish the risks associated with their study in an official journal.
You can also ask the researchers if any known risks are associated with participating. You want to make sure that your goals align with the study’s purpose and that participating in the trial won’t put you at risk if the treatment doesn’t work.
Choosing the right trial can help you make the most of your health and treatment. First and foremost, you should look up the trial’s registration status to make sure that it’s a registered trial. Second, you should look up the trial’s purpose to ensure it’s relevant to your goals and health. Finally, you should ask the researchers what risks participants may face so that you can fully understand the potential risks associated with being a part of the study.